Flying Lessons: Refugees and Legionnaires (February 2008)

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Twin Otter battling sandstorm conditions at an airstrip near refugee camps in Bahai, Chad.
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Sandstorm at the Bahai, Chad airstrip.
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A sandstorm approaching Abeche, Chad.
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Lane showing women their photo on her digital camera at a Darfur refugee camp, near the town of Goz Beida, in eastern Chad.
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Women from villages--villages that were destroyed--in Darfur showing Lane how to pound millet in the D'Jabal refugee camp in eastern Chad.
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Women from villages--villages that were destroyed--in Darfur showing Lane how to pound millet in the D'Jabal refugee camp in eastern Chad.
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Air Serv pilot Myriam Huser with kids in a refugee camp in eastern Chad.
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Air Serv pilot Lauren Stroschin "wanding" passengers for weapons before allowing them on board her Twin Otter at an airstrip near the Goz Beida refugee camps in eastern Chad.
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Air Serv pilots Myriam Huser (left) and Lauren Stroschin (right) with Lane in Goz Beida, Chad.
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Air Serv pilots Myriam Huser and Lauren Stroschin by the Twin Otter they fly together in eastern Chad.
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During the dry months, runways in Chad often blend into the desert landscape--like this one in Iriba, Chad.
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Passengers battle sand and wind while boarding Air Serv's Twin Otter in Bahai, Chad.
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Air Serv's Caravan landing in sandstorm conditions on a dirt strip in eastern Chad.
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Makeshift housing in an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp for Chadian refugees in eastern Chad.
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Women from an IDP refugee camp in eastern Chad saying good-bye to Lane after her visit there.
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Despite decals on their planes proclaiming "Humanitarian Flight--No Guns", Air Serv pilots in Chad often have to cope with passengers demanding to have their weapons allowed on board with them.
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Chad is an armed and lawless land. Which is why the Air Serv crew house in Abeche, Chad is surrounded by a tall cement wall topped with coils of razor wire, and a metal gate manned by a guard, 24 hours a day.
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Rebels celebrate the downing of a Chadian government plane during attack on Abeche, Chad.
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The town of Abeche, Chad—where Air Serv bases its pilots in Eastern Chad.
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The D'Jabal refugee camp in eastern Chad, which houses refugees from the Darfur region in nearby Sudan, from the air.
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A Darfur refugee camp in northeastern Chad.
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Craftsmen in one of the Muslim villages in eastern Chad.
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Refugees looking for a little shade and refuge from the heat and sun at a camp in Chad's northeastern desert.
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In most of Chad, donkeys or camels are still the primary form of transportation. This photo was taken at a refugee camp in the desolate desert of northeastern Chad.
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Chadian refugees in an IDP camp near Goz Beida, Chad. Conditions in the camps are very hard, but the women here haven't lost their sense of beauty or strength, or the will to survive and rebuild.