These pictures are from a patrol May 2 with the Polish Civil-Military (CIMIC) Affairs team to a village called Espandi, not far from the main Ghazni city center.  The CIMIC team was sent to Espandi mainly because the base keeps getting attacked from the general direction of this village, and they wanted to talk to the locals about what they can do to make it stop.

As usual, most locals will play dumb and say they haven't seen the Taliban for months. But after you get the elders out, and sit everybody down, and they realize you are not going away, they start admitting.... "well, yeah, the Taliban does come through here at night, on motorcycles... and they threaten us.... but we don't know where they keep their weapons... and they're never here long... and they say they'll kill us if we talk to you." At which point the CIMIC soldiers have to try to convince the elders that they can protect them from the Taliban.

The Afghans are understandably skeptical.

Children out in the streets when the convoy arrives are a good sign - if there is an ambush in the works generally the locals will know and they will be hiding. Curious little girls poking their heads around the corner take the stress level down a notch for everyone.

The vehicles generate a line of dust as they drive across sandy fields back to the base. You can see tracks from previous days in the foreground, as the convoys generally avoid taking the same route twice as a security precaution.