Little Miss Mabel was born at the beginning of summer and has been a bright addition to the family. I have known her parents since before they knew each other and I am so proud of the loving home they have formed to welcome this beautiful girl into. If you look closely, you can see Jordan’s shirt has toucans on it – he called it his “birthing shirt” and has vowed to wear it at all births in the future. Lets all try and hold him to that.
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I was very blessed to be asked to photograph Janae and Curtis’ wedding in May. Here is my favorite shot I’ve edited so far. I should have some more images up on the blog after I finish editing.
It has been quite a few months since I have posted anything. In all honesty, I haven’t been feeling much joy lately so I haven’t taken many photographs. Transitioning back to America hasn’t been very fun. But I am going to start taking more photographs – they helped me make it through living overseas and I am sure they will help me find my way back home.
Its been a month and a half, but here is a little day-in-the-life of my birthday….well, pretty much the whole weekend:
Every year my friend Suzanne holds a program called “Notebooks for Manure” where kids can bring bags full of manure that they have collected to get weighed in by buckets and traded for tokens to buy school supplies. Suzanne sets up a “store” in her compound that has lots of notebooks, pencils, erasers, pens, rulers, compasses, and paints. For each bucket full of manure the kids bring they get one token for the store. Some children had two or three, some had 20 or 27. She starts the program around 8am but the kids start lining up outside her door around 6am. For the kids who can go to a local school but can’t afford to buy any school supplies, this is a big deal. The program teaches them work ethic as well. It is an accessible way for them to “buy” school supplies. There are cows, goats, sheep, and chicken every- equaling large available amounts of manure. The kids have a good time, get needed supplies, and feel pride in their work. I thoroughly enjoyed participating this year!
Well, it has been a long time. I really wanted to update the blog at least once a week, and it seems like I definitely failed this month. I just ended teaching school 2.5 weeks ago, I have a new house-mate who just flew in from America that I am helping orientate to living in Africa, my old house-mate is leaving to move back to America this week, and I have been moving school buildings. I will get it together soon, I hope.
So life here can be really hard. But there is one place I can go that is filled with beauty, peace, and calm. The most important aspect is that it is not filled with people looking and giggling at me or asking me for money because I am white. For our little town, this hotel is crazy fancy. It is also too expensive for me to actually stay there – but, for a reasonable amount of money we can be members to their pool. Milli and I chipped in and found a place of retreat. There may not be good food or nice drinks but the view is beautiful and the internet, free.
For the first time in my life I am afraid to take pictures. At first, I told myself that it was because I needed to experience this culture without being concerned about artistic interpretation. While that may be partially true, it really just turns out to be fear. So what is it that I am worried about? Being culturally irresponsible. I don’t really know how these people view photography. No one else has a camera out all the time. The average person I meet is not used to some white person taking pictures of them and where they live or work or play. In America, I fit in. People are used to cameras and photojournalism. I stick out in Africa and my giant camera does too. I have got to get up the courage and I need to get some more information. But today, I feel comfortable taking pictures of where I live, inside of my walls, where no one can see me. So this is what I will share with you – my new place of residence. And boy, is it sure different than my last.