It’s hard to believe that my last – and only – blog post was two and a half years ago! I sometimes struggle to find the balance between living in the present and stepping back to think, write, tweet, and instagram about it all. I know that these things are not necessarily mutually exclusive but it feels like that to me at times. When I’m behind the lens, I feel so absorbed and so completely in the moment, that I forget to document these experiences in other ways. But I vow to participate more!
I think one of the more significant experiences I’ve had was traveling to Africa (Zambia and Tanzania) with World Vision last fall. It was incredible to see the work that they do and how deep into the countries they travel. This faith-based organization is committed to women and stresses the importance of self reliance – microfinance, clean water, and education. We all had very lively conversations and I met some of the most dedicated and interesting people.
In this small village in Zambia, these women were learning to play a more significant role in the governing of their community. Here, they are talking about managing their personal finances and running their own businesses.
Another person I met was an animal whisperer. The day we met, he told me to follow him. So I got in line behind him, followed by the giraffes and zebras, all in single file. The only time the animals got upset – or even noticed that I was there – was when I stepped out of line to take photos. It was feeding time and they trusted him completely.
This young woman, in her school uniform, helped greet us with a participatory song and dance game called “Do What I Do.” It was a fun bonding experience that made me wish we had something similar here in the US when I was in high school
I was humbled by the resiliency and warmth of the people that I met, but I was never not aware of the vastness of the land and its relationship to them.