Hello again. Internet was down in the hotel last night so no post yesterday. It’s still not working in my room so I’m writing in the hallway. Hi neighbors.
The last two days I was up at sunrise to head to school with Sandra, the woman breastfeeding in my first post. She is 19 and the head of her household. I followed her and her siblings to the private school Reencontro pays for them to attend. Several other orphans under Reencontro’s care also attend the school. The first shot below shows her younger brother walking away from his classroom. The students had gathered around me near the door to the classroom, and as you can see, followed us as we were walking away. The second shot shows Sandra’s younger sister (with the pig tails sticking straight up) taking notes as her teacher writes on the board.
The following two photographs are taken in the more advanced class. I’d say it’s for older kids but that doesn’t necessarily hold true. As you can see from the shot below there is a huge age variation in the class as students are separated based on ability rather than age. The second shot below shows Sandra answering a question on the board in preparation for the student’s upcoming exams.
Yesterday I spent the majority of the day outlining the business of professional photography. Here’s an example of my overview of stock photography and a simple categorization of topics for them.
In the evening I headed over to Sandra’s home and photographed them until just before sundown. This included all the chores (fetching water, watching dishes, sweeping up trash in the yard – pictured) and of course a few lighter moments as well.
Today involved an even earlier morning at the school and then all day with the photography school. We met in a conference room at my hotel so I could show them various stock and assignment photography websites as they don’t have internet access in their “studio” which is simply a rented home. I invited them all to lunch and we spent the late afternoon and evening taking pictures on the beach. Here are two shots of them shooting. The second shot shows the new Canon 10D that was donated for them. This will be extremely helpful as their other cameras are not of sufficient quality to sell the photos on most US or European sites. Thankfully this camera meets the standards.
Finally, here is a shot of the students looking at their photos in the book Venice Arts, Dr. Neal Baer and the African Millennium Foundation worked on with them, The House is Small, But The Welcome is Big.
During their thank you speech to me the students had extremely fond things to say about Neal, AMF and Venice Arts. They also presented me with a new hat and two shirts. Tomorrow we’re meeting a local TV station and then I’m off to the airport for 30+ hours of travel back to Los Angeles. There’s a long list of needs for the photography program so click on the sound file below of the orphans singing and then EMAIL ME to ask how you can help. The words to the song say, “Reencontro, encontrei uma nova familia.” What’s that mean: “Reencontro, I found a new family.” These people are doing some great work. I’m the lucky one to have found them!