Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Days Like This

The last several days have been filled with some amazing experiences which I am so eager to share but have had such scarce internet time. Even now I am writing these thoughts in Notepad and will paste them into blogger when I am lucky enough to get online. Since I am leaving the project on Friday morning and will spend the next week touring the country without the slightest change of connectivity, I can only give a brief description of my days.

While walking on a lane the other day I spied this lad pushing an old bicycle tire with a stick. Of course he was quite startled to see me and stopped to collect himself. While taking his picture, I think he conveyed to me he was on his way to his grandmother's house with some rice, but of course I could be mistaken. I have wondered what appealed to me about this picture. Maybe for a moment I could feel the simple pleasure of his age. I felt lonely at the time too and somehow this picture lightened my mood.

The middle photo was taken at a Women's Day event at a small village near the Rwuanda border, which was chosen to host this event There was amazing dancing, singing and drumming. This was an event that no tourist will ever see. I was the guest of the district governor who gave the keynote speech and sat with him and other dignitaries. All the school children and all the local people from the surrounding area attended. I recorded music and took videos with my camera. Most important again was the realization that no matter how much American dancers might practice these local dances, they are missing a key component, being one with the sound and moment.

The top photo is of an exhausted little old Jewish guy working at bending tin sheets into gutters. The Amizade volunteers had a work session the other day on a water harvesting project I reported on last week. The tank was finished but gutters needed to be fabricated and attached to the house. Water pours from the roof, then is caught by gutters, which subsequently transports it by downspouts into the tank.

I should be able to post tomorrow, but you never know around here. In any case my fondest thoughts are with all of you from East Africa and look forward to visiting again soon.


  1. This is another set of great photos that bring us into the experience as much as possible. Even from this far away and without any prior knowledge of the region and its people, I am rejoicing that one more house has clean water. From here, it seems to have happened fast. What a nice accomplishment to be part of.

    Visually, of course I connected with the wonderful fabric in the women's skirts. I'm glad you added the sound and feel of being there. That is an experience. Interesting thoughts, enlightening and enjoyable photos. I love the pose you got of the boy and the tire.

  2. Hi! I haven't read some of your past posts yet..This is so exciting! Your adventures takes us to so many places. And thank you for bringing these images to us!

  3. Marvelous post and photos as always! You do create such vivid images not only with your photos, but your words as well. And what an experience you are having!! I'm sure there must be some down times seeing the reality of such a different culture, but you also see and transmit the joy and the beauty as well and that is priceless! Love the beautiful colors/patterns in the women's skirts, the one of the little guy is priceless! Thanks for sharing another wonderful experience, Lee!


  4. Today what really caught my attention was that middle picture, because of the wonderful patterns in the women's skirts. There is such a dynamic quality to African prints that is instantly recognizable and not like anything else in the world. I have a skirt in an African cotton print that I found in a thrift shop. It's cut almost exactly like one of those. I was thinking about using the fabric to make something a little more "Western," but after looking at these pictures I think I'm going to wear it as is with a white T-shirt, just like the dancers in your middle picture.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the videos you took of the International Women's Day event, even if it has to wait until after you get home. I realize your Internet time is very limited, and can sense your frustration at not being able to say everything you want to say. Rest assured that you are communicating very effectively under difficult circumstances.