Friday, March 5, 2010

In keeping with the theme of International Women's Day, which takes place this week, I decided to post a few more pictures of women today.

The three photos were all taken yesterday so the images are fresh in my mind. The last photo shows a a lady peering from the doorway of a kitchen, where food is prepared for shopkeepers and workers. The lady seemed understandably fascinated by the cadre of a half dozen "white" people visiting her small town. I liked the strong vertical lines formed of the huge machete, the door posts and the woman's long slender body that are offset by the horizontal mud brickwork of the building.

The second photo shows a woman sitting mindfully. Her routine has been upset by the fact that about 6-7 small children, including ostensibly some of her own, have spotted me and others from the group taking pictures. These youngsters are clamoring for attention. It is not like we are aliens, but, on more than one occasion, toddlers have burst out crying and many younger children have run away in fear.

The top picture showing a woman looking tenderly at her child seemed worthy because I wanted to include one traditional picture of a mother. Many women are reluctant to have their picture taken, but she seemed quite receptive and like many, had never seen an immediate digital image of herself when I showed her my viewfinder.

Many of you have asked for additional information regarding pictures and thoughts from previous posts and I am eager to respond personally by email to those questions that require a more than superficial response. The "short hair" for elementary and secondary school girls I am told does not have to do with a fear of lice, but shows an identity as a student. There is some suggestion that doing hair is costly in time and money, that it takes focus away from the academic aspect of school, and that it can show distinction in terms of wealth. I have not heard this from any school administrator so some or all of these thoughts may be specious.


  1. These are beautiful photographs. I especially love the first one, the traditional "mother and child" photograph. That young mother looks so radiant and happy, it's almost like a Madonna painting.

    But above and beyond everything else, I have to tell you what an incredible experience it was to read Eric's post and then your latest one back to back this morning. I was so happy to read about the next stage in Amizade's efforts to provide clean water to the people of Tanzania, and to do it on a larger scale. We can all see that it's making a real difference, a measurable difference, in these people's lives, and that is such a beautiful thing to see.

    In accordance with your wishes, I've been making a conscious effort to stay OFF my soapbox when I post in the comments section of your blog. But I'm so happy this morning that I'm not even tempted!

  2. It's so interesting to see into the lives of people in a region I know nothing about. The photos are nicely composed, the colors in the second and third especially nice, and your commentary fascinating as always. There is certainly a universal feeling about that first photo.

  3. Such terrific photos, Lee! They are all so very special, each in their own way and they do -- as all of yours have -- give such a deep look into a culture so separated from ours in so many ways. Marvelous composition! I do look forward to your posts - I always learn something and that's the best of all!