Stepping back

summer

Being a photographer has opened many doors for me. I’ve “met” (I put that in quotes because most of you I’ve never met in person) some amazing talents. But somewhere along the way I stopped taking pictures for me. Stopped pulling out my old cameras, period. I don’t know why – well possibly, when you are being paid to take pictures, like any work, it loses its appeal. Lugging a camera along, pulling out your phone to take a picture of food, well, it’s kind of old.

farm

So I’ve decided to step back. I decided to stop working with Aeolidia as their product photographer. I haven’t decided if I will take on other work. I think a few months off will do me good. And maybe it will result in a longer hiatus. I have some amazing trips coming up that will hopefully reconnect me with my cameras. And if not, it’s O.K.

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This school year brings a new position that will include more hours per day. So it’s all going to be a juggling act for awhile and I am good with this. I hope you will join me on this little journey, one that has me looking through the viewfinder a bit more. And if you’re so inclined, feel free to join in.

truffles

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I have a job interview

I know, right?

I am pretty excited and also a bit nervous because, well, it’s been 8 years since my last one. Six years since I worked outside of the house.

I don’t own a pair of slacks.

I wear chinos and cotton tees every day.

And a jean jacket.

Plus shoes without socks.

Or no shoes at all.

And my hair.

What the heck.

But, if it all goes right, I will be working with kids again.

At a middle school.

And if not.

Well, there is always a next time.

🙂

Her name is Tayech

Grateful

One of the amazing opportunities I had in Sendafa was being able to meet many of the single mother’s, with HIV/AIDS, who have benefitted from our micro-finance program. The women apply to get into the program and if selected, are given a loan to start a business. The objective is for these women to become self-sufficient, to provide for their families, and ultimately, pay back the money they borrowed.

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I saw first hand, every day, how these tiny little loans, have changed people’s lives. How self-esteem is built – just by being able to provide for their families and many, for the first time ever!

Tayech was one of those women. Tayech started in the program a year ago and has grown her herd tenfold. She has paid back her loan, she sells dairy products at market and has a savings account!

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To think how small this is. How just one cow can make a difference is mind boggling.

But it does.

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Our church isn’t the only group making a difference in women’s lives like Tayech.

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I have the honor of being a part of Epic Thanks 2011. “Epic Thanks returns to its roots by once again focusing on Mama Lucy’s work in Arusha. The students who went to fifth grade in the original classroom built from gratitude have just graduated from the seventh grade, and are now ready for secondary school. The classrooms at Mama Lucy’s primary school are now packed with over 500 younger children – so she needs to build a secondary school where her students can grow up and continue their educations in her loving care.”

So if you like, scoot on over there to see all the wonderful works by my awesome photographer friends and also contribute to a worthwhile cause this holiday season.

Grateful

I felt like I had to redeem myself after the last post. Thanksgiving is already next week. WHAT?!?

What better time to be and feel grateful.

I feel thankful for so much this year. After visiting a country with so little, it is amazing how one’s perspective changes after such a visit. My husband was fearful I was going to come home and want to sell the lawnmower. Eh, ahhhh, no. I love that lawnmower.

But, I do look at things differently now. When filling shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse this year, I was fully aware of what children overseas may need and want more so, than what children over here would want. Gently persuading my children in the direction of toothbrushes, soap and washcloths, instead of filling up the boxes with toys or candy. But, of course, including their love of crayons, colored pencils and paper. A little note. A little seed of love being planted.

People need so much wherever you are. You don’t need to go to Ethiopia to see that.

So what are you doing about it?

How will you give back?

Just think about it, OK?