Post # 1
I got home from spending a month in the Congo on Christmas Eve.
I feel like I’ve switched between 2 alternate realities rather than 2 countries. The most jarring experience was leaving the airport in Uganda late at night after a power outage and rainstorm in hot African air – and arriving in Amsterdam on a COLD sunny morning, and stepping off the terminal right in front of the Hermes and Chanel boutiques.
Anyways, I wanted to share a few pictures because I can’t stand the pitiful image of children in Africa that is so pervasive in the US (and perhaps in other “first world” countries). This was my 3rd time working in Africa and the one thing that has struck me more than anything else is kids’ ability to be kids – no matter how poor or how desperate their situation – the streets and neighborhoods are filled with kids running, playing, giggling – being silly and bratty – being KIDS. Despite wars that have been going on since long before they were born, and poverty unimaginable to any of us, you will be hard pressed to find sad faced kids sitting alone in the dirt. I realize organizations publish those photos to pull at heartstrings for donations – and I guess that makes sense – but I find it condescending, and personally, I am more inspired to action by images of hope (and images of kids in school, because, yay school!!).
So.. yeah… enjoy. These pictures will put a smile on my face for the rest of my life, and also serve as a reminder of how lucky I am to have been born in the US, where we take so much for granted. We may all have gripes about politics, but we have it awfully good here.
Post # 3
Amazing Pics! Thank yor for sharing.
Post # 5
Thanks and you’re welcome 🙂
Post # 6
Very cool! I agree, these happy pictures are much better than the depressing starving children posters that make me want to just look the other way and not care at all. Can you tell us more about your trip – were you working with an organization for the month you were there?
Post # 7
Thanks so much for posting these, it really brightened my day. I feel so sad when I think about the state of some parts of the world and these pictures have helped me to know that there is still happiness in these parts of the world despite their circumstances.
The picture of you standing next to the rock, the child in the yellow bottoms and blue top is so so cute. They’re all so cute!! Thanks again.
Post # 8
Love!!! My cousin works off the coast of West Africa quite often (on a rig obviously), he always loves his time “on-shore” there with the amazing people he meets. Between him, and one of my best friends, who lives in South Africa, it is all I can do not to just hop on a flight. (oh…and the fact that I am lacking in funds…sigh).
It has always been a dream of mine of visit Kenya, and other countries in Africa…someday I hope…thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures with us!
Post # 9
Thanks so much for sharing these! I have a special place in my heart for the entire continent, but especially South Africa.The shots of laughing kids are always my faves.
Haven’t been to DRC yet, but I imagine that it would be heartbreaking in terms of the excessive violence against women there. I do a lot of work with women’s rights and human trafficking issues, and DRC is almost always at the epicenter. 🙁
Post # 10
Tahnks for sharing, and giving us a glimpse into another world, you’re right no matter what the circumstances, children are children….love the pics!
Post # 11
@ShiftedLobster: Yes – I was with an NGO and a UN/WHO team.
Thanks all, glad you enjoyed the pictures 🙂
Post # 12
Thanks for sharing these photos! They’re so great.
Every year I work closely with a teacher in Uganda. Our classes collaborate in activities, Skype chats, and learning experiences in general.
I hope that one day my husband and I can visit him, his family, and his school. 🙂