Some highlights from the projects of 2016
Experiencing the most amazing moments in unexpected places.
Recently, I was traveling through the mountains in Sindhupalchok, Nepal with a small group from Americares on a patient followup who had been injured during the massive earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015. This is an area that was devastated from the earthquake with most of the homes destroyed and many people injured or killed. It took us about two hours on very poor roads just to get near the village where she lived. Once there it was about a half a mile walk on a muddy, twisting path to get to her home. On the way to Junkiri's home it started to rain heavily. So we took refuge under a nearby home's outdoor cooking fire cover. Unfortunately, we did not all fit under it. A woman inside the home invited us in. She said we were welcome to wait out the rain. I felt terrible with all five of us dripping wet and making a mess. She said not to worry. "It was all right." The rain lessened a little so off we went to Junkiri's home with what seemed half the village in tow. Along the way the rain started up again. Originally we wanted to work outside, but the rain forced us inside. All of us crowded into her tiny home, and sat where we could, on the bed, on a box, a stool, the floor wherever. It was pitch black inside with no light so everyone started to take out their phones to light the scene. As Junkiri was interviewed, her daughter passed around ginger tea and popcorn. We were not allowed to leave until all the tea was drunk, popcorn consumed and the rain stopped. She and her family took us in, gave us refuge, and left a really special memory on me of our encounter. I am happy to say that she is almost fully recovered from her injuries.
I am always impressed with the selfless dedication of Americares staff working in difficult places, and under challenging circumstances. They are extremely dedicated to making peoples live better.
Now the hard part to make our way back down the mountain during the storm....That in itself was an adventure!
There is no better feeling than knowing the work you do is helping others. I was in Kathmandu on a commercial project and took time to photograph for my favorite NGO Kids of Kathmandu. They are doing great things for the children in Nepal before and after the earthquake in 2015. Check it out here, and if you can give please do. It definitely goes to the right place.
2013 was an interesting year full of some of new places, great people, interesting experiences, and most importantly photographs. These are mostly instagram photos of some of the places I went, stories I documented, and people I met in 2013. Looking forward to what 2014 holds.
People I photograph tell me all sorts of stories about themselves, good stories, funny stories, and tragic stories as well. Although my photography does help by getting their stories out to a broader audience, and action being taken. I am usually left wanting to do more; something more concrete. With so many people that need help, where do you start? When my friends, founders of @kidsofkathmandu asked me if I was interested in fundraising for some new projects they were working on in Nepal, not to mention "lets make it interesting by trekking to Everest Base Camp" I was sold.
I visited the school where the project I was fundraising for, to see the place and meet the kids. What a wonderful group of curious, and super excited kids to be in school. The money that has been raised will go to clean water, solar power, and spruce up their living area to make it more comfortable. Small things that will make a huge difference in their daily lives. The best part will be that this is just to start things off. There will be local support to help sustain the original investment. This support will give these children an opportunity to help themselves. I am very grateful of the people who had confidence in me to donate to this project. Many thanks to the founders of Kids of Kathmandu, Andrew Raible and Jami Saunders who lead busy lives in NYC and work tirelessly to do good for some of the less fortunate. Two people who I find inspiring, and I am lucky to count as friends.
I am looking forward to following up on the kids as the projects moves forward and will of course update everyone as I know. I did finish my trek, that story is in a previous post, and I am still fundraising a bit more to try to get closer to my goal of $9,000 which goes a long way in Nepal. Here is the link to the crowdrise fundraiser
Here are A few photos of some of my time visiting a few of Kids of Kathmandu's projects in Nepal.
I Trekked 60 miles over 2 weeks and climbed more than 9000 vertical net feet. There were lots of ups and downs both literally and figuatively on this trek. Nine strangers and myself started this together, and we finished together. I learned a few things that would come in handy. Things like you should be very wary of passing Yaks, always wear a headlamp when visiting the toilet at night, watch out from up above for falling 50 pound sacks of potatoes on narrow mountain trails (thanks Tikie for helping me miss that one), bring wipes that have a fresh scent, and sometimes a snickers bar is the only thing that will help you climb that last 1000 feet. All kidding aside it was a great opportunity to raise funds for an orphanage, the main reason for the trek (more on that in another post) and to visit one of the rarer, mythical places in the world. I miss my fellow trekkers after spending 24/7 time with them for two plus weeks.
This is a bunch of images from my Instagram feed shot on my iPhone from the trek. The best camera to have is the one that you have with you. I will post other shots that I did as I liberate them from my real camera, even some black and white twin lens Rollie shots.