|A child's hand prints; she politely asked for help.|
A precious young lady, perhaps ten years old, came to my window as I waited at a gas station. Under-nourished like so many, she simply and politely asked for money, as children here often do. I gave her what I had and wept as she disappeared into the slums. Her dusty little hands left their mark on the window sill. That's the picture I could bring myself to take, but I can still see her face, and I can still hear her voice. It's been two years, and I guess I've chosen not to forget.
In Africa, there are many pictures that I can't take. The weak and fragile are not a photo opportunity for me. I find it difficult just to meet them. The first time was a shattering experience; and afterwards, you can't just walk away.
Elsewhere, gracious folks are glad to be part of your photos. Here, cautious but friendly kids; a couple of them have the courage to wave at their visitor. This is Balbala, the largest slum in their country, and a somewhat dangerous place, we discovered. Should have paid closer attention to the area security briefing, I guess.
|With friends watching TV|
Elsewhere in Africa with friends one evening, sitting on the floor and watching television; there's just the one TV channel in this country. One of the kids took this picture of us. Among the world's nicest folks, they are gracious and willing to make a place for a clumsy foreigner in their midst.
Below with my adoptive family, little children enjoy an incredibly perfect afternoon at the beach; they as yet have no idea about the years ahead or the difficulties they will face. For today, sunshine and ocean, family and time to play.
|In Sao Tome & Principe, a beautiful island country in western Africa, kids bounce in the surf.|