Wednesday, October 25, 2006
We have spent a great deal of time today editing our work, speaking with Thatcher about the images and preparing for our slide show tonight. We'll each show about eight pictures. Bill, the video workshop instructor, helped me transfer my audio recording to a CD, and then Corbin, the T.A. for our class gave me one of the best one on one computer classes I've had. She's teaching me all about digital flow, a subject about which I have remained stubbornly clueless. I think, with her help, I may get this whole concept nailed by the end of the workshop.
Tomorrow we leave early for four days in Rakai, a small, fairly remote village about four hours from Kampala. We will cross over the equator en route! Each of us will spend our days with a family, photographing their daily lives. We will stay at the Motel Highway, which I understand is like the Ritz Carlton of Rakai. Will let you know more about that later. We will not have access to Internet, so I'll not be able to post again until we return on Sunday. I think we're in for an unforgettable few days. Thatcher suggested that we each take a little something to give to our family - and he meant little. He said last year one of the students gave the mother a needle and thread, and she broke down with tears of joy. As a group, we are pitching in to purchase things like rice, beans, soap, oil, sugar, pencils, notebooks, etc. so that we can present each family with a basket of goodies just before we leave - just as a show of our appreciation for their willingness to have us tag along with them for all that time. The families get nothing out of this - just the pleasure of our company (hopefully!) and the chance to make new friends.
I'm posting more photos from the orphanage. In case you're wondering who the elderly women are - in so many instances, the orphaned children are taken in by their grandmothers and/or great grandmothers. I asked Rosemary if they had any such children, and in five minutes time, we were walking to the the homes of some of these grandmothers who live very near the orphanage! In one room - and I'm talking dirt floor, tin roof, a few mats scattered about for sleeping - these women in their 70's - 90's care for several children. I met one who has eight orphaned grandchildren living with her. Some of these kids are referred to as "half orphans." This means that one parent (usually the mother) has died, and the father has gone off to make money somewhere or is incapable or just not interested in caring for his children, so the child is left alone. This is where the elders take over.
The workshop is demanding in terms of time. We meet at breakfast and often don't quit until well after dinner. Last night the group was up until after midnight, but this girl was fast asleep by then.
Much more to come after the trip to Rakai...