"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Saturday, December 06, 2008

day 2

Truly a glorious day! As our van pulled onto the grounds of the orphanage, children started running to greet me. I have never been hugged so much all at once! A sea of faces - some familiar, some not. Samalie, Kato, Nicholas, Zaberah, Henry, Billy, Edward, Doreen… It was exhilarating!

I met for some time with the directors, and we plotted out future projects. Rosemary and Joseph are so good at outlining past, present and future collaborations. The paper work they gave me represented a lot of in depth analysis. It is so helpful for me when I present information/ideas to the board of CTT. I applaud their integrity and their thoroughness. But mostly, I admire their dedication to these children.

The grounds of SMK were buzzing and full of energy today, as the children were preparing for their parent/guardian open house tomorrow. Today was the last day of school – they are out now for over a month. Tomorrow begins their equivalent of American kids’ summer vacations. Each class will present a song, dance, skit, reading or something of that sort for all to see. The older boys were busy setting up a stage, a tented area and planks for seating. The younger kids were practicing. It should be quite the event, and I am so looking forward to attending.

The children have really sprouted since I saw them last. Taller, fuller, broader, longer hair, more poise, better English and a stronger sense of self-confidence. I was constantly shaking my head in awe. “Is that really you in there?”

I think I have decided on my photo project for the month. At least for now, I am going to try spending time with some of the children on an individual basis, helping them write about a dream they have had. The word for dream in the Lugandan language is “ekilotto.” Once they have talked about the dream with me, or written about it themselves, we will make a portrait.

I started with Tonny, a young boy I noticed often last year. He was shy, but by the end of my stay, we were speaking a bit. He greeted me warmly today, and we set about the task of getting to know each other a little better.

Here is the picture we made, and this is what he wrote about a dream he often has:

“When I sleep, I see a man with the face of my father.”

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