Sunday, June 7, 2009

Uganda: Day 1

I have never seen a more beautiful place on earth. Uganda causes you breathe more solely for the hope of absorbing the beauty surrounding. For me, Uganda is freedom. It's not that I can go anywhere and do anything i want (I can), its that I simply feel released from everything that's ever tied me down.

I feel no problems save those addressed through my lens. For such a long time, photojournalism was my outlet for inwardly proving my self-worth. Doing something purely to prove that you can do it is a highly unhealthy practice. There comes a point where you have to start doing it for other people, or stop it completely, I started photojournalism from very early on with the vision of working in the third world—the idea that my photos might someday add up to something—there was just a few moments where that vision became clouded along the way. Today, I took the first step into the world which I feel morally obligated to photograph the human condition in. I’m fulfilling my oath as a humanitarian photographer. I’m becoming the person I was born to be. There is no greater peace than that.

There are, however, very serious moments that sober me away from that peace. This morning a Ugandan man came by my house asking for someone to help him with money. It was evident that he had been drinking. upon questioning, he told Kristen and I that his wife had died yesterday from AIDS-related illness, and that he lacked the $15 needed to transport the body back to her village. Seeing that stomps your heart out, and apparently it happens all the time. We had to turn him away. So many Ugandans ask for money--whatever the reason, and it's impossible to single-handedly aid everyone who asks for help. That’s how I started my first day in Uganda.

The photographs posted are from the Cornerstone Development girls academy. I only had my camera out for a few minutes. I'll really get into the groove of taking more photos immediately tomorrow.

I feel so much for a place I have only spent one night in. maybe its premature excitement, or maybe it’s passion. I have two more months to decide my opinions about this place. Until then, I have a lot of work to do. I’ll keep everyone posted with my work from HALO, Cornerstone, and Cameras for Children.


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