Five and a half years ago, with the generous support of friends, family, and even a few strangers, I was able to travel halfway around the globe to Uganda, Africa. After the trip, stunted by a PC that processed images at a speed fit for floppy disks, it took me months to get around to dealing with the images. Since then, they’ve been sitting in the archives of a bygone Flickr account and collecting dust on an old hard drive, so I thought I’d re-unveil some of my faves . . .
My role on this particular trip was to put together a photography class that could be taught as a one-off, or spread out over a few days in the local villages. I encountered so many humanitarian individuals pre-trip, willing to donate cameras, film, batteries, photo paper, printers, ink, money, and lesson plans. The giving and support, some from complete strangers, was a good reminder that an overwhelming amount of good can come from people with a common aspiration.
Now with that said, the fact that I was in charge of this whole photography shindig at that time is a bit laughable to me, because my knowledge of said field in 2007 was a bit . . . lacking. However, when the task at hand involves teaching kids how to compose and take a picture with an automatic camera, the pieces tend to fit together easily. Add that with the fact that some of these classes included of hundreds of kids, most of whom had never seen a camera and some, I might add, a white person. The novelty of both won out over the finer details of picture-taking. Also, there is something inexplicably magical about giving a person a printed image that they have taken or giving someone the first picture they have ever seen of themselves.
Mostly this trip afforded me the chance to be with a people who provided so much beauty to a place that holds a history of so much pain and devastation. In 2007, the aftermath of a 20+ year civil war was barely into its “after” stages. Part of our group worked alongside local Ugandan counselors who were aiding in the healing process for children who had experienced the atrocities of this war. The stories I heard were so horrific that if I focused simply on what HAD happened, it would be easy to get lost in the awfulness of it all. Fortunately, as I hope these images portray, I was able to witness tenderness and a reawakening to real childhood and future as Uganda works to rebuild itself.