For the Love of People~ Yunnan

the boy who saw through me

the boy who saw through me

flying dreams

flying dreams

early bonds

early bonds

indelibly connected

indelibly connected

Attempting documentary photography and not feeling compassionate love for people would be pointless as far as I am concerned.

I love feeling the humanity in other people’s eyes, to guess at what they are feeling, to lock eyes with them even for a brief moment, to be part of their world for the time I that I am there and later again and again through their photographs.

With each visit to Yunnan, my connections are deepened and I feel compelled to return. Simplicity is a gem in our complex world of today, a fountain of peace to a busy and crowded mind.

More soon from this amazing region of China…

Family Ties in the Culture of Yunnan’s Ethnic Minorities

family ties-3 ~ Yunnan family ties-4~ Yunnan family ties-5 ~ Yunnan (1 of 1) family ties-6 ~ Yunnan (1 of 1) family ties~ Yunnan family ties~ Yunnan-2 family ties~ YunnanIn my journeys into the remote villages of China’s Yunnan province, I was moved by the closeness of the older generation with the children of the tribe. Physical proximity seemed to be an easement factor relied upon in raising the children and arming them with needed confidence as they developed. Parents and grandparents went about their busy workdays with toddlers literally tied to their bodies in colorful embroidered sacks.

Something to consider in our modern world where gadgets are slowly taking the place of our warm human hugs.

Day Two Hundred Seventy Nine, October 28, 2011

the cookie that lived...

It is the time of year when ghosts roam the streets and demand to be fed with candy or they would scare us to death, when elves get busy making sweets and building toys for good children everywhere from their north pole workshop and when an a jolly old man in a red suit is waking up and getting ready to saddle his reindeer and to ride his carriage in the skies of the planet delivering gifts and fulfilling the lists of little children, the time when cookie people are not all just cookies. Some of these cookies will escape and go to cookie land before they get colored silly and eaten.

I love these fantastical stories we grow up with but is it any wonder our children think twice before blindly believing everything we say?

Day Twenty, February 11, 2011

a multi culti Valentines!

English, German, Chinese  valentines cards delivered to us from our daughter and received by us in Arabic… this is life as an expat in a city like Shanghai!

We realized that as a mixed nationality family , we sound like the tower of Babel at our dinner table: I speak with my daughter only English, her father speaks to her only  German, my husband and I speak together only Arabic and we all speak to the baby sitter Chinese!

Yet somehow, no one is ever confused 🙂 Happy early Valentines!!

So hard to leave you behind…

It is so exciting to be going on a trip like this.. going to an unknown place armed with my cameras, my dreams, my wish to try and make a difference. It is what I have always dreamt of doing, and what I promised myself I would do.

But a big part of my heart stays at home with you Lea. I don’t know how traveling mothers can do that again and again, and I don’t know if it ever gets easier.I had to get creative and work out a way for her to be excited about the process of waiting for me to come back. So I made a calendar of sorts, with bags dated for each day that I am away. She will open her surprise bags daily and count down till the day I am back. She just loved the idea and it gave her such a safety to know exactly how many days she had to wait and that each day held a small surprise inside a closed bag with a number on it.

And still when I think of where I am going in a few hours, Congo, where I will meet with children who were robbed of their right to innocence and whose childhood was hijacked by those who have motives that do not consider the rights of children; I think that my little 5 year old Lea is very lucky. One day I hope she will fully understand it.