Story # 2 - The water ladies.

Our first day at the job site was exciting. Janet told me..

"We NEED pictures of EVERYTHING!! Go!!"

So I go.. the white (mzungu) lady tripping and observing my way around the school site.

Right away I knew I wanted to photograph the women who were fetching can't even for one minute imagine the amount of work this you soo can't imagine.

The heat is awful, the school sits on a VERY steep hill the water is at the TOP of that hill..they carry the jerry cans full like this..

Not to mention this is one of the lowest paid/lowest ranking jobs..most peeps don't think too much of the ladies at the well.

I could not help but think about the story in the bible where Jesus talks to the lady at the well, I kinda felt like a real bible story being played out right in front of me.

At first they were totally apprehensive..why would I want to take pictures of them??

(ha!! LOVE the look on her face..apprehensive??)

These women were beautiful, and after a while you could see the change in their entire WOW she wants to take a picture of me..soon they were all posing and smiling for me..of course when I asked them to smile there were fits of laughter all around...

It was pretty dang amazing. I'm constantly reminded how much power a camera wields in a persons self perception..powerful I tell ya.


Later that evening we were sitting and chatting after dinner. Janet and her Mom were in a very heated conversation in Swahili, me of course could not understand one word..but I noticed a distinct change in Janet's body language after the conversation was done..

"You are sad now." I said to Janet.


"What did your Mom say to you?"

"Oh I don't want to bother you with it.." she replied.

"Janet, your sad, it's not a bother. What is wrong?"

"You know the ladies you photographed at the well today? My Mom just told me that a majority of them are very sick, Amber I went to school with those one point in life we were all friends. The only difference between their lives and mine is I was able to continue my education..." She trailed off there.

Once again I was silent. Unable to put words to the emotions I was feeling, I said nothing, because at those times you just end up saying something stupid anyways.

In fact as I sit here writing this post and look at the pictures I am weeping. Really deep down I just want to make sense of it all..just want to fix Kenya as a every single wee babe, growing child and helpless mother.
My parents always told me growing up.."Life isn't fair Amber." and after 36 years I get that..but this is life not being fair on a whole OTHER level..this is so far beyond "fair".

I asked God lots of questions that night in bed. I know He is up for the challenge, I guess the real question is.. am I?


Valerie said…
Thank you so much for sharing your story and those amazingly beautiful pictures of such wonderful souls... I can't imagine what it was like to be there with them and then come back here. So, thank you, again, for helping me to understand (even if it is just a little) what it is that you experienced there.
XO, Val
I was smiling from ear to ear...then bam, tears. Photos are so powerful. You express yourself beautifully in photos...but your words, honey...they are just as Wow! The middle girl in the yellow top with stripes. She could be a model. They are all so beautiful! And Ms. Coca-Cola...I wouldn't want to mess with her. She looks like she would tell you 'what for'!
Sheila said…
Like you, I don't really know what to say. Thanks for sharing your photos and your experience.
Random Thoughts said…
Thank you Amber. And when you multiply what is not fair in Kenya with so many other not fair's in so many other places it is not hard to imagine why God says that the whole earth "groans" and is in need of a Savior. We are both blessed and carry a huge responsibility. You are right when you say that God is up for it and right to question whether we will join Him in His work.
jeff said…
Perspective is a powerful thing. The one thing I love about your experience is the reminder of brokenness in the world. A humbling moment came to me when I looked upon the lepers of India and realized that there were "lepers" in America that I had passed by time and time again. That pain is not a geographical was a world problem, and I could do something about it. I'm delighted to do the journey with you and your pictures are a marvelous display of how God has gifted you.

Johnna Sutton said…
double love
tinkerverve said…
such beautiful women and children - how amazing it is to be able to share in your trip in this heart is certainly touched by these faces

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