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 water..you can't even for one minute imagine the amount of work this is..like 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 demenor..like 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 girls..at 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 whole..help 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?