Monday, July 19, 2010

Down in Africa

Hi Everyone,

I am still alive and still loving this place.

If you have checked my facebook I have added some more pictures of our fun adventures. I posted last Saturday but Sunday could have been a post in and of it's self. After church we headed to Okapuka Ranch and had lunch with the rector and vice rector. The presidents of the school. It was good food, and company. After lunch we went on our mini safari! We saw warthogs, springbok, kudu, oryx, giraffes, rhinos, birds, crocs, and other animals. I was in heaven! The temperature was perfect and I was having a blast taking pictures. Check out my facebook for a SMALL few of the pictures.

After our safari we went to a sports bar called Primi's to watch the world cup finale. It was a ton of fun! The energy in the room was awesome.

This last week was a bit slow. We had a lot of work planned out but a lot of things fell through, and so sometimes I was really bored. When I was working I was having a lot of fun. I got some good direction on the book that I am in charge of. My professor and I (and Richard) hammered out an outline, and I am really excited for my project. When I was asking my professor some questions about what I should do he pretty much gave me a pep talk that this is my project and I am completely in charge of it. He told me to have the confidence that I can do it, and take control; I don't to need to worry about the other group members. It was a really good motivation to make the book!

We have also been working on our documentary. It's been a bit stressful, but I think it will turn out really good. The tension around here has been pretty high. We are around each other all the time, and so we are all starting to go a little nuts.

This next week will be really busy. We have three workshops starting tomorrow, and then we head up north early Friday morning. I will be taking pictures NONSTOP!! WOOHOO!!

Oh and by the way, the food here is amazing and bad all in one yummy bundle. I am LOVE the food but I am pretty sure I have gained maybe 10lbs in a month! GAH!

Anyways, life is good. I'll talk to you all soon. (maybe)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

African update!

My African Update

For those of you who want just a quick update- Life here is great, and I am having the time of my life. The picture is of our excursion to learn more about the bushman/san people. The people who just live off the desert- (The Gods Must Be Crazy). yep the guy on the right had full butt exposure, and the other two were pretty close.

Disclaimer-This is REALLY LONG. I won't be offended if you don't want to read it all, or you only read it a bit at a time, but I thought I should write and update you all. ALSO!!! check my facebook to see a small selection of pictures.

Now, a little bit more details- It has almost been two weeks since I left and it is still crazy to believe that I am actually here. It will randomly just hit me that I am in Africa, and not in the US. It's been great.

-1st week-

We spent about 36 hours in London on our way to Namibia to help break up the trip. I had a blast. I had to get used to traveling with guys though. They want to make it from point A to point B; which makes it very difficult to try and take pictures of everything. I am getting better at going fast though. The architecture is beautiful. I want to go back and take my time taking pictures and enjoy all of England.

When we got into Namibia we weren't able to get to work right away so we just relaxed and spent time in the city and with friends here. On our tour of the city we went to Katoutura (translated-the place we don't want). We went to the market there and I was able to get some great pictures there of the people and some kids. I don't think Richard enjoyed it as much as he could have though. He was paranoid about me most the time.

That same day we went to the informal settlements. It's where the people live in very small tin shacks. They have basically nothing. It was incredible to see the kids still smiling even though they live in horrible situations. It was a really cool experience to be there. We are going to go there again; which I am very excited for- I want some better pictures. The guesstimate is that 250,000 people live here.

Church here was really cool. It was fun to see that the gospel is still the same no matter where you are even when the people/culture are very different. It was testimony meeting too. So, we were able to here there testimonies.

-2nd week-

This week we have had more chances to get to work. The Audio boys were able to get into the archives and do what they do. I have been documenting that as well as other parts of the archives. I have been taking pictures of the glass plates, the negatives, the containers they are in, as well as the different conditions that they (the neg, and glass plates) are in. I have also been working on sorting the pictures I have taken so far and what pictures should be included in the book for the school.

We have met some AMAZING people while we have been here. The vice principal to the school and her two daughters are amazing and we have had dinner with them several times and have had a great time with them. There is also this crazy awesome guy named Jochan. He kinda reminds me of Dennis. He has so much stuff. His stuff is more organized though. He has over 300 cameras (one of them is worth $40,000), and over 11 VW bugs or vans. We had dinner with him and his family this week. SO much fun; his house is a museum! I don't even know how to describe him. I will show videos of him when I get home so you will understand!

-My experience-

I have been having so much fun taking pictures here. I am the main photographer here, and director of photography. It's been fun having people ask me questions and actually knowing the answers. But the photography here is HARD. It is really bright here, and the people are dark. It makes it really difficult to take a correctly exposed picture. There were a good load of pictures from the first days that were blown out and not good. My professor has been encouraging and told me not to worry about it. Apparently all the student have a couple days of adjustment when they get here.

He also advised me to not look at the pictures until the very end. I can make sure the exposure is right every once in a while, but he said don't look at any of the pictures till the end of the shoot. It is a good exercise to trust your instincts and just do what you think is right. It will help in relaxing and taking better pictures. So, I did that today- I turned the back screen off and just took the pictures. They turned out pretty good. It still is hard with the harsh lighting and dark people but overall I am getting better :)

OH and of course we have been watching the world cup while we are here which has been really fun. The last few games we have gone to this sports bar called Primi's and have had a blast spending time with the jam packed restaurant.

Anyways, this is already REALLY long, but so much is going on and I have already cut out a ton. So, I'll hopefully post more frequently so they are shorter post.

OH and ps...the little kids here are adorable. I can't even handle it. There are a lot of really beautiful people here-and attractive men ;) ha ha