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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Souvenirs from Ethiopia/ 10. roundabout

Traffic flows a bit different in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia's capitol). You scoot your way into the fray and push your way past everyone else. A driver is always on the look out for people crossing the road. As we were driving the interstate to the airport on our last night there, people were jumping over the side and running across as fast as they could. Abebe said something about the Chinese making the interstate and that they didn't build enough bridges over the road for people to cross and get home. So instead of walking out of their way, the risk their lives to get home sooner. Notice that an old car is right beside a new one. I noticed this a lot in Addis. Modern items like computers, internet, and cell phones are juxtaposed against primitive things like carts pulled by horses and mules. The ancient and modern coincide.

Maggie Lu is 1!

My Miss Maggie Lu is now 1. She is a little thing especially when I compare her to the other babies I know, but the doctor says that she is still in the 10% for her weight and 25% for height so no need to worry. My mom confirms that she is much bigger than I was at her age. Her personality is still emerging so we still don't know much about her. What we know is that she loves me. She prefers me to all other people. That doesn't mean she won't go to others, but if there is an option... When I pick her up she snuggles up to me and pats my back. So sweet. She gets excited to see new faces and greets them with a stiff beauty pageant wave. She finally has teeth. Summer teeth. Som er there and sum er not. The give her a hillbilly look, or maybe just the look of a one year old. She is walking like a pro. It's so fun to see such a little one walk around. She likes to follow her big brothers and sisters around and get into there stuff. If she picks up a comb, she brushes her hair...a phone goes up to her ear...a piece of clothes she tries to pull over her head...a purse goes over her shoulder...and a pencil is used to draw. It amazes me that she can copy all of these actions already. I love this age and it is especially appealing since her older brothers and sisters are hooligans :).

All of my kids can stand on their own.

Melissa + Joy : SATURATED | August Yellow

Usually our deadline is the 15th of the month, but since I was on my way to Ethiopia, I asked Joy if I could try to find something yellow in Africa. So all week, I was taking pictures of yellow things. Just before we left the orphanage for the last time, I took photos of all the little signs above the babies cribs so that I could remember their names. When I went back to look at the pictures, this humble picture spoke to me more than all those other yellow images. I get Pottery Barn Kids Catalog. Everything is monogrammed. Kids names are on their towels and backpacks and over their beds, but it isn't there to remind their caretaker what to call them. The beautiful thing, though, is that this little girl already has a family waiting for her. They had brought a book of their pictures to put in her crib.
Hopefully in a couple of years this little girl will be as happy and settled and just as full of play as the little girl in Joy's photo.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Daniels Family (preview #2)

So I may have gone a little crazy with this preview...

Souvenirs from Ethiopia/ 9. long live Ethiopia

These vans are everywhere, busy taxiing Ethiopians around all over the city. I loved this sticker. I thought it was strong and beautiful. To me, Addis Ababa was such a rough city, full of the smell of gas....everything made out of cement and tin...and roads, pipes, and sidewalks left undone or half done everywhere. And yet, the people are proud of their country, proud of where they come from. Which makes sense, because when I looked past the facade, I met some really beautiful, generous people.

Daniels Family (preview #1)

I've had clients ask me, "Why did you take this shot." Maybe they don't know what to do with it or they think they are missing something because to them it looks like junk and I obviously thought it was nice and put it in their album. I try to explain what caught my attention and made me take the photo. I encourage them not to think to hard because a photo doesn't have to be logical. Maybe they see beauty in the photo, maybe they don't. What can I say, I try to shoot for myself as much as I shoot for the client.
So I met this family at the canal downtown this morning. We walked down the bridge to find a tractor that has been removed. We turned around to go back and find some shade since the sun was already beginning to show us how intense it was going to get. I grabbed a few shots on our way which just made my day. Now I wish I would have stopped and done some more posing...but maybe the casualness is critical for their beauty.
Daniels family...don't worry. If you don't find beauty in these suckers, I have a lot more from our session. I just had to throw these up here for myself.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Souvenirs from Ethiopia/ 8. a lesson in natural history

It became clear to Stephen (and my siblings) that my animal knowledge was poor when I failed the "lion or tiger identification test". Abebe took us to the Ethiopian Museum of Natural history to try to buff up my skills. This is a leopard. I know this because it's spots are outlined in black. I knew without having to be told that I cannot "take" a leopard. Abebe thinks he can handle him, though.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Souvenirs from Ethiopia/ 7. dangerous

Is that scaffolding made out of miscellaneous branches? Why, yes. Is that barbed wire on the gate? Why, yes. Wait, is that a child on the second floor of an unfinished house? MMmmmmmhmmmmm.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

D'arcy the Brave is 7!

D'arcy's birthday was on Thursday so now it's time for my traditional birthday blog post. D'arcy is now 7. She is still the same girl from last year full of projects and plans, determined, independent and, yet, constantly in need of affection and time. Our relationship has changed, though. Now, she recognizes she isn't the only person in it. She sees that there are two of us, and is quick to ask me how I'm feeling and thank me for what I've done. And, although I have loads of years to give her direction and be her "parent", I can see that we are friends and that makes me very happy.

She is a creative, artistic girl. She loves to write poems and songs, draw pictures, and make clothes. She got a bunch of material and needles for her birthday that I'm letting her make whatever her heart desires. She is learning to play piano and among other instruments would love to learn to play violin.

She is sloppy. Her drawers and backpack are full of STUFF. Stephen says she gets that from me and he points to my messy purse to back it up (it is currently lined with pop tart crumbs). Her shoes are always on the wrong feet. I'm trying my best to get her to pay attention to the details of her appearance, her work, her room.

She loves her brothers and sister and reminded me that it was time to have another baby now that Maggie is one. I told her I need Maggie to have another birthday first.

On a any given day you might find her listening to her ipod, chasing her brothers, making a friendship bracelet, carefully selecting her earrings for the day, wrapping her babies snug in their blankets, arranging her stuffed animals on her bed just so, collecting cicada shells (yuck), playing piano, watching icarly, asking to text on my phone, buckling schroeder's seatbelt, haphazardly carrying Maggie from one room to the other, puckering up to prompt me for a kiss, or yelling from upstairs to come pray for her before bed. She always wants me to pray for 1. no dreams 2. the Holy Spirit to be in their room. If I forget either, she lets me know.

She is still blond. Family speculate on whether her hair has darkened at all. She calls it "golden". These pictures testify.