Category Archive for: ‘Photography’

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#tbt to 2011, #Rwanda. So many things…

#tbt to 2011, #Rwanda. So many things impressed me about Rwanda: the cleanliness of the capital city, #Kigali; the overall friendliness and openness of the people; the intense and sublime beauty of this “Land of a Thousand Hills.” But the biggest stand out for me in Rwanda was one simple, profound, and all too rare in the modern world trait: #resilience. This woman, like so many in Rwanda, had lived through the horrors and atrocities of the genocide. She’s all family members slaughtered, communities torn apart, and her country brutally divided. She was at #Burega Pond – a dried up puddle that is the only water source nearby – to fill five gallon jugs with water for her family. Her journey took more than an hour one way, up hills and down hills, and all under the baking Rwandan sun. She had every right to complain, to be bitter, to lament her lot in life and all the hardship that came with it. But she didn’t. She simply carried on, with poise and grace and dignity, radiating beauty from inside and out. Hers is the Rwanda I remember. #everydayafrica #rulindo #portrait @waterforpeople

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A #face can tell amazing stories, even…

A #face can tell amazing stories, even if the full one is unknown. He was a non-verbal man, either unwilling or unable to tell me his story. He sat, a look of melancholic acceptance on his face, near the entrance to #Ugratara Temple, not far from famed #Asan #Tole, an ancient market in #Kathmandu. He was begging for alms, perhaps a recent victim of the #NepalQuake made homeless by the tremor, or maybe a victim of the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality that pervades modern Nepal. Either way, his was not a desperate look, not one of victimization, but rather, again, of acceptance, of knowing today would be tough, tomorrow likely the same, but a flicker of hope that the future might improve washed across his expression. With a nod, a bow, and a Namaste, I dropped some rupees into his bowl, wished him well, and went on my way. Stories told, but never known. #nepalearthquake #nepalphotoproject #HelpCarryTheLoad #liveyouradventure #dktm #portrait #nepaliloveyou

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The night sky can make you feel…

The night sky can make you feel pretty insignificant, but in the most #inspiring and enlightening of ways. Here, the Milky Way glitters above the dusky #desert and sculpted towers of City of Rocks, #Idaho. #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer @davidcmorton @erikleidecker @wendebvalentine @miahwatt @sid_pattison #cityofrocks #travelstoke #MilkyWay

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Wrapping up an awesome four days in…

Wrapping up an awesome four days in City of Rocks, climbing with fellow @eddiebauer teammates and families. A great time with climbers aged 5 to 68, enjoying the sun, fun, rock, and beauty of the City. Here @davidcmorton belays @erikleidecker on the classic 5.10a Thin Slice. #liveyourfamilyadventure #liveyouradventure @wendebvalentine @miahwatt @sid_pattison #cityofrocks #idaho

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What is the future of #Nepal? It’s…

What is the future of #Nepal? It’s written in the youthful smile of its children, in the innocent twinkle of their eyes, the untainted spirit of their hearts. Despite the challenges the country faces – some endemic, some brought on by the #earthquake – I’m confident in the future when I speak to the children. Their vision of tomorrow is as yet unclouded by corruption and apathy, ingrained inequality and the dangerous fatalism – or more dangerous violent action – it engenders. Their vision is what a child’s – and indeed an adult’s – should be: one of optimism, of hope, of the belief that tomorrow, if combined with effort and tenacity and diligence and coupled with empathy and compassion, will be better than today, and the next day better than tomorrow. In short, their’s is a vision of hope. May that vision stay true, innocent, uncorrupted, and strong. Thanks to @mountainfund and #HerFarm for making such a difference! #nepaliloveyou #HelpCarryTheLoad #nepalquake #liveyouradventure #hopefulfuture #dailylifenepal #dailylifeasia #buildbackbetter #dktm #nepalphotoproject #Mankhu #Dhading

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Sometimes I miss the forest for the…

Sometimes I miss the forest for the trees. As we walked from #Mankhu down to the road, after a long day of shooting and sweating and documenting the #gabion band building technique, I was focused on the ground in front of me – hard to see in the dwindling twilight – and the people eeking out the final moments of the day in their fields. And there he was, a #Tamang man standing silently beside his equally-quiet buffalo, gaze cast to the southeast in quiet contemplation and even reverence. I smiled, said hello, and his silence continued unabated, with only a slight nod and the classic #Nepali lip-point, indicating I should look where he was looking. And, then I saw it: a #sunset of sunsets, emblazoned clouds roiling over the lush, green hills of middle #Nepal. Together we sat, silently, for a moment, and then went our separate ways. #weareallconnected #liveyouradventure #HelpCarryTheLoad #nepaliloveyou #nepalquake #HelpCarryTheLoad #Dhading #nepaliloveyou

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She wouldn’t tell me her name, saying…

She wouldn’t tell me her name, saying it was not important. She simple told me to call her “grandmother”. Her best guess is that she’s about 88 years old. She was walking spryly, easily, along the dirt path winding through the shattered brick houses and lush foliage near #Goganpani, #Dhading, #Nepal. She was heading home with what little rice and #sabji (vegetables) she could afford from the nearby market…a home she lives in alone. He son lives in #Kathmandu, she told me, and rarely visits; her daughter is married, and too busy with her husband’s family to come by often . So, she lives alone in the middle hills, a deep smile still etching her weathered face, a laugh quick to bubble through even discussions of the challenges she faces daily. As different as they are, she nonetheless reminded me of my just-deceased grandmother, who lived alone as well until her passing at age 95. How similar, and yet how different. Opposite sides of the world, two #elderly women sharing similar traits and stories, yet living them out in vastly different ways thanks to the roulette of geography, ethnicity, opportunity. It’s amazing to me how lives and paths can be dictated by virtue of geography. She was born to poverty in the middle hills of Nepal; my grandmother to relative affluence in rural #Illinois. Language and faith, work ethic, ethnicity, smarts, and determination played scant role in their polar opposite lives; it was the luck of the draw which dictated the relative ease or challenge of their lives, the realities and opportunities they would face. Another chance reminder to me of how connected we all are, despite physical miles of distance, and how the stories of our lives – the stories of opportunity and wealth and health and so much of life – is dictated more by chance than choice. We are all connected, in this big ship as one, and we rise and fall together. #weareallconnected #liveyouradventure #nepaliloveyou #nepalphotoproject #nepalquake #everydaynepal #everydayasia #portrait

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"Ke garne?" ("What to do?") It's the ubiquitous phrase that anyone who's traveled to #Nepal has heard. It is at times the country's biggest #Achilles heel, stifling change and development under a blanket of fatalism. (See Dor Bahadur Bista's excellent book, Fatalism and Development.) But, "Ke garne" can also be a huge gift to Nepal, especially in times of extreme challenge like the aftermath of this spring's #earthquake. Through the guidance of ke garne, there is an acceptance amongst many #Nepalis of the realities of life in the #Himalaya, an innate understanding that things will often be tough, disasters at times unavoidable, and that swimming upstream, wishing that what has happened did not, and what won't happen will, is ultimately a waste of precious time and energy and resources. So, people get on with life as best they can. While in Nepal for three weeks, people would tell me of their woes quite matter-of-factly: "Oh, Jake-dai, my home is gone, my village, too. We now live in a tent, and have no money to rebuild. And, our government doesn't want to help. Ke garne? Please, have some #chiyaa (tea)." Perhaps this fatalism hampers development and recovery from the quake. Perhaps it's ultimately counter-productive and even destructive, creating an inertia of lassitude that stops all else. But, in a country short on resources, whose people are forever struggling for an economic toehold and a slightly better tomorrow, and who are all too used to nothing changing despite their attempts and desires, I undrstand and respect the need to accept and move ahead with life as best they can. It's not perfect, but it's what sometimes works. Ke garne. | In this photo, boys from #Mankhu, #Dhading, rest in the #monsoon afternoon after #taekwondo practice. Life must go on.

“Ke garne?” (“What to do?”) It’s the…

“Ke garne?” (“What to do?”) It’s the ubiquitous phrase that anyone who’s traveled to #Nepal has heard. It is at times the country’s biggest #Achilles heel, stifling change and development under a blanket of fatalism. (See Dor Bahadur Bista’s excellent book, Fatalism and Development.) But, “Ke garne” can also be a huge gift to Nepal, especially in times of extreme challenge like the aftermath of this spring’s #earthquake. Through the guidance of ke garne, there is an acceptance amongst many #Nepalis of the realities of life in the #Himalaya, an innate understanding that things will often be tough, disasters at times unavoidable, and that swimming upstream, wishing that what has happened did not, and what won’t happen will, is ultimately a waste of precious time and energy and resources. So, people get on with life as best they can. While in Nepal for three weeks, people would tell me of their woes quite matter-of-factly: “Oh, Jake-dai, my home is gone, my village, too. We now live in a tent, and have no money to rebuild. And, our government doesn’t want to help. Ke garne? Please, have some #chiyaa (tea).” Perhaps this fatalism hampers development and recovery from the quake. Perhaps it’s ultimately counter-productive and even destructive, creating an inertia of lassitude that stops all else. But, in a country short on resources, whose people are forever struggling for an economic toehold and a slightly better tomorrow, and who are all too used to nothing changing despite their attempts and desires, I undrstand and respect the need to accept and move ahead with life as best they can. It’s not perfect, but it’s what sometimes works. Ke garne. | In this photo, boys from #Mankhu, #Dhading, rest in the #monsoon afternoon after #taekwondo practice. Life must go on. #nepaliloveyou #HelpCarryTheLoad #liveyouradventure #person2person4nepal @clarkliesl @mreverest7x @jibanghimire

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“I had no work before the #earthquake,…

“I had no work before the #earthquake, but now I do. So, there was some good in it for me. But, I work all day and make only 500 rupees (roughly $5). Life is hard in #Nepal,” said Ram. He and several others were hard at work cleaning rubble below two collapsed houses in #Machhapokhari, #Kathmandu. Of the many projects needing to be done in post-earthquake Nepal, one of the big and pressing ones is figuring out what to do with the rubble and debris of collapsed buildings. #buildbackbetter #HelpCarryTheLoad #nepaliloveyou #everydayasia #everydaynepal #nepalphotoproject #nepalquake

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He built his home 40 or so…

He built his home 40 or so years ago for 500 rupees. A traditional, two story home of rubble masonry skimmed with ochre mud and accented with local timbers, the house stands out today because it is one of the few traditional homes in #Mankhu, #Dhading, that withstood the intense shaking of the April 25 #earthquake. Our #conservation #architects, Randolph Langenbach and Dipendra Gautam, quicly figured out a possible reason why: a band of timber running through the masonry coupled with a second story diaphragm at ceiling level. Combined, these two elements allowed the structure to sway with the shaking earth but not crumble outward like similar structures. Why did he incorporate that basic timber-lacing when others did not? “Someone told me it would be stronger,” he said with a smile. Forty years, two strong earthquakes, and hundreds of aftershocks later, his house is a testament to the simple elements that can be cost-effectively added to a structure – being built or rebuilt – that give it greater strength, lower injury potential, and still allow for a traditional look. The #gabion band technique we did on Ram Sunar’s house is a variant on this same theme, and hopefully will catch on as people rebuild in rural #Nepal. @clarkliesl @mreverest7x @jibanghimire @mountainfund #herfarm

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