Getting Up Some Courage

November.4.2009

So in the past few days I’ve finally gotten up the courage to start taking pictures of some rather uncomfortable subjects. This first one is a remnant of the old communist regime in Ethiopia… left in place to remind the people how things used to be. And probably also to raise money. If you go in the gate, it’s 1 birr, and it’s 10 birr to take a picture. I didn’t go in the gate… pretty much just stood outside while a bunch of homeless fellas gawked at me. I figured they could use the money more than the government could.

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Anyhow…. today was distribution day in Bole, so here’s a snapshot of what that looked like.

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This is a rather sad subject. This little fella is the son of one of our beneficiaries… he is unfortunately HIV positive. He was pretty much all smiles today, though.
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To give you some idea of how the disease has effected him…. he’s four — more than twice the age of both of the other children next to him. They’re both two.
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He’s pretty well full of personality though… he and I kicked a soccer ball around for a bit, and then he marched into the nurse’s office where I had been passing out rent money support, picked up the scale and drug it to the middle of the room… got on it and then just stared up at me. While hilarious…. it’s sorta sad also — he has to get on the scale weekly to make sure he’s gaining wait because of how small he is for his age.
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This little girl was in the background of the last shot… she doesn’t sit still very often. Right before this, she ran into the office where I was holding my camera, slapped me on the knee and started twirling around in circles in the middle of the room.
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The only shot I got of her being still
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But yeah… on a rather sad note, I took my camera to visit one of our beneficiaries that I’d visited before. He was homeless when he was 19 and was living on the street. Some combination of cold weather, poor nutrition, HIV, and other infections rendered his legs useless. He’s 30 now. He hasn’t been able to leave his bed on his own since he was 21. His legs have been stationary for so long that he cannot extend them. So yeah… here’s what I got.

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