We are coming to the end of what has been a very successful trip on many levels. I will miss the reporters here, but Maura and I both feel a bond has been formed which will help us all as we work together in the future. It is nice to be able to edit the work of someone you have gotten to know and it helps to understand the stories they are covering now that we have been to Jeremie and seen many of the places they write about. Each community has it’s own challenges for reporters, especially with different societal views about the role of journalism.
I had a great time doing some shooting of my own, though there were times that for safety reasons it was better that I not bring my camera out with me. In certain places it was made clear to me that people would not want to have their pictures taken, but that was not the case everywhere. We did a hands on lesson at the local hospital where the reporters found subjects to interview and photograph. To my surprise I turned around and there was a line of people, wanting me to take their photograph, something I was very pleased to do. I plan to send the images back to the newsdesk to be printed for them so they can have a photo of themselves, something very few people have here.
Our trip wouldn’t have been the same without guidance and assistance from Les, who helps to run the hotel where we stayed. He was kind enough to take time from his schedule to give us a tour of Jeremie where he grew up and has now moved back to, after many years living in the states and working on Wall Street in New York. His unique perspective taught us a lot about Haiti and I very much appreciate that. He took us to an open air gym where he and some other guys have built their own weight lifting machines out of leftover scrap metal they have found. As he said, they have to be creative and made due with what they have.
Thanks to Jon and the folks back at Pro Photo Supply in Portland for their ongoing support. I have found that with my neck issues, my D4 gets really heavy on these long trips and so they lent me a D600 to use which has really helped. I also fell in love with the 24mm 1.4 lens that I borrowed, so now I know what to start saving up for next.
Time to head home and catch up with my kids. I am also looking forward to the upcoming GPI summit in San Fransisco. It will be great to come together with GPI editors who have flown in from Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda and Argentina, and founder Cristi Hegranes who is always energizing and inspiring when she talks about the mission of the Global Press Institute, to empower women and to change the face of International Journalism.