Monday, June 23, 2008


Catching the Mat

My dark mood is somewhat on the run thanks to a brief flash of sunlight today. Could this be the start of something new? Would I see the sun or was God just messing with my head? I've seen glimmers of it today as it peeks through the tiny holes in the clouds. I am still waiting for call backs on stories I want to work on. I am trying to have patience since a bit of sun is giving me some relief from my Tri-X blues. Hell really is other people and their quirky whims. The irony of my next project is it would take me from the outside world and put me in an environment with florescent light mixed with window light. If ever there was a time to need Tri-X? I am not sure why all of the film analogies are coming up lately. Do I really miss the stuff that much? Certainly not the smell of D-76 or Dektol or whatever developer was on sale that week. Maybe I am a little sick of the instant gratification digital gives me. It's made me more impatient with each technological advancement. Gimme, gimme, now, now, now. I like to think I was more patient at one point but that may be looking at my memories through rose colored glasses. Waiting for a return phone call right now is slowly killing me. It's been two days since I put in a request and all I've done is shoot matatus(cheap vans system everyone uses to get around). 6 days left and I am suddenly feeling like the stop watch is ticking on my time here. At least I can sort of see the sun today. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I am using weather as an excuse for being a few days behind in my weekly posting. I have been living with drab weather for the last week and a half and was advised "Enough with the black and white!!!!! You're in Africa for crying out loud." Normally I would agree, but it's been cloudy and dreary and I am in a dark mood with a heavy heart despite my good fortune of being here. I have not seen the sun for a week now and I am in a Tri-X state of mind(If you can consider the monochrome setting on my 5D a reasonable facsimile). I really do miss film.

The dark days have made my mood nearly as dark. On top of it no one returns phone calls when doing research and subjects always want money(I'm so shocked). I'm trying, trying to get out of theTri-X state of mind and back to a Fujichrome one. At least I can count on the night life, fine dining, good company, and surprisingly good South African wine with my roommates to make being Tri-Xy easier to bear. We'll see if the sun comes out before I leave Kenya in 14 days. Should adventure ever come to an end? I got to get out of this mood. More later.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Today was a day of celebration of sorts in Kenya. U.S. Senator Barack Obama became the first African American nominee for a major U.S. political party. There is so much pride in the achievement here. As a son of Kenya, Obama is everywhere. On t-shirts, on the matatus(Kenya's van service), and in store windows. I am told it he becomes the U.S. President they will mark the event with a national holiday. It's strange seeing so much interest here in an election so far away. I thought I was taking a break from presidential politics, but I have to say it's nice to be on the stump so far from home.


Today was one of those days that I did not want to be an off day. At first. It is Kenyan Independence Day. It means the country comes to a standstill. So much for getting any work done or having calls returned. Luckily it is also Italy's Republic Day. As I mentioned earlier I am now living with 4 Italians and another American. It not only means that dinner is top notch, but that you get invited to said Republic Day celebrations at the Italian Embassy here. It's a welcome relief to drink wine and have a good meal a day after sinking waste deep in what felt like an ocean of sewage while working on a recycling story in the country's largest dump. Opposite ends of the spectrum.
Looking for recyclables at Dandora Dump

Nun taking flowers from the Italian Embassy