Breakfast with the Kara – Saturday Sept 22nd

Yesterday’s sore throat has turned into a full-on heavy cold and I feel pretty rough.  Fortunately today’s shoots are with the local Kara tribe meaning very short car journeys and more time in camp to rest up.  I had been more concerned about sickness from food and so far I have had no issues there.  I guess we have developed different immunities living in our separate environments and I’m catching up fast!

I have befriended a local Kara tribesman called Zino Damo.  He has been assisting me with my photography, for example holding the flash and working crowd control.  Crowd control can be a challenge; most people want their photo taken and they will crowd around you, which at first is a bit intimidating until you are used to it.  We pay either the tribe or the individual in return for posing in our pictures and this has created a much-needed source of income, hence its popularity.  I have also noticed that the more naturally beautiful people get asked for pictures, and this is an unfortunate inequity.  Even so, I think we have done a good job of documenting a wide variety of the tribes’ people.

Back to Zino, he is studying at the local college which is 2-3 hours drive away and I believe he attends 3 days a week.  His and others passion for learning is very evident and his desire to help his people grow and develop is very strong.  There is a strong sense of pride in their tribe.

Zino’s story is interesting and quite typical from what I heard.  His father is very traditional and did not want him to go to college.  I can see his perspective of wanting his son to carry on the family’s traditions and not understanding the potential from more learning.  I am impressed that Zino is going despite this and is supporting himself.  He asked for my email address and I hope we can stay in touch and to my surprise he gave me his cell phone number.  Apparently, many of the men are getting their first mobile phones.  Piper brought one for the chief of the village and he is clearly delighted.

For this trip I thought it would be nice to give the local people pictures of the photos I have taken and I brought a Polaroid PoGo mobile printer with me and it works like a charm.  The tribe loved the business card sized pictures and several people wanted me to photograph them for no charge (unheard of) to get a picture.  Zino is acting as postman delivering them and this is working out well.


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