The people were happy. And smart.
After countless images on American TV depicting Africans as emaciated, half-alive, unsmiling somewhat humans, it was somewhat surprising to see them in person as, well, people. They were poor. Some didn't wear shoes, likely because they didn't own shoes. But they could talk policies of George Bush in perfect English at 10 years old. While cracking jokes and selling you bracelets. And you feel swindled, but happily so, and you support them. Because as one such 10-year-old told me, "it costs $100 per year to send me to school." Was I swindled by giving him $5 for a bracelet. I don't know. I like the bracelet and he made me smile.
The textures of Arusha that I captured with my EP-1 and Nikon 50 portrait lens fashioned to 3/4 mount with a Voightlander apapter (TMI?) blew my mind when I saw them after coming home. I went full Asian tourist, pointing the camera everywhere, snapping at all shapes and sizes of building, people, strip of land... and eventually hippos and elephants! I'm honestly not even sure how this image came about. I remember that the place felt like it was a perpetual work in progress... wheelbarrows and loose construction going on everywhere. These two guys were on a roof, potentially working, potentially not. I like how they felt.
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