Saturday, October 07, 2006

more than just an idea

After our first photography class on Wednesday, I will admit I felt a little anxious about what would happen next. For months, nearly a year, I have been bouncing the idea of moving to Chile around in my head. Shortly after the initial spark lit I discovered VE, and before I even applied I knew I wanted to help create some kind of art curriculum for the kids. Plans and planning can be very enticing. It's exciting to explore the possibilities of what you might be able to do, to imagine an event or a movement that can change people, that can span time, that can make a statement. But realizing a plan can become tedious, strenuous, and sometimes even too much. I know before I came that my plans seemed awfully lofty, that the plethora of unknown variables weighed heavily against me. Idealism is tricky-- sometimes it scares people away. This photography program seemed incredulous to some, and at times, to myself as well. As I walked down the path Wednesday night after class, from our classroom off the courtyard to our little set of rooms in the corner of the compound, I wondered if this class was really going to be a success.

Yesterday, Friday, gave me a substantial boost of confidence. Usually the girls go back to school after eating lunch, their biggest meal of the day, here in the hogar. On Fridays, however, they do not return to colegio. With a beautiful spring afternoon ahead of us, I encouraged the girls to finish their chores and homework quickly so they could check out their cameras for the first time. All six signed their name on their camera's sign-out sheet, and I told them now the cameras were entirely their responsibility. From even the first couple of photos I could see that this is going to be a very good class. Because they have digital cameras and can review the photos instantly, they could see immediately their success and progress. Each image they took gave them more excitement and curiosity about the photographic process, and made me believe even more in the project. There is still a ton of work to do, but I feel that we are in a good starting place and moving forward.

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