Friday, March 16, 2007

donations push OJOS forward

After moving out of the community center where I had spent the hottest months of the summer, I find myself without internet in my home for the first time in a very long time. I've relied on my computer for the news, for communication, and for entertainment for awhile, but I never really realized how many minutes a day I spend on the internet. And now not only do I have to count them, I have to pay for each one of them. Living in the city center is decidedly different than living in La Granja: the peaches and the bread cost more, but I can leave my house at night. Both neighborhoods have their advantages and disadvantages. In La Granja, I felt a much stronger sense of community from the beginning. Neighbors watching out for each other, chatting on the sidewalk, selling papas fritas and completos on weekend nights outside their homes. In Barrio Brasil I haven't met a single neighbor, but I can walk to museums, parks, plazas, cute cafes that I don't buy coffee in, and internet cafes. Because of the way public transportation works in Santiago, even though I live much farther from the Aldea-- the hogar where I have OJOS nuevos now-- than where I lived over the summer, it takes me the same amount of time to commute for the taller. Nearly approaching the end of this workshop, we have many reasons to celebrate.

I would like to extend an enormous thank you to a donor from Chicago who recently sent 5 brand new memory cards for our girls' cameras! Until now we were working with memory cards of 32, 16, 8, and even 4 megabytes. Each of the new memory cards is 512 MB which means that we can leave the hogar for much longer periods of time-- and in the future, perhaps even leave the city. This will significantly impact the possibilities of the taller not only for these girls, as their taller wraps up, but for the talleres to come. We all send a gigantic thank you to Chicago!!

The girls continue taking pictures around the neighborhood and beyond. We've made photo collages from old National Geographics I found in the market, we've returned to the Puente Alto library to look at our pictures and edit them in Photoshop. The schoolyear has started, and this will make leaving the hogar during the week a little difficult, but with only a limited amount of time left in the taller, we can work around the school schedule. This past Wednesday, in an effort to show the girls the difference between street photography and studio portrait photography, our class took a fieldtrip to a local mall where we had our old-fashioned portraits taken. We talked about film versus digital cameras, and they witnessed the long preparation that proceeds a studio produced photograph. Top hats, lacy dresses, elbow length gloves, the girls had a great time being in front of them camera instead of behind it. (photos sure to follow)

No comments: