Over the weekend I had the privilege of attending the Women and Journalism Symposium annual CAMP in Whitefish Montana. I was surrounded by incredibly inspiring women from 6am, when I taught the early risers yoga class, till midnight when ladies gathered in the lodge bar, some in bathrobes others in suit jackets, talking about various importances in both realms: reporting and personal. On the last day of CAMP we had a few hours to spare, so a number of us drove into Glacier National Park. From the fall colored valley floor to the ragged pass dusted with hail, Glacier was breathtaking. It was the perfect ending to a weekend that reminded me of the vast possibility that exists before me in all things.
A few weeks ago I jumped on the Starlight train down to Eugene to attend the rather other-worldly Oregon Country Fair. I met up with my friend Matthew Rowe who was writing and reciting poetry all weekend, and threw my things in his tawny Volkswagon van, our small sanctuary throughout the festival. People dawned outrageous costumes, or often hardly any clothing at all. Music streamed from each of the many stages, and performance art filled the empty spaces along the figure eight path that lined the fair. When I wasn’t photographing I had the pleasure of spending my time with two lovely ladies who called themselves Peep and Tom. As a Fair virgin, they made sure I was aware of and involved in the best parts of the weekend, from the sunrise baseball game to the wedding in the Labyrinth that I couldn’t quite stay awake for.
March 15th celebrates the Hungarian revolution of 1848. Despite widespread discontent with the recent actions of the government, Budapest was filled with Hungarian flags held high and the voices of the exuberant masses. At one point during the march I was informed that the crowd was yelling “Fuck the Government!” If not for my friend’s translation I never would have known this, people appeared to be in high spirits and their voices did not sound aggressive at all. Some of the older revelers were dressed in the garb of the mid 19th century, when the revolution took place, while others of my generation sang American rock songs such as “We will Rock You!” It was a very amicable, and somewhat eclectic gathering of thousands of proud Budapest citizens.
Last Monday, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., more than 1,000 Seattleites marched from Garfield High School to Downtown Seattle chanting phrases such as “Who’s lives matter? Black lives matter?” and “No justice, No peace, No racist police!” The march paused in front of the downtown municipal building and the juvenile jail where speakers made the street their stage. Key topics were reforming police brutality and addressing the inherent racism present in the courts and the prison system at large. Rejecting the proposed building of a new “Mega-Jail for children” was one of the more Seattle-specific concerns voiced throughout the march. In one of the final speeches, Gerald Hankerson, the president of the NAACP Northwest put forth a call to action to attendees,
“I’m calling on all of you today, to as you walk away thinking about why you celebrate MLK 2015, think about this, what has happened differently since 2014 when we were down here? What has happened differently since 2013 when we were down here? The question before you is, what is going to happen in 2016 if we don’t do something different?”
“We’re putting our police officers on notice right now, if you break the law, we’re going to hold you accountable just like you’d hold one of us accountable, and if the law can’t protect us, it damn sure can’t protect you!”
A few weeks ago I went to Miami with a friend and his slightly wild group. I was there for exactly 48 hours. We drank, we danced, we beached, and the Standard treated us well. This is a collection of photos I took when we ventured to South Beach. Growing up in Hawaii gave me an idea of beach culture that was not applicable in Miami, and I loved the difference of it. High rises contrasting with white sand beaches, people swimming fully clothes and practically naked side by side. Families lounging beneath colorfully striped umbrellas and 20-some-year olds drinking in the sand 10ft away co-existing happily. I could have stayed for days if not for the responsibilities I am still adjusting to with both pleasure and resentment.
I’ve been living in Seattle for six months now, and it’s high time I posted pictures of a few of my favorite visuals around the city. Easter Sunday, Pike place, the Convention Center, and of course the bus. It’s a lovely place to be so far, especially now that Summer is here! Happy Solstice!
My last post was about the ghats, and Varanasi’s dealings with death and life side by side. In these images I hoped to capture the vibrant people, the spirit of the nightly puja, and the candidness I saw in this dualistic, enduring, city.
In Khajuraho we met a few boys around our age who, when they witnessed our love of Indian food, decided it was their responsibility to give us an authentic experience making chapati. On our last day Laki brought us to his grandfather’s house in a village a few kilometers outside of town. The house had the exceptionally clean feel that I have noticed in smooth mud and clay based structures in North India. A modest home with a simple, mostly outdoor kitchen, Laki’s grandfather’s home was the perfect place to spend the afternoon beneath the shady branches of Neem trees, peeling and chopping aubergine, peppers, potatoes, garlic, onion, and tomato and roasting them over the fire as the chapatis heated on the embers underneath. This simple fare tasted as fresh and delicious as the most elaborate spreads I’ve had in India.
In Darjeeling tea is as abundant as it is flavorful. The hills are lined with verdant tea bushes, and sparse fruit and coffee trees, planted to fix nitrogen. The Macaiberry Tea Estate was one of the first Organic tea plantations in India. I spent 3 days on the plantation in a quaint homestay with a Indian / Nepali family and a few friends I met traveling. The estate primarily employs women in the field and in the factory, partly because of their “nimble fingers” and partly because Kurseong is a comparatively progressive village. Kurseong is one of the only villages in North India that has recorded a negative birth rate in the last 5 years. The women’s counsel works to make birth control more readily available and morally accepted in the village, and it has been somewhat effective. The women I photographed this morning were pruning the tea bushes, the winter task that is done when the harvest has ended for the season. I tried to bridge our language gap as they flitted their scissors over the branches, and though I do not understand Nepali, I observed their closeness and their jocularity. The three women below managed to say in fragmented English that they particularly enjoy pruning because they don’t have to be careful or delicate, they just work away, talking and teasing till the sun sets.
After a five hour hike through various Lava fields from naked Pahoehoe to withered trees strewn across splintered rock, Lipoa and I walked along the jagged coast till we approached the steaming cliff. Just as we passed a stark neighborhood built on the highly affordable sulfurous land adjacent the Volcano, rather aggressive rainfall began, luckily rain in Hawaii is never too cold. The Lava looked like scarlet ribbons running down the black rock into the ocean where steam plumed along the beach. It reminded me of birth, seeing the earth give out such a powerful yet somehow seemingly vulnerable part of it’s self into the crashing sea. It was mesmerizing. We found a shorter trail on the way back and ended up on a small, remote road somewhat far from our vehicle. We hitched a ride on the tailgate of a truck pilled with Noni fruit, which for those who don’t know, do not have the most pleasant odor, but it was a ride and the friendly driver took us all the way to the Kava Bar where we had started our hike. With the sun high overhead, it was nice to end our volcanic experience at a place with fresh Acai and cold water.