I know it is rather cliche to have the White American taking her picture surrounded by black children. It says “Look at me! See how I am in Africa?” (Haiti, China, Russia….) “Look at how I love children, look at how I am helping, I went all the way around the world to hug these sad lonely kids.”
Well, I just have to say that is not me. I do not just want to hug children and get my pictures taken to show the world that I am helping. But I always feel a little weird when I am taking them. Like I am an imposter in their world. That I am taking advantage of their poverty.
But really, behind it all, I am just so amazed, and even a bit infatuated with these lives that are so different than my own. Every child has a story behind their face. I want to remember it. Every home, every clothes line, every man walking down the street with a jug of water on his head is a part of this world. A part of this world that I can not identify with or relate too.
Every photo I take is a reminder to me of the diversity in the world. Of the lessons I learned from each face, moment, experience.
And if I have the privilege of being in a picture with these people? It is for me to remember the joy I felt in their presence. To remember the hospitality they gave me.
It also helps me remember that a picture is never enough.