28 August 2012

Reverse Culture Shock

The other day I was pulling out of my parking spot and I nearly had an emotional breakdown.

Sitting behind the wheel, I felt paralyzed and wanted to cry.  I didn’t know where to go or what to do.  I wanted to run away and hide, never to return to such a God-forsaken place . . . as South Jersey.

That’s right.  After only seven weeks back in the US, I’ve been officially diagnosed with Reverse Culture Shock.

While I’m still waiting on the prognosis, the hope is it’s not terminal.

24 August 2012

A City Submerged

News worthy places get play-by-play coverage during disasters . . . when tragedy strikes Niger it takes a few days to make it on the wire I guess.
Photo Courtesy of R.W.

This morning, The Guardian has posted a photo essay of the damage done when several dams up-river gave way and the banks of the Niger River swelled well beyond capacity.  After years of drought and famine . . . oh, excuse me, I mean 'Food Crisis' (have to be PC) . . . this rainy season was looking hopeful.  Until the other day.

Now the UN is saying 14,342 homes  have been destroyed by the floods.  Unlike the homes destroyed in NewOrleans, these mud-brick homes in Niamey have literally collapsed into puddles.  And there is no such thing as Disaster Insurance!

20 August 2012

Niger in the News

A must read article from the WashingtonPost.

Click here.

11 August 2012

Portraits: From the Attic

A dear friend of the family came over this afternoon to revisit her childhood via my mom's old Ginny dolls.  Tucked away in an old cardboard box in the attic, the memories filled the room as we unpacked the antiques.

This of course led me to the boxes I had stashed when I packed up my apartment back in 2007.  I rediscovered my collection of old cameras, a few favorite sweaters, and a series of 20 or so prints of mine that had once graced my walls, gallery-style.

The prints were mainly portraits, taken on my travels during my previous life . . . the one I lived before I ever knew Niger held a spot on the map.

Sliding those large frames from their hiding place, I traveled through space and time, recalling in my mind's eye the moment each shot was taken.  Where I was . . . how I felt . . . the surrounding context that didn't make the cut.