¡Feliz Año Nuevo! The dawn of the new year found me waking up in Santo Domingo, having returned to the Dominican Republic to serve again as the documentary photographer for the Dominican Aid Society (DASV) and William and Mary’s Student Organization for Medical Outreach and Sustainability (SOMOS). While I spent a lot of time specifically thinking about and preparing for last year’s visit, this past fall barreled by, and in a wave of photography clients, family birthdays, school activities, and holiday preparations, the eve of the trip was upon me before I really had time to think about packing, much less review any Spanish (so much for studying all year) or form a game plan for this year’s documentation.
In the weeks leading up to this trip, several people asked me what my goals are, now that I have a better understanding of SOMOS and the DASV, the places where they work, and the people with whom they do that work. My answer was rarely more specific than “be more focused.” Be more focused on what? I’m only partly sure. Regarding the specific public health issues in Paraíso/Esfuerzo, I would like to spend more time thinking about waste management and potable water. Regarding the organization as a whole, I’m interested in the ways in which we communicate amongst ourselves and the ways in which we interact with the residents of Esfuerzo – by which I mean the communication styles employed and approaches to interpersonal relationships, rather than literal modes of communication. And of course, I continue to talk to my compatriots about the ethical issues we encounter as (mostly-white, mostly-affluent) citizens of a “first-world” country visiting a marginalized community in a developing (formerly referred to as “second-world”) nation.
Perhaps my largest goal for this trip is to challenge DASV/SOMOS to think about how they communicate their experiences and intentions to our communities at home in the United States. My questions for my fellow teammates would include:
While the group as a whole probably gives the most thought to communicating with our own communities in the months leading up to our visits and the months following it, and their attention is focused on the work at hand during the visits themselves, the nature of my work requires that I be thinking about what and how to communicate something just before and while it is happening. My continued participation in future DASV trips will depend largely upon how these questions are answered. Does the team need a documentary photographer every year, or only once or twice a decade? It should come as no surprise to you to learn that as a documentarian, I think there can be a role for myself or another photographer in every visit. The question is, what does the team perceive as their needs, and how can I best fill those needs?
A couple of other links to follow during our stay in the DR:
I've been back since Saturday evening and spent the rest of my weekend catching up on sleep and snuggles, then dove into a business-as-usual week with everybody heading back to school and work and all of our other usual routines. Aside from a mild panic attack in a WaWa shortly after getting off the plane, which I'm sure I'll come back to later, re-entry has been OK. Slight culture shock, nothing I can't handle. Many thanks to the experienced friends who have commiserated or advised me to stay out of Target or Kroger for a few days.
(As an aside...while I'm thinking about it: when I heard that the Carytown Kroger, which is already a really big grocery store, is expanding by a good 50% or more so that they can carry more products, my first reaction was to think, how many products do you really need? I have trouble finding stuff already! Now, though, that reaction is even more intense. Really?!? I mean, there are already at least ten brands of peanut butter, several consistencies of each, many jars of each consistency. Sometimes more than one size of each product. There's a whole aisle plus of cheese. There is a beer section, a dairy section, a coffee and tea section, a juice and water aisle, and a soda aisle - all just for drinks, not counting the Natural Foods section. Not to mention the smaller coolers of drinks here and there. What will we fill 50% more space with? More beer? More cheese? More boxes of Band-Aids with different cartoon characters on them?)
So back to the Dominican. While I was there, I was in taking-it-all-in mode for the first couple of days. After that, what I had learned led to yet more questions, and I found myself endlessly trying to step back one more level, to understand how the government is structured, or what services people in places outside Esfuerzo typically receive, or how neighborhood associations work.
Our days there were very long. We got on a bus at 7am and returned to the hotel around 6pm, after which we usually had a brief meeting, then a few moments to ourselves (I usually used this time to upload images), then dinner, then maybe another meeting, then some social time if you were still able to stand. By then it was about 11 PM. I was usually beat by that time but wanted to sort through the hundreds of images I had captured and hopefully add some captions, feeling as I did that the images shouldn't be viewed without contextual information being provided. I usually threw in the towel between 12:30AM and 1:30 AM. Then back up at 6-6:30 AM to start again. There was no catching up, no time for me to get out of doing and engage in mentally processing to a point where I could write.
Meanwhile, a couple of folks back home were asking via Facebook: what is it like? I still don't know how to answer that, but I'm going to step back a bit and slow it down, and hopefully by the end, you'll have a little bit of an idea of where we were and what we were doing.
Before leaving and during my first couple of days there, here's what I was wondering with regard to the purpose of SOMOS and life in the Dominican:
The phrases "medical outreach" and "humanitarian aid" evoke ideas in each of us about the places where outreach workers go. I was envisioning dirt floors, very improvisational shelters, no electricity, little to no access to potable water, lots of obvious illness. I had a notion - based, I'm sure, on the sum of my experiences and exposures - that an overseas effort such as this one was only worthwhile if the need was immediate and severe. This reflects the savior complex common in our culture: affluent benefactor who is model of good health and 21st century prosperity swoops to the rescue of disadvantaged, pity-worthy, third-world people and cures ills (however temporarily) via application of humanitarian Band-Aids. I may recognize the complex, be critical of it, and feel cautious about it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still reside in me. And it does.
Please note: I'm using the words benefactor, disadvantaged, and third-world very self-consciously. They're part of the language of unchecked assumptions.
Before leaving, I looked at some data on the Dominican Republic. I wanted to know, why them? I compared DR data to US data in the CIA World Factbook. I pondered what makes something a human "right" and looked at what the UN has determined to be the rights of all people. I wondered, when do we offer assistance to people in another country? How do we assess need and how do we decide that we are the ones to meet that need?
I can't say that I've answered that yet. In discussing the roots of SOMOS during the trip and thinking about it more since then, I've realized that I'm still unclear on how the initial "duffel bag medicine" trip came into being and how Esfuerzo was chosen. What I can tell you is what I do know about Esfuerzo and about SOMOS. And I've gone around my ass to get to my elbow here, so I'll try to keep it brief.
Part I: what and where is Esfuerzo?
Esfuerzo is one of four self-defined communities in the neighborhood of Paraíso, in the city of Villa Mella, in the region of Santo Domingo Norte. Which is, as its name indicates, to the North of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. I've used Google maps to cook up some visual aids (click on each to view larger):
Just to get your bearings - view of continental US, with Hispaniola/Republica Dominicana outlined in red:
The island of Hispaniola - Santo Domingo area outlined in red:
Santo Domingo area. Villa Mella outlined in red.
Villa Mella map. Paraíso portion of the city outlined in red.
Satellite view of Paraíso, with roads outlined and communities/neighborhoods labeled (Esfuerzo, Altos, 28, 6). The complex of three large rectangular buildings in Altos (lower left) is the school that hosted our clinic for the week. All of Paraíso is socioeconomically depressed when compared with the surrounding region. Esfuerzo, on the upper/mid left, is the most marginalized of these communities.
Satellite view without map overlay. A small river curves around Esfuerzo to the West and South, hidden by trees in this view. The large rectangular open area between Altos and Esfuerzo is a flood plain, la canyada. Drainage ditches run toward and alongside la canyada, but are insufficient to drain rainwater quickly, so that when it rains, the river swells and the drainage ditches back up, leaving the canyada and parts of Esfuerzo under water. Flooding of the canyada also covers the road from Altos, cutting off access to and from Esfuerzo.
The name Esfuerzo means courage, effort, or spirit. I'd be interested in learning about the way this community got its name. (Also worth noting: Paraíso means "paradise"...and David was often heard to say "another day in paradise" at the breakfast table in the morning.)
So that's a basic sketch of the "where we were" part of things. I'll continue soon with more about Paraíso, Esfuerzo, la Zona Colonial, and things in between.
Remember that type of travel/outreach photo that makes me uncomfortable, the kind with the close crop of a dark-skinned child with big, liquid eyes, and an artfully blurred background?
It turns out that it's very difficult not to take that kind of picture. During our first day in Esfuerzo, kids all over the community, especially those of elementary school age, were incredibly excited to see us, talk to us, tell us about themselves, as us about ourselves. Our group, which has had a relationship with the residents here since 2005, held a meeting and party that evening to share their observations, invite community members to discuss their concerns/hopes/plans, and express our gratitude for their hospitality. During the party, many children noticed my camera and asked me to take their picture.
I was of two minds about these requests. As somebody who clearly enjoys photography and who spends most of her time with the same three subjects in the same settings, I'm excited to meet new people eager to be photographed. The problem for me was that I didn't really know anything about my subjects. Considering my belief that photos do not tell stories by themselves and that context (including the experiences of the viewer and the information shared by the photographer) is key, I felt awkward about taking these photos. Then again, it felt impolite to turn down these requests.
My decision: taking the pictures, when invited, is a socially appropriate act and can contribute positively to the overall relationship between the photographer and the photographed person and/or their communities. However, the act of taking the pictures felt a little bit like signing a contract in which I was agreeing to learn about the people I am photographing, either by direct inquiry or by being observant of what was happening around me.
The process of getting to know people has been both surprisingly simple and overwhelmingly difficult. Simple because many people are eager to talk to me about who they are. Difficult because there are so many people, very little time, and my Spanish is weak.
It's also difficult when a picture is made during a brief, chance meeting. This man noticed my camera and asked me to take his picture. I was traveling around Paraíso Seis (one of the four neighborhoods in Paraíso) with a team inviting residents to the clinic and the man was on his way in the opposite direction. Aside from his request and my agreement, we did not exchange any other interaction. I don't know who he is and possibly never will.
In considering the why/when of taking a photo and the use of the resulting image, I'm realizing that I will probably never fully come to a conclusion about some points (such as the issue of model releases). Nevertheless, the experiences of this week are clarifying a number of things for me and helping to shape my overall approach to travel/street/humanitarian photography. Some thoughts thus far:
It's a lot to think about, and I know it's something that I'll continue to mull over as long as I'm taking pictures. For some situations I may find satisfactory long-term positions. For others, I may constantly be revisiting them.
Flickr set of all photos from this trip processed to date is here. I'm adding information about each photo as time allows. If you would like to copy and share one or more, please contact me.
I'll leave you with this strange coincidence to chew on: I previously linked to an article about National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry's follow-up on finding "the Afghan girl" whose image was used on an NG cover in 1985. It's an iconic image. If you don't believe me, check this out:
That is a painting that I noticed on the wall of La Cafetera, a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop down the street from my hotel here in Santo Domingo. It is, as you have probably noticed, based on McCurry's famous portrait of Sharbat Gula. McCurry's original image did not include shifting desert sands and Dali-inspired Greek temple ruins, nor was Gula's scarf originally held up by Raphaelesque cherubs. Considering that she felt angered by McCurry's intrusion the first time he photographed her, I wonder what she would think about this reinvented portrait or about its place on the wall of an eatery almost 8,000 miles from her home?
I'm very much in a drinking-it-all-in place at the moment. Morgan, a 4th-year medical student from VCU who is my roommate here in Santo Domingo, asked me last night what I think of the DR so far. Honestly, I can't say. I'm in observation mode and haven't really gathered enough data to process it yet.
Yesterday it was past 11pm here (10pm EST) by the time I was able to get online. I had been up since 1:30am EST and while I felt like I should put some observations/thoughts in writing (as David Aday did, kudos to him for staying up to write it), instead I transferred photos to the computer, sent a message to my husband, and crashed around midnight. Reading through the last several entries (Dec 29, 30, and Jan 2) on his blog will give you more context for SOMOS and the work that they do. As I find more back material to read, ask more questions, and listen to the stories the team tells, the history of this effort and the relationship(s) between the team and the community become more and more evident to me. I hope you'll read through it.
Yesterday was mostly travel - Mark and I left Richmond at 1:30 AM in order to arrive at Dulles before 4 AM. Our flight group, which included Dr. Aday (AKA David, AKA "Taco") and W&M class of '11 member Kristine Mosuela, departed at 6 AM for Miami, watched the sun rise from the plane, landed in Miami with enough time to get some breakfast, then left Miami at 9:40ish for the DR. We landed shortly after noon, local time, and after going through customs (first stamp in my first passport, yay!) and retrieving the checked medical supplies, we waited for a couple of bigger groups of students to arrive, then took a bus to our hotel, got into our rooms, went to dinner, then met to discuss Sunday's protocol. Viola, 11+PM.
(Note: time has been scarce and it is now after midnight on the second day, so I will jot some thoughts, publish, and come back to this later.)
* I was almost immediately reminded how bad my Spanish is. Muy mal. Seriously. I cringe every time I have to explain "solamente hablo un poquito de Espanol."
* I was keen to observe the landscape/cityscape between the airport and the hotel, and by chance, there was some confusion related to the directions given to the bus driver, so we saw a fair bit of the East side of the city yesterday, much of which appears to be very blighted. Many buildings near the airport had rebar protruding from the top, as if another floor of the building had been lifted off. David suggested that they hadn't been finished. The idea of so many unfinished buildings (almost every building in that part of town) with what appeared to be functional businesses on their lower stories seems strange to me. I'd like to see more of the city and learn more about its demographics so that I have more context.
* Had an exciting moment during the protocol review in which I realized that what I was witnessing was constructivist education in a young adult setting. The deep respect of the instructors for their pupils, the collaborative approach to both research and praxis, and the sense of agency and ownership that I see in the students is inspiring. Some of the faculty at our preschool/elementary school have already indicated to me that they're interested in hearing about my experiences here, but I had not anticipated that those experiences might directly relate to the teaching and learning philosophies of the school.
* I'm also reminded of how much I love the kinds of discussions William & Mary people have. Almost without exception, W&M students and alums are people who enjoy noticing things and thinking about them from every angle. When I matriculated there in 1993, it was the first time I found myself in an environment in which nobody told me I thought too much or used excessively large words or was weird for being enthusiastic about the pursuit of knowlege (true thing: my freshman roommate has often reminded me of the time I gushed, "fetal pigs are the best thing in the world...next to Dan, of course"). I feel really fortunate to be a part of a community like this.
Much more later, plus photos on flickr.
In a little under four days, I'm flying to the Dominican Republic with a group of William & Mary students, alumni, and one faculty member. The group - The Dominican Aid Society - is led by Mark Ryan (@RichmondDoc), local family practice physician, VCU faculty member, and fellow W&M alum. I met Mark and his wife, Janet, a few months back at a meeting of local, idealistic grads of my alma mater. We had all been at school around the same time, but most of us didn't know each other there. Over our beers/ciders, Mark suggested that perhaps I might be suited to humanitarian photojournalism, specifically as documentarian for the next Dominican Aid medical outreach trip to Paraíso, north of Santo Domingo. I was pretty floored. It sounded crazy, and compelling, and completely right. Dan and I knew very quickly that we would make the trip work. I'm honored to be joining this group of physicians, medical and pharmacy students, and undergraduates. I'm excited to work alongside them as much as I'm able, and to document both their work and their relationships within the community there.
Read more about William and Mary's Student Organization for Medical Outreach and Sustainability (SOMOS) here and about their partner organization, Honduras Outreach Medical Brigada Relief Effort (HOMBRE) here.
If all goes well and the internets comply, I should (hopefully) be blogging during the trip as well as after it. Some entries may be here and some may be on the Dominican Aid Society blog. I have set up a flickr photo set (currently empty) and will add to it either during or after the trip.
There are a lot of trivial and not-so-trivial things in my head. First, the trivial:
Not so trivial:
That's actually a huge issue, and one that can get pretty complicated. The easiest thing to do, of course, is not to question it. Don't think, just get the shot.
The ethical thing to do, of course, is much more complicated. Do I want to deal with model releases (probably should, but there are practical issues to consider and the honest truth is that many people don't)? What preconceived notions of the DR do I have? What stereotypes of poverty do I carry with me? Will those affect what I notice and how I compose a photo? Is it necessary to document physical manifestations of illnesses not commonly found in the States? How can one do that with sensitivity to the person with the illness? How will the photos be used? Would I feel differently about the photos if they represented people I know, in similar contexts?
One of the difficulties of travel photography and humanitarian photography is the temptation to allow preconceived notions to color what we capture. Another, related difficulty is that of objectifying the subject of a photo, dehumanizing them. Are they a person with context, or a photographic prop? Are we interested in their story, or using them to manipulate the viewer?
Most of you are probably familiar with the use of close-up portraits of dark-skinned children to symbolize desperation and need. The photos are tragically beautiful and the children seem to beseech us to come to their aid. The beauty is usually emphasized with glowing natural light, shallow depth of field (blurring the background), and a pop of color, usually in the form of a brightly-painted wall or the child's clothing. This type of photography is sometimes referred to as "poverty porn". It evokes pity without any reference to the agency of the person depicted in the photo. This kind of poverty photography and travel photography both show a heavy reliance on employing cultural stereotypes and treating members of marginalized communities as exotic and "other". In poverty porn, they are additionally depicted as helpless and lost rather than intelligent people capable of working toward self-sufficiency. What does this say about our perception of the world and of ourselves as privileged benefactors? How does this shape the kind of aid that we provide?
Among my challenges will be documenting Paraíso's need for assistance without denying the individuality and dignity of the people there, and documenting their relationships with the SOMOS team without playing up local culture as exotic. I know that this is also important to the team I will be working with, and I'm hoping that at some point, we can discuss some of these ideas.
I've been reading far more viewpoints on humanitarian photojournalism, SOMOS, and human rights than I can sum up here. If you're interested, a sampling of what I've recently read is below:
blog posts about SOMOS from W&M Prof. David Aday
Child Rights Information Network: The use of images of children in the media
GoodIntents.org: Advertising images tell you a lot about an aid agency
Granta: How to Write About Africa (satire)
Unite for Sight: Ethics and Photography in Developing Countries
Picturing Change: Working as a humanitarian photographer - ethics and images
National Press Photographers Association: Code of Ethics
National Geographic: How they found NG's "Afghan Girl"
Exploitation of one's subjects isn't new. The Independent: de Ribera, Jusepe: The Boy with the Club Foot
Luc Delahaye: Biljana Yrhovac wounded by a shell, Bosnia
Stuff White People Do: Travel to exotic locations, meet adorable children, and shoot them
Sociological Images: Travel, privilege, and the crush of the tourist gaze/
bell hooks, Eating the Other: Desire or resistance
Sociological Images: Etnic curiosities: the trouble with tourism
Aid Thoughts: Thoughts on the definition of poverty porn
Aid Thoughts: What is 'poverty porn' and why does it matter for development?
United Nations: list of human rights issues
Spiders and beetles and slugs, oh my! I often get freaked-out reactions when I share photos of insects and other creepy crawlies, and it's a shame. Bugs present a window into some pretty cool science, and I suspect that being a bug-lover is also a good exercise in challenging first impressions and slowing down enough to watch, wait, and learn. (One trend that points in the direction of people being all about the first impressions when it comes to bugs: ladybugs and butterflies are considered less icky than other bugs, and bugphobes will often let those two walk all over them, but not other flying insects or beetles. Hmmm.)
The first time I saw a spider cricket, I think a rough representation of my reaction would be OMG YIKES WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?!?!? They're freaky. They look like some deformed science experiment gone wrong. Now I live in a house that's full of 'em, and I know they're not harmful, and besides, I don't want my kids growing up seeing me freak out over innocent arthropods. Still, it's disconcerting when one of them jumps in your direction. I'll admit, I don't want to touch them, and when I catch them, it's with a bug jar and lid, not with my bare hands.
Reese, however, is a lover of small crawly things, and adopts "pet" bugs now and then, which usually only remain in captivity for a few minutes before he lets them go. He's amazingly gentle, yet firm: he picks them up and handles them decisively, but the bugs never seem to be in any danger from him. It's an impressive aspect of a child who can also be full of uncontrolled, explosive energy. Bugs seem to center him.
So it came as no surprise the other day when I heard, "Mom, I caught a spider cricket!" It wasn't his first cricket, not by a long shot.
"How did you catch it?"
"In my hands."
"Where is it?"
(Oh. Um. Keep those hands closed, ok? I don't want it jumping on me.)
Out loud: "Oh, is it jumpy? Is it dying? It's hard to catch the jumpy ones."
"It's not dying, he just likes me."
(Translation: it's probably near the end of its life if it's not jumping.)
He showed me the cricket, let it crawl over his hands, up his arms, onto his shoulders. It got under him, but somehow did not get crushed. We found it on his backside. He scooped it back up in his hands.
Then he offered it to me.
Oh, no. No, no, no. Here's where I'm a bug hypocrite: those things are creepy. I don't wanna handle them!
But the thing is, here's my five-year-old handling it like it's the sweetest, tiniest puppy in the world. He's talking to the spider cricket, treating it like a welcomed guest. I know, intellectually, that this thing will not harm me. I want to be as unafraid as he is of this creepy thing that doesn't deserve the fear and loathing I hold for it.
So I reach out.
And I take the spider cricket.
And it's really not bad at all. It barely even tickles. It's harmless. I can do this. What have I been afraid of?
Eventually Reese asked to have the cricket back, and he and Xander set about building a Duplo house for it. The cricket watched the construction from the safety of Reese's cupped hand.
"Let's show him around," Reese said, and proceeded to take the cricket on a tour of the neighborhood.
The tour mainly consisted of showing the cricket Reese's collection of glow-in-the-dark bats and an old airplane that used to belong to Reese's dad. The cricket must have been impressed to the point of silence, since it didn't say anything. It did, however, consent to take a ride on the plane:
(Crickets ride on the underside of planes, naturally. This is why you cannot see it. It was a short flight and the cricket seemed to enjoy it immensely, by which I mean it did not bail out, so the trip must not have been all that bad.)
Having seen all that the room had to offer and realizing that construction on the new guest house would be slow at best, the cricket went for a walk under the Lego table, and then... vanished.
The next day, I put a pair of flats on and my right toe encounters something in the tip of the shoe. I slip my foot back out, tilt the shoe, and OMGTHERESASPIDER. I shriek. Oh, wait, it's a spider cricket. Probably Reese's dear little spider cricket.
But it hops and I react skittishly, bat it away from my closet so that it won't hide in there again, and nearly kill it. Then I scoop it up with a tissue and take it outside, where Reese greets it with delight and assures me that it absolutely is the same cricket.
As if he can tell.
Well, maybe he can.
And as for me, I'm working on it.
The basement is 80 years old. The flooring and wood paneling? I'd guess somewhere between 40 and 50 years old. Somebody partially-finished it - and I do mean partially - in the 60s or 70s, and since then it has seen flooding and humidity and several thousand generations of spider crickets.
I eventually see this space being refinished - the wall torn down, the ceiling finished with recessed lighting, some closets and cabinets built, nicer flooring. NO peeling paint, NO dust sifting down from the floorboards above, NO wood paneling, and certainly NO bugs hanging out all over the place. Dan wants an entertainment center down here but I'm not sure the space will ever really work for that. It will work as a kid hang-out, complete with the drum kit we recently bought at a yard sale ($80!), inevitable future drum kits, some big ol' couches, a game table.
For now I'd just like to get things cleaned up so we can throw down some all-weather rugs and move some shelving and toys down here. The kids love playing here but there's nowhere nice to put anything and honestly, the chipped-to-hell floor is disgusting. You can't really wash it, it's that bad. I hosed everything down last summer (freaking out the house alarm in the process, apparently it's hooked up to the CO detector and the detector went haywire from all the humidity) and scrubbed with Dr. Bronner's and a push broom. Ugh. It took forever to dry because water got under the tile. In fact, I'm not sure it ever totally dried. Gross.
In a manic fit, the boys and I started tearing up tile last week, taking advantage of decades-dried glue by popping off pieces easily with little more than a putty knife. Pop, crack, scrape, half the floor was done. Woohoo! We'll be scrubbing and painting in no time! My estimate was that the whole tear-up job should take 4 hours or so.
Attacking the second half of the job, I discovered that the tile was glued down more securely than the rest AND that the same area was double-layered. WTF? No more popping off of whole tiles. Putty knives became chisels, paired with rubber mallets. Tiny chunks of tile-and-glue sandwich came up. My thumbs blistered. My wrists ached. The kids lost interest. An easy weekend job ended up abandoned for another weekend, sometime after better tools could be obtained and carpel tunnel inflammation calmed down. I'm almost ready.
In the meantime, it stinks down there. It would appear that some moisture can come up through the cement floor (a possibility we knew existed), and with more floor exposed, the air is more humid, and it's nasty. Dan can hardly go down there, and I don't really like going down there, which means our laundry efficiency is greatly reduced.
With any luck, better chisels will be purchased soon, the floor will be scraped and scrapped and scrubbed, and then we can get down to the job of sealing everything up with super-duper paint and decorating. I'd really like to be on the other side of that project RIGHT NOW, enjoying a drum solo and a Lego table from the comfort of a yard sale Papasan or somesuch. If you wanna help, there might be a beer and a turn at the drums for you, too.
A glimpse of pink sky lured me outside. Rain was still steadily falling and I cradled my camera under my tee shirt. The rest of me could get soaked to the bone but I would keep the lens dry. An amused neighbor chided me to be careful with my equipment while I, obsessed, captured the sky. A moment later, it was gone.