Thursday, February 5, 2009

January 24: Six photos

I cheated at this swap by accident - I was supposed to send photos of places, not people, and hadn't read the swap description closely enough to see the "no people" rule. Two photos of people snuck in, but I've already heard back from all three partners I sent these to (they all got the same six photos) with no complaints. These are some of my favorites from travels over the last several years.

The first two photos are of farmers and their kids in Chiapas, Mexico, taken when I went to visit Fair Trade coffee farms there and in Guatemala. The farmers are members of the Maya Vinic cooperative, which sells its coffee directly to roasters, often members of a buying cooperative themselves, thereby skipping several aggregators and manufacturers who buy low and sell high at the laborers' expense (sometimes at such an expense that farmers sell for less than it cost to harvest, and they lose their land). Taking the photos on a digital camera and showing the subjects their images on the LCD screen was an eye-opener. We'd already established that the farmers earn about $300 per year from coffee, and that's with a Fair Trade price. When one of them asked me how much the camera cost, I thought "more than you earn in an entire year," and said I didn't know, it was a gift. I'm not sure he believed me. The kids loved it though; even the kid on the right smiled a little bit.

It's funny what you can find on the internet: While looking for a good link to Maya Vinic, I found this photo of our wonderful group on that trip. I'm third from the right, in front of the magnificent Bill Harris, founder of Cooperative Coffees.

The rest of these are from Europe. An electric votive stand at a church in not-terribly-religious Holland - drop in a euro and a candle would light up:

A happy bird and an unhappy moth just outside of Edam:

A mama duck feeding her only baby from a plastic bag that blew into the port at Hoorn:

And sheep racing to the Daubensse in the Swiss Oberland Alps, during the annual meeting of Walliser and Berner shepherds on the pass between the two cantons:

Wow, do I miss Europe right now. And Mexico. And just about any place that isn't Philadelphia, love it though I do. I've been in one place too long.

No comments: