The Untaken Pictures: The Welcoming Committee and The Pink Lady
Kenya’s photo ops extend in every direction and well beyond the boundaries of the game reserves. But some photos I choose not to take out of respect.
I have the image in my head of the area just outside of baggage claim at the airport – where they had to be 70 people with 70 signs – the visual cacophony was a lot to take in on a body pushing 24 hours of travel. But to whip my camera out and start snapping was not a respectful way to enter Kenya. The people behind the signs were hard working, most likely underpaid and deserved to be greeted with a smile and not another gawking tourist.
The pink lady was a woman, maybe 30 or 40, sitting on a dusty brown rock against a dirt and grass hillside in a flamingo pink suit waiting for the van or resting a bit from the long walk into town for church. Her crisp pink skirt and jacket, and perhaps her quietly capable countenance, stood out prominently against the well worn hillside.
Of the 145 images that I have snapped in the two plus days I have been here, I carry with me The Welcoming Committee and The Pink Lady – and those are mine alone. The power, the will, the elegant majesty carved amidst their hard fought lives.
So if you want to see these images, you will have to travel to Kenya and take it in first hand. No camera, no flash, just an open heart.
What might surprise you about our entrepreneurs and their world
- Most don’t have cars.
- Most never went to college.
- Most did not have a burning passion to become an entrepreneur – they didn’t have a job – so they made one.
- Price fixing is okay.
- Check bouncing is a criminal offense.
- Most run multiple businesses. An internet café that has a movie theater
(think bedsheet and 40 plastic chairs. I mention this not to disparage the operation – as I quite admire the ingenuity – but to recalibrate what you think of when I say movie theater.)
- Not everyone has electricity so they can’t be open at night.
- Many live at the work place in the back room.