New mama, with her new baby
New mother, with her still developing photo on the pillow. She is 26 and this is her fourth baby. The knitted cap came from a knitting guild in Phoenix.

The Polaroid Project started after my first trip to Nicaragua in 2002 when I visited a maternity ward that left much to be desired. I returned two years later with a suitcase full of onesies for the new moms and a camera loaded with film. They may be returning to poverty postpartum, but I was determined they would be doing it with more than just a hungry baby. A photo of their family’s new addition went over very well. Each trip since, I’ve been sure to carry my Polaroid camera and hand out photos often and generously.

Dork takes Polaroid photos
Smile! Don’t touch that spot. And no, don’t shake it like a Polaroid pickcha’.

When I put out the request for film in July, I immediately received more than a dozen email asking where it should be sent, how much could I take, etc? It was a fantastic response. I was able to take more than 100 photos on this trip — some of new mothers, some of children, all well appreciated — and came home with film for my next trip to Africa.
The Polaorid Project
She watched with a smile as her photo with her American surgeon developed.

Bolivians think I can work some sort of crazy photo magic. Needless to say, they had never seen a Polaroid camera before and would squeal with delight as they watched their photos develop. At first, they didn’t want me to take their photos. The indigenous Quechuan groups believe that a photo takes away a bit of the spirit. When I explained they would be given the photo, they couldn’t line up quickly enough. They were laughing, pointing, passing the photos around. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a group of people as happy.
Children show their polaroid photos
Everyone wanted one. Alas, I had group them together to conserve.

So thank you. Again to everyone who contributed and to everyone who wished me well. Next week — Peru and Ecuador and then I promise we’ll return to the previously scheduled crafting and political blogging.

Bolivian woman shows off her Bolivian bolsita
The Bolivian Bolsita project was also a bit hit.

Cactus Knitting Guild
As were the 100 knitted items I hauled down and distributed from my knitting guild. Such a fun trip!

Happy weekend everyone,