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.
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.
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.
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.
Happy weekend everyone,