Mozambique, Polaroid Project

Blog world, you’ve been so generous to me. So, I feel a bit sheepish asking you for a favor.

But I’m gonna anyway.

I’m preparing for another big international adventure. This time I’m taking South American by storm. I leave one month from today and will spend three weeks in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. The bulk of the trip is work related — I’m traveling with a volunteer surgical mission to rural hospitals in the region. (There is also a bit of cheap, quick vacation thrown in to end of the itinerary. Machu Picchu! Amazon! Buses, hostels, lots of hiking, oh my!)

I truly can’t wait.

Back to my point: I need a favor. One of the most fulfilling and heartbreaking aspects of my job as a public health worker is spending time in the hospitals. They are miserable, decrepit, crumbling buildings where only the luckiest receive treatment. My favorite place to find refuge is the nursery, with the newborns. I’m a sucker for babies, what can I say? I’ve hauled my Polaroid camera to Central America and Africa to take photos of mothers with their newborns. Nothing makes these women happier than to have a photo with their new child. There is no onsie provided. No roses, balloons or other regalia commonly seen in celebration of birth in the developed world.
You can imagine the importance of a simple Polaroid — some proof this baby made it into the world safely, often against all odds. Trust me — they love it.

The favor: film. Polaroid film is muy expensive. If you’ve got some hanging around, or feel the inkling to swing through the film aisle at Target, I’ll happily make you a wristlet in return. Let’s swap, shall we? I’ll even stuff your wristlet with fun goodies and send you a photo of these happy mamas when I return. Don’t like wristlets? How about an apron? Purse? Cake?

Email me: africankelli at gmail dot com. And heaven forbid I receive too much film to take, I’m off to Africa in November and promise it will go to good use there too.

I’ll be forever thankful,