These are the photos of Mexico which most impacted me. They tell stories…some of those stories we came to know a bit, others are still hidden, but they are there, clearly there for the discovering.
I love this shot. You may notice the parallelism between the “doing the job” legs of the table and Herason’s. Herason was probably the most joyful and embracing child in the village. He looks to be about 6 or 7. He is most likely 10-12. Herason has a heart condition; Lenora pointed out all tale tell signs of such to the soon to be medical folks on the trip with us. She showed them what to look for and let them listen for signs of trouble on the stethoscope as well. I loved that moment. Herason was delighted to be held by the beautiful blond while Miss Lenora checked him out. I loved that Miss Lenora was able to give his mama some valuable information and that the students got an opportunity to gain skill and insight in such. And maybe most importantly, the students realized that this little fella, who we all loved so, needed someone’s help, as much as the kiddos as Children’s Hospital do. But, there is no Children’s or even a Doctor’s office within hours of where Herason lives…if his family could afford it. I watched those future UAB Medical School students and the gears behind their eyes turning. I know overseas clinics have long been a hazy dream for many of our Edgers…I think on this trip, now 18, graduated and better able to see forward, some clarity came for them.
This is Eduardo. He helped us dig, load and carry dirt and rocks, even mix cement. He’d be waiting in the morning for us and wave us off every evening. Yes, he ran and played, squealed when he was grabbed up and held high or upside down, but he also worked along side of us, for a smile and bit of our Gatorade, and picture or two with us, which he will most likely never see. He is poor. His home is small, surely crowded. I don’t know if there is water within it. There were chickens walking within it. But, he seemed free and mostly happy and strong. He did not whine or ask us for breaks or beg us for anything. He seemed so happy, just to be near and known and playing a part in all we were doing, together.
I don’t know this little girl’s name. She did not so much interact with us. She watched us. I guess turnabout is fair play. I wondered what she wondered about us. I wondered what her imagination may have suggested to her, mine certainly made suggestions to me. I wondered what fears of us or maybe contempt may have held sway in her. I wondered what she knew that I did not, perhaps foolishly, know.
This is my favorite picture ever. And why I take pictures and Kenzie captures moments, stories on “film.” Kenzie lingers well, she is usually a step “behind” us…we’ve probably run on ahead of the moment. I think she got this shot as we were hurrying on in to set up for something. I remember looking back and seeing her with this little bit outside the child’s house. In many ways for me, this is the shot, the encapsulation of the trip. I love freeze frame water shots. I loved to see movement “captured,” the fluid for a millisecond stilled and life truly “ever now.” The beauty on this child’s face is nothing less than manifested life. This moment was, is, is to come. It is always NOW, always alive.
all Photos: Kenzie Greer