UPDATE 2 // Cultural Observations

One of the things I love about visiting other countries is observing and learning about other cultures.  It’s fascinating.

I’m staying in a hotel near the center of town in Gondar, Ethiopia this month.  It provides me the opportunity to see a lot from my hotel balcony.  As a people watcher, I can’t get enough of it.

Last Sunday afternoon I was editing through images when I heard a car horns honking outside.  Now in ethiopia, much like New York, a car horn honking is nothing out of the ordinary.  However, this was different.  This was not just one horn.  This sounded like 30 cars all honking their horn in unison every 1 or 2 seconds.  I stepped on to the balcony and sure enough… There was a parade of cars honking their horns.  Each car was packed to the brim and the first two or three cars were decorated with ribbon.  “Must be a wedding” I thought.  Sure enough, turns out it was a wedding.  It was one of 5 that made there way through the city center in celebration that day.  It’s not just wedding season in America it seems.

One afternoon I was reading on my balcony after finishing a long morning of shooting and interviewing.  The hawks and buzzards were flying high waiting for the smallest piece of scrap of food to be left.  Across the street a cat was walking on the the rusted tin rooftop.  The streets were busy with people.  Chatter and laughter filled the air along with the sounds of car engines and horns and a generator from the building next door.  A child held out a box containing gum to all of the passerby’s hoping to make a little change.  A lady sat against the building across the street with her items to sell.  Teenage boys pushed carts down the street with trinkets, belts, and other odds and ends selling to anyone they could get to stop.  The temperature was perfect and with the sun behind my hotel the shade provided weather that was perfect.  Occasionally a drift of sewer stench would find its way across my nose along the breeze.  My book is interesting, but I can’t help and look up after every page or so and watch all the commotion for a few minutes.

At one point, I saw a man walking down the middle of the street.  The man walked different than you or I.  He walked on his hands.  Seated with his legs crossed in a way that resembles indian style gone wrong, you can’t help but wonder how his legs are bent like that and yet you know they’ve been that way for years.  How a wheelchair would dramatically change this paraplegic man’s life.

show hide 5 comments

Rocky Garza - I love the image in my mind. The simplicity of a life that is lived moment by moment and not a weeks calendar at a time. Hope for the provision of one pack of gum or one trinket to be sold to possibly provide food for the day.

Maybe I should erase my calendar for the week. Go where I need to when I need to, need being the key. Then see how I am used hands of my creator. Maybe my calendar and personal interests are uninteresting to God.

Jeff Smith - Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and cannot wait to hear all the stories and see the pictures God has in store for you. Wishing you all God’s best and blessings.

Beka Daniel - And, you said you weren’t a writer…I feel like I am sitting next to you observing all of this. I hope to see the images of these people’s stories soon. Praying for you often!

Alissa Windle - I am praying for you and your ministry. I love reading your updates. Brooks told me that you are going to be in Nepal while I am living over there!

Margret Jarreau - Lane:
God has truly blessed you with an awesome talent. Your pictures are a truly an a testament of what God can do. Thank you so much for sharing your ministry with us. I will continue to pray for you. Be Blessed!

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