Changing Roles

There are lessons to be learnt from our children, if only we could be as open and as innocent as they are, this world may be a better place.

Recently, the Sunday School program planned (although I use that word loosely in their case) a pageant for the Christmas Season, to perform the Nativity after the Sunday morning mass.  We showed up on Saturday for what we thought was the first rehearsal, with my daughter thinking she would be a shepherdess, only to realize that it was to be the ONLY rehearsal, and that since the girl who was slated to be Mary was absent, they asked Miriam if she would substitute.  Needless to say I was livid, but my daughter was overjoyed to be part of the pageant, and looked forward to playing the part of Mary.

So, her shepherd staff went to Joseph, and we had to ask my mum for an outfit for her (my mother runs St Jude’s Playgroup, and they carry on the Nativity Pageant every year, so the basics for the costume were there) 🙂

The adults who were supposed to be organising the pageant should be chastised (the ladies who actually conducted the rehearsal and executed the pageant were not the original organisers, and they pitched in and did all they could for the children), and ashamed of themselves, but the children who pulled off a last minute pageant that went almost flawlessly, should be more than proud of themselves, and their parents should be equally proud of their children, I know that I am proud of them, especially my daughter (I am very biased) 🙂

2012 Deck – Week 48

Santa Claus, a mythical figure whose fame has spanned centuries, but is he only a myth or is he real?

The story of Santa Claus can be found in Legends, Myths, History and Folklore, and the names vary through the years and across land boundaries, but one thing remains the same, the IDEA that there is a person, an entity who gives gifts unselfishly to children, usually on the eve of Christmas so that on Christmas Day they awaken to presents.

For me, this Idea, IS  Santa Claus, this is what we want to believe in and keep the tradition going.  Was there ever a man with a long white beard who went house to house giving gifts to children?  I’d say that it was likely.  Did he dress in a red suit and have eight (or nine) reindeer pulling his sleigh through the skies?  Probably not  🙂

As Christmas approaches, I wish you all the best for the Season of Christmas.

2012 Deck – Week 36

Time never stands still.

It only seems like a few moons ago that my daughter was born, yet she’s now nine years old.

For a little while, on the Sunday before school re-opened, I let all else be lost, all worldly matters be forgotten, as I sat among the rocks on the seawall, with family, a snack or two, some drinks and the cool breeze brought by the incoming tide.  I just sat, camera in hand and as my daughter and her cousin played in the water, enjoyed the little slice of time that stood still…

I don’t often do photos of “people”, but I think this year I’ve uploaded more “portrait type shots for the Deck Project than before  🙂

Chaos to Calm

Third day of the full reunion, we visited the famous Dunn’s River Falls, and the tour guides split us up into two groups (we were apparently too large a number to keep together, especially with other tourists there too  🙂  )  In their introduction the guides said that there were two famous waterfalls in the world, Niagara Falls and Dunn’s River Falls, ALL the Guyanese in the group said without hesitation “KAIETEUR FALLS”, after giving us a look that could curdle milk in the goat, he ignored us and carried on with his “talk”  🙂

I didn’t mind a talk about safety on the falls, but when I have to start chanting “hot hot hot” and “wet wet wet”, and have to answer tour guides questions on camera, when all I want to do is enjoy the climb, I can get testy, I didn’t go for the Kumbaya and to make the guides look good on camera, especially when all the notices going down had a number of warnings for climbers and at the very top was “Anyone climbing the Falls to so at their own risk”, so kept thinking to myself “back off Rasta, and let me climb”

The guides were only interested in getting photos and video of their groups to “sell” to you after the climb, safety was the last thing on their mind.  Our group got separated numerous times, members fell, and even had slight injuries.

At the beginning of the climb, from the bottom of the falls, there were at least five groups of people trying to climb the same section, simultaneously…  The first stop they made was at a “pool” in the falls where they got small groups (families etc) to get in (it was fun!) and smile and wave for the camera  🙂  It was all for their camera, this was the photo they’d try to sell you when you reached the top!  Yes I’m complaining, and I’m a photographer!  Here’s one Andre took at that point  🙂

An Andre Lam photo

I prefer his photo, not because it is better (which it is), but because he didn’t twist my arm to take it, and he didn’t twist my other arm to buy it  🙂

Remember I mentioned the groups of people trying to climb simultaneously?  Here’s a photo of a (relatively) calm spot, now go pick out the groups, remember that each group has two “guides”, one has on a blue shirt (he’s the official guide) and the other has on a yellow shirt (he’s the one with the video camera, who will disappear halfway up to go make the DVD)  🙂

Somewhere before this point (after my daughter had fallen and was saved by my cousin Nyuk-Lan in true action hero fashion, and my father had fallen twice, a few of us departed the falls, and I took over Andre’s camera to get some shots in, I really have to get more experience on strange cameras, I got fewer good ones than I’d hoped  🙂

Being totally fed-up with the guides, Nyuk-Lan led a team of rebels on their own merry way up the falls, including a section that was obviously being avoided by the guides and their groups, and it made for a few lovely photos  🙂

After all that, getting back to the hotel and it’s pools was relaxing  🙂   Joan had made reservations at La Diva Italian Restaurant, while waiting for dinner we noticed what was going to be a lovely sunset, both Andre and I headed out (while the servers were serving the appetizers) to take a few photos.  The sight of the two of us taking photos seemed to have spurred numerous diners in other restaurants to do the same, and heading back to the restaurant, Andre noticed numerous people on their room balconies with their cameras too  🙂

From my seat in the restaurant, I noticed the colour of the sky contrasting nicely with the lighting in the restaurant area  🙂

2012 Deck – Week 29

Being in Jamaica for at least two weeks, I figured I’d have some scenic photo to use for the Deck Project, but I just could not resist this one of my daughter, Miriam.  She’d had her hair done in Kingston, plaited in the local style and with beads on the end 🙂

I was trying to get a nice photo of her, but she kept giving me that fake smile she has for cameras, my sister Joan told me to wait and she waded up to Miriam and began ticking her foot, and I got a genuine smile  🙂

2012 Deck – Week 25

For many students in the trimester system, it is now the end of the school year, the end of projects and assignments, the end of homework, the last of the tests and exams until the next academic year begins.

I find it fitting that the image I chose reflects some of this; hands raised in joy as the sun sets on another day.  The end of one thing usually marks the beginning of another, soon we begin the “August” or summer holidays, although those in the semester system have already begun theirs  🙂

Hands Up!

2012 Deck – Week 10

In the first few years after my daughter was born, I took photos (snapshots) of her every chance I got, but for some reason, as time went by I took less and less.  She now poses “too much”  🙂

On Phagwah day I deliberately asked her to pose for me, and got a nice portrait of her  🙂

I don’t often do portraits or posed “people” photos, I’m just not very good at it, so when I do try it and get at least one good one, I feel happy  🙂

Miriam "Dressed for Holi"