Into Africa

Bags are nearly packed (well, I should say “bag is nearly packed” – Official Member of the One Bag Club. Our Motto: “No Checking!“).

Got the shots (and the black & blue mark on my shoulders to prove it.)

Batteries are charged, CF cards are empty, lenses are clean.

All I need to do is find my travel buddy, Flo.

Heading out on what’s probably the last big trip of this annual report project. And it’s a dozy.

I’ll get on a plane at 5:35 p.m. on toning in New Jersey, and eventually reach my destination at 9:15 p.m. Saturday night.

That said destination? Africa. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to be specific.

Except, this trip to Africa isn’t like the trip that my friend Mark Olwick, just came back from. Or the one that Sabrina Henry took last year, or the one John Batdorff will be on at roughly the same time I’ll be there (though in a different neck of the woods.)

No, no safari’s for me, at least not in the normal sense. Yes, we may swing through the Nairobi National Park for a few hours if we have some time late next week.

Instead, this trip will be about something that is increasing important and interesting to me. I’ll be meeting people doing some really incredible work to help others in a very tough land.

My company, Johnson & Johnson, has been supporting a number of philanthropic agencies, like Project Mercy in Yetebon, and the SOS Children’s Village in Nairobi, among others, for a number of years. Myself and the photo team will be over there, meeting the people from these organizations, meeting the people they help, and telling their stories through photographs.

I’m looking forward to this trip for one big reason: I see where this type of photography – philanthropic (or humanitarian) photography and telling these stories though images – is of a big interest to me. So I’m excited to experience all this.

One other thing I’m excited about….getting the opportunity to meet Dr. Catherine Hamlin, whom the NY Times called …the new Mother Theresa of our day.. Pretty lofty sentiments, but with good reason.

Dr. Hamlin, and her husband Reg, opened the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in 1974 to help women suffering from obstetric fistulas. This isn’t a pretty condition, but their work has helped so many women over the years. I’m now reading the book A Hospital By The River and it’s an engrossing account of the Hamlin’s work to help these women. Catherine is getting on in age now, and I really hope we can make some beautiful portraits of this woman, as a tribute more than anything else.

So, while I may not get to see any of these…

I do hope to still see a lot of amazing sights and come back with some incredible images and stories.

Now….where is Flo hiding….

© Mark V. Krajnak 2011 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved
Unless otherwise noted, images captured with a Canon 50D, SanDisk digital film, finished with PS2 or PSE6 and Nik Software.

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6 thoughts on “Into Africa

  1. Pingback: Personal Project: Walking For Water | JerseyStyle Photography

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