Archive for the ‘adventures’ Category

Moravia, Colombia

November 17, 2009 4 comments

We gathered in a two-story brick and cement building in the middle of Moravia. Climbing stairs slowly as little feet ran past me, laughing. The stench didn’t matter. The language barrier didn’t quite matter, either. We were meeting to rehearse for the big concert. They had been rehearsing for months, and this was their time to show me what they had learned. I doubt I could be glowing more than when I watched them move.

They motioned for me to join in on the movement. I danced, they danced, we danced — back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Laughter being our melody continually those two hours of time.

We watched the sun go down together. No flashes with me – just natural light and a high ISO at sundown and then, altogether, no more camera. No more snapshots. Just us.

I’m a little more confident in my skill of salsa thanks to these young ones who could do the steps in their sleep. They shrieked and their eyes widened when I would lift a girl onto my back and walk across the room, spinning her, and placing her back on her feet. Potentially a bad idea, because every little girl in the room now had to do the very same thing. Then, they caught on to the movement and copied… lifting friends and laughing, walking across the room with me.

Movement allowed me to communicate what my tongue could not, and I am thankful.

There are currently very difficult, finanical situations occurring with Open Arms Foundation.
I will be posting a letter from the Founder, Bill Perrow, and express the need to
continue to be aware of in helping these street children in Colombia find a home again.

I will be selling photographs from my time in Colombia to help keep the Foundation doors open.
More information to come this week.


Open Arms Foundation – Medellin, Colombia (Pt 1)

August 19, 2009 2 comments

First post of many — excited to finally debrief this amazing, challenging trip with you!

I spent 12 packed days in this country. In the overwhelming & amazing city of Medellin, on a dairy and produce farm in San Pedro and in the heart of downtown where kids come off the streets to spend the day being nourished – physically, emotionally and spiritually – at the Foundation’s Patio program.

Most of the city shots you see in Medellin are taken from the hip in taxis — more graphic photos will filter through here shortly, so do be aware. Medellin is very diverse, intense, breathtaking and heart wrenching all in one.

These faces changed how I see the world. More in detail to come.

Categories: adventures, life, poverty, travel Tags:

What I’ve Been Doing All Week:

The assistants: Alli (lighting/tech), myself (photographer), Lauren (dance director/choreographer), Caitlin (helper w/ dancers), Ashley (helper w/ dancers).

Lots of editing to come.

Categories: adventures, dancing

Smell the flowers, Blow out the Candles

November 24, 2008 3 comments

Something that I’m going to take home with me from this place is so simple and yet, so valuable. To feel the depth of ones beauty, be able to embrace it, feel seen even though you are alone, smile inwardly and geuninely, smell the flowers… blow out the candles. Smell the flowers, blow out the candles. Repeat over and over until you’ve passed that one certain rock, turned the corner, stomped upon those fallen purple-hued flowers scattered across dark, red clay; some days dry, some days damp. Inhale, exhale, beating the ground with heavy-laced shoes.

The kids will come out and play while we take our evening run down through the school and around the farm. The dirt-clay soccer field holds their attention for quite sometime and the playground entertains for the remainder.

Tonight, I turned the corner and saw Nyiko sitting in the middle of the dirt road. I smiled. He smiled back. I passed him playing his new, shiny harmonica courtesy of Nate and a lovely man back in Nashville. He laughed. I always seem to say the kids names and wink right after. “Nyiko! (wink)” He laughs again; that beautiful, high-pitched laugh. This time to my pleasant surprise… he winks back. Perched there in the middle of the dirt road, time slowed. I proceeded to turn my running, sweating body to face him – “Nyiko!” – He looked up again and watched, making fun of me, as now, I was running backwards. Just as much as we think the kids are goofs, they think we are, too. It equals out and is quite enjoyable. So many little things to enjoy, to laugh at, to remember. And this being one of them. My memory, my camera.


It’s easy to write about things that naturally capture your soul. Not trying to conjure up some epic truth of some kind, but simply expressing how life is beautiful.

“It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.”
-Donald Miller

51 pages [ front and back ] have been filled in my journal.
Active progress: living out and wresting with the questions and loosing the desire to find all, the, answers.

A quote I took with me before I left from a past journal:

“Do not grow faster than you should. You may dislocate and be ineffective. And what good is that? To be ineffective? Wait and grow, strength comes in time. It does not come overnight. Nothing is truly good unless it is worth the wait.”
[ Summer, 2007 ]