Capturing The Soul of Ethiopia.

My most recent trip to Africa was to Ethiopia, and specifically to the highlands west of Addis Ababa. As I talked about in a previous blog, I really didn’t know what to expect. I was told that the people of Ethiopia were very stoic and hard to photograph. In practice though, I was pleased to find that this was not the case. The only time this seemed to happen was when the subject was not only aware you were photographing them and only them, but also that there was not a situation of trust between you both. I found that the ways to alleviate this were twofold. The first was to be in a situation of trust, which for me was easy due to all that was going on between Petros and the people of Gojo. Over nine hundred people were seen by the medical and dental staff, in addition to all the widow and orphan projects happening. The second aspect was to just be discreet and not simply walk up and take someone’s picture. I spent a lot of time just sitting and waiting for people to lose awareness of me, or using the distractions of other things going on to allow people to become less aware of me.  After a week spent with them, I felt I was able to share in their joys and sorrows, their triumphs and tragedies. Though there were fortunately more joys than sorrows, for the purpose of capturing the soul of the people, it was in many cases the latter where their souls were bared more fully. So here are some of those windows into the souls of the people of Ethiopia. None of these expressions were coerced. They were all caught in the moment.

An Ethiopian widow expressing her joy over her new calf.
An Ethiopian widow expressing her joy over her new calf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can only assume these two were husband and wife  or father and daughter.
I can only assume these two were husband and wife or father and daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The onion seller was apparently quite proud of her onions and wanted to show me.
The onion seller was apparently quite proud of her onions and wanted to show me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ethiopia-6447
This lady was unaware I was taking her picture. She would never show her teeth when she was aware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This girl just received her sight after being blind for two years.
This girl just received her sight after being blind for two years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the Ethiopian widows proud of her home.
One of the Ethiopian widows proud of her home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This woman was sick, and her baby had pneumonia.
This woman was sick, and her baby had pneumonia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New pastors completely lost in prayer.
New pastors completely lost in prayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The horn blower. This man just walked up and down the street blowing his horn.
The horn blower. This man just walked up and down the street blowing his horn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A woman being prayed for in the medical clinic.
A woman being prayed for in the medical clinic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pure joy.
Pure joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The curious man in the market.
The curious man in the market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was one of the happiest babies I've ever seen.
This was one of the happiest babies I’ve ever seen.

 

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