Time Elapsing.

     As some of you know Celine is here to visit me for two weeks! After being apart for four months it’s amazing to be reunited with her. Sure it wasn’t easy being apart that long but I love that we are able to pick up right where we left off and continue to grow in our relationship. I wont get too mushy but time is flying by since she got here last Sunday!

     The #28toMake project of creating a time-lapse everyday this month has been going well. Overall it’s really pushing me to be more creative and think differently about how time passes as well as what will be photographically compelling. I don’t always have great subjects but it’s fascinating seeing what one can observe when manipulating the perception of time. Which has been your favorite?

     Next week I’m going to another village with Celine, which means I’ll be getting more awesome photos of this intriguing country. I feel so fortunate to have seen so much of this diverse nation in my short time of visiting. If you have video projects or want to use these time lapses for anything let me know and I’ll get them to you! 

Corinth & Corinthians, Egyptian Enigma, & Into Ethiopia.

     We have touched down in Ethiopia! Instantly it was a nice change from the reality shaking Egypt. Before I get ahead of myself I want to let you know that we did end up going to Corinth! Since our flight was not until later in the day we managed to figure out how to get money out of the ATM’s and then took a train to Corinth. This was exciting for everyone and provided a very surreal experience while standing where Paul was put on trial and reading 1st Corinthians. After a walk through the remains of the city and getting lunch we headed back to Athens to fly out to Egypt.

     I want to preface this part of the post with Egypt being one of the places I was most looking forward to but with that I didn’t really have any expectations. For all I knew it could have still been in the condition depicted in the animated film The Prince of Egypt. Ok, I’m not that naïve but really my expectations were nonexistent. Upon arrival the first taste of the chaotic, unorganized, and overly reactive culture was being seated in a car that should not have been on roads. Just to summarize the ride from the airport (seriously, this is where parents and family members skip): one door didn’t open, rust and dust everywhere, when exceeding 50km/hr a loud screech would emanate from the rear, often we would abruptly start hurdling backwards on the highway at 50km/hr while missing 100km/hr oncoming traffic by mere centimeters and when we thought it couldn’t get worse we directly ran into a metal barricade sending it flying! Just for comic relief I am sure, a guard who was standing there just waved us on as though this was a regular occurrence (this is where parents and family members can resume). To push me even more out of my comfort zone the city of Cairo was extraordinarily unclean and I have been to a few countries you would think could have it beat. Enough with what made me uncomfortable though and what I thoroughly did enjoy was seeing the Great Pyramids of Giza! It was phenomenal being able to stand in front of these magnificent structures that look so simple but in the context of that time are unfathomably complex. The climate the day we went was exactly what you would expect while visiting the Egyptian pyramids but it really took a toll on how little I wanted to be taking photos and video. While taking video my camera would heat up to uncomfortable temperatures, spontaneous sand gusts were a constant risk, and holding a few kg of weight in 40 degree Celsius heat is less than desirable. However being out of my element and uncomfortable in all these scenarios made me appreciate the National Geographic photographers and the stories they capture even more! I personally still have a long way to improve before I am at their caliber but during this trip I become more aware of the hard work it will take.  An extra note I want to make are the street photos that were taken while driving from the cave church that capture a true candid nature that I thought were fascinating. 

     Our time in Ethiopia has just begun but we have already heard a lot of encouraging stories and great advice from SIM as well as SIL. I look forward to this upcoming week but prayer is definitely needed for safety of the team and that we remain healthy since a lot of us have been getting sick or already have been sick. Thanks again for reading and share this with anyone you know interested in travel, culture, or photography!

3 Planes, 3 Trains, & 1 Bus.

     The title of the post describes what it took for me to arrive in Badahoz Spain. Fortunately once I arrived my host Paul warmly greeted me along with my other team mate Craig. Overall Spain was spent primarily conversing with our hosts who are incredible people! They motivated and inspired me to do meaningful work in this world and I leaving after only a few short days was difficult! One day I hope to return and aid them in the work they are doing.

     At 1:00 AM Monday 14, 2015 our team met up in Madrid to fly out to Athens Greece. This is the second time I have been to Greece and so far it is still the country I enjoyed four years ago. However this time we are staying in a hostel in a rougher part of town rather than a nice hotel in a fancier location. I am not sure if I like it more or less but I do know that it gives a more honest view of the city and people. After arriving in Athens at 5:00 AM we waited for our hostel to let us in for a few hours and then went to explore the Acropolis. For the second time seeing it I was equally impressed and disappointed all at once. The scaffolding is still covering a large portion of it, which makes getting a nice photo very difficult. Later in the night, walking back from supper, we passed right through a political campaign being set up which was cool since the last time I was in Athens there were protests occurring. This Wednesday we were supposed to go to Corinth but due to some financial miscommunications we couldn’t and instead continued to discover fascinating locations in Athens. I will try to post as often as the wifi lets me! Thanks for reading and let me know what parts of the trip you want to hear about! Also share this with all your friends who want to see or read things about traveling!

GlobeTrek Departure: Delayed.

     Almost a year ago the concept of GlobeTrek seemed as foreign as some of the counties we are going to. Initially the concept of traveling around the world, to sixteen unique countries, was exhilarating and nothing but something to seek out for the next adventure. Now that time of departure has arrived the sobering reality is that it is immensely more than an adventure. A lot of people go on these kinds of trips simply for self-indulgence. I have a difficult time justifying this and having experienced a few of these sorts of trips they feel nothing but hollow and selfish extravaganzas in my opinion. This all being said I know it may be impossible to always go with a purpose but if we want to “vacation” I think there may be better ways to do it than spending thousands of dollars just to use a foreign culture for its weather and food. What I am really getting at is I am going with a purpose that I feel is very important and originated in me four years ago when I started photography.

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     After two years of college training I have a Diploma in Digital Media and have grown in the art of photography, as well as video, all thanks to the aid of my instructors. With this gift I always wanted to use it to capture the incredible world that surrounds us all the time. With the media I create my vision is to bring awareness of the needs that the world is crying out for. By initiating mindfulness to the prosperous people within North American culture I see it as a spark to bring forth change that needs to occur.

     A delay in receiving my visa occurred this past week so I won't be able to leave the same time as my team (Tuesday Sep 1). This was completely unexpected and I am going to say it was out of the organizers control as well. Another unexpected reality is that the cost of cancelling and rebooking a ticket will be out of my own pocket. I am still processing things and hope everything works out but prayer and financial support (be sure to specify who the donation is for) is very welcome at this time. In addition to that you can help me greatly by subscribing and sharing this with everyone you know! Thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy the upcoming reading and photos!

China: Day 9&10.

     Our trek was coming to a conclusion and the comfort of Zhilam Hostel was at the forefront of my thoughts that morning. This is a combination of the last two days of hiking. The one day we just hiked directly back to our first campsite so there weren't too many breathtaking images that I hadn't already seen. During the entire time of being out in China's vast countryside I hadn't showered or cleaned any part of me other than my teeth and mind! To say the least, I was revolting in every definition of the word. My hair was greasy, hands brown (either from dirt or the sun), feet blistered, skin peeling, nails long, and did I mention my hair was greasy? I felt like an animal and the sweet taste of the delicious carrot cake, scrambled eggs and toast, chai and any of the other incredible food that the hostel offered was a strong motivator to keep hiking. 

    The last morning of tenting our campsite was overwhelmed by fog! You couldn't see the tent next to you it was so thick. Fortunately, it started clearing up before breakfast and provided for some incredible images. After we packed up camp we were on our way to where the bus would pick us up and bring is back to Kangding. Once we arrived back at Zhilam Hostel the first thing on my agenda was taking a nice hot shower and sitting down with a cup of tea while sorting through the gigabytes of photos from the hike. If you haven't picked up on it yet I am highly recommending Zhilam Hostel as a place to stay if you are ever remotely close to Kangding, China. It is clean, well maintained, has comfortable beds, hot showers, friendly staff, and ran by amazing people with food you just can't beat. But back to the story, shortly after starting to sort my photos, I remembered I didn't have enough flash portraits so Zach and I begrudgingly grabbed the flash gear to get our final portraits. The one is of a Zhilam Hostel staff serving up some delectable cake and the other is of Abu; a staff member for Extravagant Yak Travel Company who lead us on the prestigious hike up to 4950 metres and was just an incredible guy. Oh, and another China exclusive I would recommend is Extravagant Yak Travel Company. Just go to their website and see all the phenomenal tours you can go on. The service these guys provide is truly phenomenal and the experience will be with you for a life time! 

     This is the last entry of the China Blog series and for those of you who have taken the time to read even one of them, thank you! I hope you enjoyed it and that my writing was not too boring or that my images were too amateur. I just integrated a video page on my website where you will find a short video I made while on the trip as well as some of my other work. It gives a great overview of what we did and some of the highlights for us Digital Media guys. This summer many more adventures are approaching and I can't wait to share them!