March 16th, 2017 - my very first newsletter
I hope everybody is doing well!
It’s time for a little update and boy, have I been busy as of late. Busy with MilesAstray, busy living, traveling and working as a volunteer. Let me give you the gist:
I spent three months in South Africa, where I was fortunate enough to volunteer with two amazing non-profit organizations, namely Greensleeves Children's Trust (holistic residential care for abandoned children) and Imagine Scholar (a student-centered community enrichment program). Here you find the links to their respective websites:
You can also find some more information and pictures of both projects in the non-profit section of MilesAstray.
Both these projects depend on donations and every dollar that any of my readers could spare, would go a long way; so please take a moment to check out their work and consider a donation. I can personally vouch for the wonderful work these non-profits are doing in South Africa. At Greensleeves I helped out with the day-to-day life of the children, while they enjoyed their Christmas holiday. Together with another volunteer I spent a lot of time playing with these fantastic kids and organizing activities for them. Besides that I could help out with a little bit of consulting in terms of marketing and fundraising strategies. This was also part of my job at Imagine Scholar, aside from creating marketing content (mostly photographs and student portraits). I was also humbled to be the Guest Speaker one day, to spend a lot of time engaging in conversations with these extraordinary students, organizing TED talks and discussions and much more. Thank you Greensleeves (Aunty Di) and Imagine Scholar (Corey) for having me!
On a related note, some of the photos that I took at Greensleeves and Imagine Scholar made it into the Grassroots Journal, a student-run magazine at McGill University in Canada, thanks to the editor in chief Michele Zampa! Check it out here:
Here's a small selection of pictures:
a National Geographic editor favored one of my pictures
On another publication note: I occasionally submit some of my photos to Nat Geo and last month one of the editors added one of my pieces to his favorites. This is still far from a publication, yet it means that my work has the potential to play with the big boys in what can be considered the highest tier of photography. That's great news and an incredibly cherishable feedback for me. I'll keep submitting and hope to be featured someday.
road tripping South Africa
During my days in South Africa I also got the chance to go on a little road trip. My friend Joel from the States came down to visit and together with three more people that we met in Cape Town (Santiago from Colombia, who owns a Kitesurfing school in the States; Katherine from the States, who is about to do the 5 months Pacific Crest hike; and Layla, a Japanese wedding photographer, who travels the world for a year to shoot traditional weddings for free) we embarked on a trip to some truly stunning landscapes and wildlife encounters, but also to see the stark economical and racial disparities that still characterize South Africa. Here are a few impressions:
After my time in South Africa I passed through a very rainy Botswana on my way to Namibia. After some great days of Couchsurfing in Maun, I got to see the unique Okavango Delta in a Mokoro (traditional boat), before I embarked on another road trip with some Peace Corps volunteers that I met in Botswana. They were supposed to give me a lift to a nearby town, but in the end, I tagged (they dragged) me along through large parts of Namibia and it was quite a ride (ending with a burning car, but that’s a topic for another time). One of the highlights was to see the enormous dunes of the Namib desert.
Here are some impressions of the Delta and the Dunes:
website and social media
Currently I’m in Windhoek trying to catch up with my blog and social media. I didn’t have much time to work on any of it since I left Cape Town due to the aforementioned reasons and experiences. Before I left Cape Town I published a mini-series on terrorism and how it deals right wing populists around the world into play. If you haven’t read it yet, these are the links:
I have a lot of new content in the pipeline, so stay tuned on my blog and social media. I have decided to use Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr mostly to tell short photo stories, while keeping the blog much more comprehensive.
That’s it for now,
I hope everybody is doing great!