Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Universal language of play

Playground in the barrio, Guaymas, Mexico
After school program Kampala, Uganda
      Since the economic crash, my NGO work has tapered. I've been thinking about it quite a bit lately as things really start to come back across the photographic board.

      I thought I'd revisit some blogs from the past that still hold true and that might have been missed:

     All of the places I have been has shown me how people serve people all over the world.

      Foreigners and locals working together to serve those around them to try and make life a little better, to make a difference. In that process I have witnessed probably thousands of kids in dozens of sets of challenging circumstances due to station, and circumstance both natural and man-made.

      I discovered something simple about those kids in the process of discovering smiles, laughter and play.

Soccer in an empty pool Kosovar refugee camp, Albania
      Kids truly are kids world-wide.  They need food, they need care, they need guidance, but they will find play, regardless of circumstance, they do chores, they help to carry a parent's burden, deep down they may be living a difficult existence, but they will find the laughter in a refugee camp or a hospital, a barrio or a village.

Many places,
Children's association, Bungwe, Rwanda
childrens faces.
in many languages,
they play,
they laugh,
they shout,
they love.
Their stomachs are not full
their clothes are traditional
or not,
old and worn,
but still they laugh,
play and shout.
Summer camp kids in their home, Guaymas, Mexico
They inspire me as I listen and witness. 
We watch,
we laugh
we delight.
Children are the same all over the world
They are resilient beyond our own recall.
Under most any circumstance,
they look for play
They are poor but often they don't know it.
they look for play
they are removed from their homes
but they look for play.

Restored kindergarten classes, Yerevan, Armenia

Playground equipment, Western Guatemala

Vocational training while niece hangs out, Guatemala

Summer school program, Guaymas, Mexico