I also had a chance to talk to a guy from the Netherlands who is has been down here working for ten years, and I enjoyed talking to him about fundraising ideas, my own photography course ideas, and the things I'm going to be doing in the fall. He even offered me a possible place to live with several other european girls who are coming in the fall long term. I offered him the photos I have taken so far, but also to accompany him to the other organizations he works with the take photos of what they do, and help them raise money. The way I see it, photography is my gift, and if I can share it with anyone to make this world a better place, fine by me.
Yesterday my friend Leah arrived and with her arrived many of the photos I took in the first five days. My goal has been to take individual photos of each boy so that they have something of themselves without volunteers to just enjoy. While its wonderful that all the volunteers come down from the states, often times the only photos that the boys receive are "recruerdos" from the volunteers, so they never have anything to enjoy just of themselves. I took as many individual photos as I could during the first five days so that Leah could get them printed and I could give them out, and today I was able to do that. While it was frustrating to not have all the photos of all the kids, the ones who received photos were thrilled. There thank yous made me so happy. I never feel like I have enough to give them, especially in terms of day to day affection since I'm never here for very long, but this is something that they don't need to remember me to feel good about. They can look at it and feel good about themselves alone.
Later in the day I ended up hanging out with Kevin who has been such a good friend during my time here. Normally he leaves volunteers to fend for themselves, but since we have become friends, he has made the experience that much better. It helps to make sure that everything I/we do is truly helping the organization, and also helps to redirect any efforts that may be less efficient.
To build on the previous post, and hopefully tomorrow I will be able to build more tomorrow, I have been finding that the more I get to know the boys the more they see me as a friend. I have started to feel like they really want to hang out with me for the same reasons I want to hang out with them, and its because of legitimate friendships that have begun to develop. I'm so happy that I get to tell them that our "despedida" (going away party) isn't a real goodbye, its just a see you soon, because I get to see them again in October once I leave.