I recently had the opportunity to spend 12 days on assignment in Africa. I was asked to cover the people in Kogelo and Kisumu during Obama's historical inauguration. The rest of my time was to be spent in Djibouti where the writer and I were instructed to go and produce as many daily stories as possible. Not a bad gig, huh?
Here are a few random notations and photos from the trip.
After reading, if I still have your attention, go to my website: www.facun.com and check out a new essay EAST AFRICA.
Thanks for looking and reading.
20 RANDOM NOTATIONS:
1. Bring your own toilet paper when working in Djibouti.
2. Only bring USD to Africa and never bring any USD older than 2003; they're worthless in Africa and no one will accept them.
3. Don't expect a warm shower at a $100USD a night hotel.
4. Learn to firmly say "no thank you," or nothing at all when approached by the locals who want to sell you anything from a "massage" to "khat."
5. Khat is a legal drug sold on the streets of Djibouti that offers a cocaine-like high.
6. Don't try photographing people buying or selling Khat unless you're prepared for the repercussions to follow.
7. Kenya folk are some of the most warm, humble and inquisitive people you will meet.
8. Obama is loved, loved, loved not only in Kogelo but also throughout East Africa.
9. Somalian refugees need help. Give to your local NGO.
10. Being a vegetarian in Africa is no fun.
11. I don't care what I used to say about how easy it would be to make photgraphs in a foreign country - its not that easy, trust me. I take back everything I ever said. I was naive and ignorant. Ooopps.
12. Internet in Africa is soooo sllllloooowwww.
13. Don't drink the water.
14. The ice cream in Djibouti is really delicious for some reason.
15. Count your change and your blessings.
16. You can buy coca cola in a glass bottle anywhere in Djibouti or Nairobi.
17. The worst ghetto in the US has nothing on the refugee camps in Djibouti.
18. The road to Lake Assal offers red mud, bumps and more bumps but a breathtaking view of the sky and hillside.
19. People in Africa still love the idea of the American Dream.
20. Last but not least, be prepared to fire off 300 or so frames before you make one honest candid image. Seriously.