Tag Archives: Travel Log

Bolivia – Faces

Difficult to believe, for me anyway, that I’m closing in on one year since my return from Bolivia. Despite the passing of twelve months, memories of the experience haven’t faded much. The first few weeks after my return were taken up with all the Christmas preparations and immediately after ward, I had to pick through a few thousand images to edit down and process the bank of photographs from my assignment, before passing them along to CUSO International.

For anyone reading about my trip to Bolivia for the first time, in the dyeing days of the summer of 2011, I had the wonderfully good fortune to be chosen by CUSO, to participate in a project to visit one of several countries where they provide Development Aid. As one of six teams of journalist and photographers sent to various points around the world, I was assigned to Bolivia, where we visited several projects to meet with CUSO beneficiaries and volunteers and to document their projects, through words and photographs.

I learned a lot from the experience, in terms of packing equipment, scheduling visits and assertiveness to maximize the days and opportunities available in a relatively short period of time. Looking back through the images, a year later, I find that I’m able to be less critical of what I produced and take pride in what was accomplished

As photographers, we are a pretty insecure and self critical lot. That probably works in our favour, when it comes to pushing ourselves to do better next time, always searching for a unique perspective and turning on the charm to befriend a subject, on their turf.

I’ve added a Gallery of images in my Photo Essays that I’ve given the Title: Bolivia Faces. These are my favourite People Photos from that trip and maybe as soon as next week I’ll add another Gallery: Bolivia Places. Kinda has a nice ring to it don’t you think, Some of the images maybe familiar from my Blog Posts while in the field, but regardless, they are worth gathering together for a second look. Enjoy and don’t hesitate to provide any feedback: good, bad or ugly.

Woman entrepreneurs.

I’d Like To Introduce The Other Members Of The Band.

Before I go any further, you’ve read me describe that I’m hear as part of a two person team, and yet, I’ve failed to introduce my partner. Anouk Desorilliers is a freelance journalist for CBC-Radio Canada. I take pride in knowing that there were approximately 70 photographers that applied for one of the seven volunteer positions, which in itself is noteworthy and might be something I expand on over the next five weeks.

However, there were approximately 120 applicants for the journalist positions. Our team includes freelance photographers, writers, journalists and short-documentary film-makers as well as current and past staff from The Globe & Mail, Vancouver Province, the CBC & BBC. My point is simply to express how honoured I am to be in such amazing company.

Anouk brings a great deal of experience to the story telling half of our mission and I know that I have my work cut out for me in matching her.

How CUSO-VSO made their final decisions, only they know. However, although it wasn’t necessary for every posting, I strongly suspect that language skills played a significant roll in paring up Anouk and me. I am a native Spanish speaker and her’s is very, very good. While Anouk, is a native French speaker and mine is pretty good. We won’t be needing our French language skills, but none-the-less, I suspect that it played a roll in our paring.

I want to draw something to your attention with regard to navigating the photo galleries. You may have selected an image and seen that a larger version opens. However, you may not have noticed that it isn’t necessary to close each photograph before opening the next one. After selecting anyone of the images and viewing the larger version, hover your mouse over either side of the photo (except the first and last photos, which don’t have an arrow because the images don’t wrap) and an arrow will appear. Simply navigate using those arrows and soon you’ll stop cursing me.

Next time you hear from me I’ll bring you up to date with my first impressions of La Paz, my living accommodations, food, stuff like that. For now I’ll leave you with a vantage point view of a small part of the city with snow-capped Mount Illimani at 6,462 m in the distance.


New York City


Having grown up on a steady diet of New York City crime shows, it would be easy to fall for the stereotypical image of a city to be feared and avoided. However, even my own home town of Toronto has its share of sensational news stories and the truth is that the actual events are few and far between. We all cry and laugh regardless of where we happen to hang our hats. Seeing past the headlines to the faces of our neighbours may at times, not be easy, but the effort can pay off in unexpected ways.

I was recently invited to New York City by Birad Rajaram Yajnik, to photograph a presentation, at the United Nations, of his Limited Edition book MKG published by Visual Quest Books. The book is dedicated to the early life of Mahatma Gandhi, and was presented to commemorate International Day of Non-Violence.

On my down time, I took the opportunity of this visit to wander New York’s mythical streets and acquaint myself with many of the place names I’d only ever seen on TV and movies, or read of in books. I knew it would be overwhelming, and I won’t be the last to say that a few days in the Big Apple doesn’t even come close to scratching the surface of such an icon. The smile on my face could be likened to a little kid in a candy store. No fear here, just shear enjoyment and an aching to return very soon.