Susie's First Post

Welcome to the new world.....first impression? I am a mom who goes to work everyday, comes home to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and now today I am riding on a bus into a dark soup thick mist. Surrounding me are honking busy-body vehicles that appear to have just returned from the car derby - all displaying proud colorful dents. No need for car insurance here. THIS IS what fun IS.

It is difficult to grasp the reality of the situation in the dark. The morning of our final destination will soon unleash the pure complexity of this expedition. Driving through the crooked and sometimes very narrow broken streets, I am impressed by the supreme driving skills of all those involved. The three young men riding on a motorbike together, the rickshaw full of drying fish and a stripped dead chicken and the multiple buses full of the people who make up this enchanting land.

Not a perfect enchantment by any means. I am looking ridiculous with my face pressed up against the bus window, frantically trying to take pictures of everything. I stop and wonder why I am upset that can’t seem to get a picture of the cow munching through the trash on the side of the road as if it were grazing in a green grass pasture. I take snap shots of peoples everyday life. A woman crouching down at her make shift kitchen which sits outside of her makeshift home. A child bathing in the sidewalk. Countless rows of self made businesses; some tailors, some bike repair men, some selling baked goods.

I feel that I am intruding into a privacy that I am not apart of. These people so obviously poor and with nothing seem surprisingly well adjusted and content. All seem to be busy doing something. Nothing is wasted - not even garbage. I come to the conclusion that I want to capture this moment in my camera in hopes that others can see a glimpse of what I am seeing.

As I watch the happenings outside of the bus, the awesome YMAD kids are singing at the top of their lungs. All are happy and all are full of excitement and wonder. They are being very well cared for and are doing a great job of taking care of each other.

Susie Cooper (to my dear family - I miss you and love you)