a few of my favorite things


when i came back from my first trip to africa 9 years ago, everyone asked me what my favorite part was. while i’m a ginormous animal lover and i had done a safari through the serengeti, my answer was always ‘the kids’. people were always surprised. they’d always say, ‘but wasn’t it just so sad, all those starving, sick children?’

here’s the thing… i certainly encountered a lot of children that were malnourished and drinking unsuitable water, and maybe that was why i was eager to go back to africa with ‘water for people’ in order to help them. of course i saw some ‘sad’ situations, but the children of east africa have a spirit that i have yet to encounter anywhere else in the world.

this little girl had a terrible water source that she was drinking from. a hole in the ground where runoff from the farm up the hill would drain to. her distended belly was evidence of malnutrition and poor water, but she had a sweet little smile that could melt your heart.

when i start to think that things are hard for me, i remember this little girl and how she would smile at me despite her seemingly bleak situation and her strength makes me adjust
my perspective.







the last time i was in africa i had not been professionally trained as a photographer and i didn’t feel right photographing the people around me. this past trip to uganda, that is all i wanted to do. i wanted to capture their spirit and their strength and their beauty so i could share with everyone what i’ve felt all these years for the people, and especially the children, of east africa.

  • May 28, 2009 - 1:55 pm

    cat147 - seems like there are few things as special as a smiling child.

    excellent work, once again.ReplyCancel

  • December 14, 2009 - 5:23 am

    David Mielcarek - Love this post and these shots! Fantastic work, Michelle and congrats on making the dream come true!ReplyCancel

  • December 14, 2009 - 4:10 pm

    michelle arlotta - thanks david…i’m happy people enjoy these images :o)ReplyCancel

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