28 August, 2008

What a mess.

Recently, a friend and I were discussing a trip to Guatemala in 1995. We didn't know each other, but ended up meeting while both of us were in a Spanish language school.
We were both of the "super cheap" method of travel. Stay anywhere, anytime, anyhow, anything to prolong our trip. I lasted a little over a month, my friend a bit longer, and others we met I'm not sure ever came back.
I was somewhat new to photography, fumbling along with my little Leica, and trying not to mess things up too bad. I found this photo which made me laugh. Well, laugh and cringe.
Quite the look I had going here. "Hey, I'm American!"

Now, as you will see, I'm standing on a basketball court, and you will also notice I am at least a foot taller than anyone else on the court. I was dominating! Those girls had never seen mad skills before. Everything was working, my fade shot, my jumper, and under the basket I could have won defensive player of the year.
Okay, it was totally unfair, but it was a moment of glory in terms of my basketball history.

On a serious note, this trip was life-changing. It really was. It was an exploratory mission, in both physical and mental terms. I made mistakes, I took chances, I spend countless hours on buses, walking, eating the dust and smells of the nation and began to understand what photography meant to me. I made dear friends, I ran from gunfire, stayed out after curfew and even managed to learn a little Spanish. And, most importantly, I learned about life in Guatemala and learned about one of the most impressive cultures I have ever encountered.

Fortunately, that hat is gone. So is the Leica, that one anyway, something I should have NEVER sold. A photo from that trip hangs not only on the wall behind me, but also in another living room here in California, and yet another in Arizona. The memories will be with me forever.

I just realized something after taking a closer look at the photo. First, I'm wearing several shirts, and second, it appears as if I'm carrying a bunch of stuff IN my shirt. Not sure what that is about.


Anonymous said...

nice look there sparky...hey put some time cards in

sister said...

Hey Danno! Trac's sis here! Is that a basketball where your left shoulder should be or are you just happy to see me? Love your blog; makes me laugh - thanks! DH