February 24, 2012

Best Toy Ever

There is a magical connection between a child and a camera. Cameras, like a smile, break all language barriers.

While traveling in Laos, my friend Casey and I decided that a 5 day treck/2 day kayak trip sounded like fun. The first day, after backpacking for many hours, we made it to the first little village and had time to chill out while the family prepared chicken stew (this is a whole other story that will be told at some point...)

A group of neighborhood children were poking around, checking us out but trying to pretend they weren't. I was writing in my journal and a couple of girls were very interested in watching me write. I then tried to draw pictures like trees, birds, dogs, houses, etc. They would tell me the name of the object in their native language and I would say it in English. Well, if you have ever seen me draw, I can pretty much draw a tree, a bird, a dog, and a house. That is it. And even those barely resemble the actual object.

So drawing brought in a crowd of kids but couldn't keep them so out came the camera. They LOVED it. Here are a few shots:

The kids in Loas wouldn't take the pictures themselves, but they got the greatest kick out of us taking pictures of them and then looking at the photo on the camera screen. They would giggle and giggle. We did this for hours while our chicken was getting slaughtered, plucked, and cooked--sorry, different story.

The magic of the camera appeared again this weekend while visiting Honey's sister and our neices in Hilton Head. During an extremely long wait for a table at a restaurant, we were all getting hungry and cranky. So I pulled out the camera and our 4 year old neice went crazy. She very likely could end up a famous photographer...we'll see in 20 years! 

Here are some of her photos--they have a "face between fingers" theme to them:

You gotta love things that make kids smile.

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