By the time this posts, I should be bouncing down a dirt road in a cramped 4X4 on my way to Chaullacocha, an Andean community located around 15,000 feet above sea level — higher than any point in the contiguous United States. I’m headed there to document another part of the weaving process for the NGO Threads of Peru.
I’m looking forward to spending three days in the Threads’ communities. It makes this whole process feel a little bit less like “parachute journalism.” It’s so important when telling stories, especially other people’s stories, to take the time to listen and observe. Something that’s increasingly difficult in the current media climate.
I’ve got some challenging hiking ahead and new people to meet but I’m excited. Even though the people of the Andes aren’t exactly the type who jostle for postion in front of the camera, I’ve really enjoyed the connections I have been able to make.
I’m reminded that connecting with people and telling great stories go hand in hand. To make new friends you need a few things; trust, honesty, and a willingness to communicate. The same goes for telling stories. If you don’t take the time to empathize with your subject, even if they’re people you’d never want to be friends with, you’re more than likely to miss something important.
I’m sure I’ll have lots of photos to share when I get back. Stay tuned.