So, I haven’t been picking up my camera as much this time around as when we lived here the last time. I’m talking about my “real camera”, not my phone. I have been doing a lot of thinking about why that is in the past few months and thought that I might share a bit of that pondering with you. And my hope in doing so is to get you all to keep me a little more accountable to share our world through my lens.
So first off is the fact that I do now have an IPhone and it really does have a pretty great camera. It’s easy. It’s always with me. And thus, it is really easy for me to talk myself out of bringing my big camera along. But I am going to try to be better.
I enjoy photography a lot, and there is still SO MUCH to learn. I feel that I am at a point now that I know enough about photography to make me really frustrated with what I don’t yet know. Being a 9 on the enneagram and a recovering perfectionist, it’s hard for me at times to push through those kinds of barriers. I’d much prefer to stick to something that I am already pretty good at, thank you very much. A growing edge for me for sure. So, I’m trying to push through. Practice, practice, practice. And remind myself it doesn’t need to be perfect.
Then there is this fact that we are in such a different stage of life as a family now being back in Ecuador. When we were here before, we had these little babies that we would just throw into a car seat and drag them around with us all over the country. To meetings, to tag along with visiting mission teams, road trips – whatever. They were extremely portable. Now we find our lives dictated by pick ups and drop offs and a school calendar, which inevitably means that we travel for work as a family much less often. So, if Chris is traveling, it means that I am at home and not along for the ride and capturing new places or documenting ministry work that we are involved in.
And then there is this reality that I am still wrestling with of what it means to share a story. I want to share the story of our family and the ministry we have been called to here. However, I realize that our story is not just ours. It is wrapped up and twisted together with the stories of so many others and I am working through what that means and what it means to share parts of our story that don’t just belong to us. I want to be conscientious and thoughtful. I want to share in a way that gives people dignity. I don’t want to glorify the poverty and challenges that are faced by many here, but I also don’t want to gloss over hard truths. And I am still very much working through that and the responsibility that I hold in this situation. I think these tensions may never be fully worked out, but I want to be aware of them; to continue to hold them in front of my face.
And in this season in which we are trying to put down roots and settle in this new place, I feel myself wanting to feel more at home and less like a blonde haired tourist whenever I pull my camera out.
So that is a bit of where I am at in this journey. This journey of photography, this journey of making a home and life here, this journey of pushing through bad habits and unhealthy default modes, this journey of finding my voice – be it with words or through a lens.
I have challenged myself to try and take at least one picture with my real camera everyday in this year. I am already failing miserably. But hopefully, over time, I will get better. My hope is to do a post at the end of every month of photos with brief captions. I am sure that some months the post will be full of beautiful places in this amazing country and the people that we work with and pictures that capture some of essence of the work that God is doing through the Covenant Church of Ecuador. And other months you might just see a lot of my kids and life that goes on within the four walls of our home – the beauty within our daily that often revolves around answering emails and homework and doing the dishes. The hope is that through it all, you will come to know life here, our family and the ministry we have been called to a little better.
at home. New Year’s Eve::
on a hike near Papallacta::
hiking the Chaquiñan::
Santo Domingo, IPEE camp ::