Photography! Finally.

Dakar Travel Blog

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Today was somewhat uneventful, but sweet nonetheless. He had our first class with Ken. Ken Martin is just a cute, balding, old man who loves to share his knowledge on the vast array of topics shelved in his mind, photography being one of them.

In the morning, we sat in a nice air conditioned room at Suffolk University's local satellite campus. Ken gave us his history, where he's from (Massachusetts), what he studied (a history major; a graduate of New England School of Photography), and what he does now (freelance work; adjuct faculty at Suffolk). He also explained the importance of photo agencies and how they work, including his story of how he helped initiate one in New York some years ago.

Our first exercise was to go out and meet a stranger. Get at least one, up to three, portrait shots of them. Get their name and what they do. I walked to a fruit stand nearby and nervously started conversation with the woman selling mangos and bananas. Caroline, as she called herself, let me take her picture on the condition I give her a copy. I told her I could in a couple of days. I hope the printer at Suffolk has enough ink.

Back in class, Ken showed us some photo agency catalogs online. He searched 'Senegal' to find pictures of the most recent events here (the government symbolically burning drugs, the Chinese giving local farmers tractors, and Laura Bush's brief visit). We even some shots credited to Candance Feit. Whoo! We know her!

After school, I headed downtown with three other girls who said they wanted to get some shopping done. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get some souvenir/gift purchases out of the way. But, alas, the trip was three of us following the fourth, absent-minded one through streets as we helped her search for a bag she wanted. The thing is, I wanted to help her find it. She was just being annoyingly undecisive. I'd ask her what type of bag she was looking for, what direction we should head in, if she wanted to stop at a stall. The best response I got was, "I dunno..." and then a change of subject, such as a complaint of how tired she was. Why do people complain if they wanted to come in the first place? Ugh.

We headed back home, and I had wasted my time and a money on two taxi fares.

Afterward, we headed back to Natalie's home to check it out. I was insanely jealous. Her homestay family live in a mansion. Tile covered the floors and walls (which equals clean and dirt-free!!), her bed had a matress, and she had a modern bathroom (flushing toliet, shower stall, etc.). I swear, I'm going to get home and cry at the sight of my mom turning on the faucet to my sink.


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