Saturday, December 1, 2012

Los pájaros también se van de compras!

Hasta me saludo y todo!!!
Este semestre, con los estudios, trabajos, reuniones, y demás he tenido muy poco tiempo para salir a sacar fotos!  Tengo muchas ganas de ir a buscar un lugar nuevo y pasarme todo el día ahí con la cámara, pero no me dan los horarios! :(  En una semana me voy a Uruguay a pasar las fiestas y llevo mi querida cámara, así que van a poder ver un poquito de mi hermoso paisito cuando vuelva!  Pero como para eso falta todavia, les quería mostrar unas del otro día que salieron buenas.

Se que tengo muchisimas (demasiadas.. jaja) fotos de pájaros... pero es que estas me gustan por que salieron de la nada.  Estaba en el estacionamiento de un supermercado en San Francisco... miré por la ventana... y ahí cerquita cerquita estaban estos pajaritos!  No pude resistir la tentación, saque la cámara y me pase unos 10 minutos con los bichitos estos.  El señor del auto de al lado se reía... jajaja  Aparentemente, los pájaros también se van de compras!

This semester, with school, work, meetings and everything else, I have had almost no time to shoot!  I want to find a new place, and spend a whole day with the camera there just snapping away... but my schedule does not let me! :(  I will be traveling to Uruguay for the holidays in a week with my dear camera, so you will be able to see a little bit of my beautiful country when I get back!  But since that´s in a little while, I wanted to show you some that I shot the other day that came out pretty good.

I know I have a lot of bird pictures (too many...jaja), but I like these ones because they were taken pretty spontaneously.  I was in the parking lot of a grocery store in San Francisco... I look through the window... and there, really close, where these little guys!  I could not resist the temptation, took out the camera and spent 10 minutes with them.  The man parked next to me laughed... jajaj Apparently birds go shopping, too!

El onductor del carrito....

....Y el pasajero.

Hay gente que dice que tengo lindo perfil..

Esta en realidad no la saqué en el estacionamiento, pero la tenía que incluir... tenía solo una pata!!!!!!!!

- Magda

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kisses from Katie

So, it has been a looong time!  School and work have been keeping pretty busy, but I found something that I just had to share with you!

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace  (1 Peter 4:10).

Yesterday was a rainy, cold day in the Bay, so in between errands I went to Barnes and Nobles to just look around and see if I could find anything interesting for the Winter break.  That´s when I found Katie Davis´ book, Kisses from Katie.  The cover shows a young woman, with a bunch of little children around her.  Immediately I was reminded of my trip to Uganda last May!  I read the back, and indeed it was about Uganda!

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother  (1 John 4:19-21).
 Katie Davis' story is inspiring to say the least.  After spending three weeks in Uganda doing ministry work with her mother during her senior year in high school, she fell in love with the country and felt that God was calling her to go back.  Thus, once she graduated from high school she took a year off and returned to Uganda to work for 10 months as a kindergarten teacher.  She was not a teacher, she did not have any family and few friends in Uganda, yet she knew that this was what God wanted for her.  Within those 10 months she begun a non-profit organization, Amazima Ministries International, forged life long friendships, established herself, and adopted little girls!

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18).

 Katie now lives in Uganda, does INCREDIBLE work for the people there - feeds children, helps women earn an income through the selling of hand-made necklases, helps to run a school, teaches the word of God to her community, cures the sick, attends to the needs of anyone and everyone that knocks on her door and is a full time mother of 13!  And she is 24 years old!

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gelatians 6:10).

Her story is truly inspiring and I STRONGLY recommend that everyone hear her! 
Here are some links to do so... (really, I am not kidding, this girl is a saint!!)
  • Interview and details of her story - This one is a bit long, but so worth it! She describes a day in her life, the kinds of people she helps who just drop by at her house, and the story of how she got to where she is now. 
  • Katie's Blog - It goes all the way back to 2007 when she went back to Uganda after graduating from high school!  Warning: crying and/or excessive urges to travel to Uganda may occur as a result of reading this.
  • Amazima - This is the foundation she started.  Here you can purchase the necklaces that the women make, learn more about what she does to help the people of Uganda and donate for her to continue her work!  They also have a YouTube channel showing what projects they have accomplished and currently doing, and personal stories.
  • Kisses from Katie - If you are interested in reading her story, her book just came out!  I am going to purchase a copy myself. 

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? (James 2:14-17). 
I hope you enjoy Katie's story and the work that she is doing as much as I have!  Sometimes when I hear of these sorts of stories - of individuals who do incredible things in far off places, that change people's lives and dedicate their own to loving others - I feel a bit powerless.  There is so much need, and sometimes we think that there is so little that we can do.  Although not everyone can move to Uganda, adopt young orphans, and give up their comfortable and stable lives to help the less fortunate - we can pray for her.  We can pray for Katie, her family, and those who work with her, that God will give them the strength and power to continue their work providing their community with their basic needs, education, and to continue to bring to them the Good News. 

- Magda

Note: this is usually where I post my photographs, but I did not take any of these.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Una mañana por la feria

Por suerte este semestre empiezo las clases todos los días a las 11!  Así que tengo la mañana libre para despertarme bien, hacer algún deber que me quede, estar al santo pedo, o... sascar fotos! :)
Por donde vivo jueves es día de feria, así que después de un desayuno rico en un hermoso parque lleno de patitos, me fui a la feria!

Acá van algunas... :)

La fruta MÁS RICA del planeta tierra!

Culitos de Zanahoria!

Lindisimas las florcitas.. las mujeres del puesto me miraban... yo les sonrreía nomás y seguía sacando fotos.. :)

Tenía ganas de traerme un poco de lechuga y ir probando cada botellita jajaj

Chiquititos y deliciosos!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

De azul con flores blancas

Algunas fotitos de mis modelos más prácticos y baratos.
Obvio que también son los mejores... :)

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I ate grasshoppers in Uganda!!!

Yes, I ate grasshoppers... or better said, encenene!

Si!!! Comí saltamontes!!!  O mejor dicho... encenene!

Yummy, yummy!  Here are the little bugs!  With eyes, legs and everything!

Que rico!  Los comimos enteritos enteritos... con ojos, alas, patas y todo!

A few of the brave souls...these are the evidence pictures!

Las chicas valientes... y la evidencia de que si se los comieron!

Ready, set, gooo!!  The last pictures is poor evidence... that grasshopper went all the way down my throat!
Prontos.. listos.. yaaa!!!!  Estas si que son pura evidencia... en la tercer foto, ese saltamontes me lo comi todito!

Our faithful chaser.. Redd´s!  It tasted like apple beer... like cider, but alcoholic. So good!  And such a good helper when you started to feel the little grasshopper legs with your tongue in your mouth!

Nuestro fiel ayudante... Redd´s!  Era tipo cerveza de manzana... como cidra pero con alcohol.  Riquisima!  Y que bien que nos vino cuando empezabamos a sentir las patitas de los saltamontes con la lengua en la boca!

To be honest, and just to the poor bugs, they were actually not bad at all.  They tasted like chicken... but crispy... and with legs... and eyes.  The texture was.. a bit like soft plastic, or paper, very crunchy.  I wouldn´t eat a whole plate of them, like Father Kizito almost did, but I would not mind having them again!

Bueno en realidad, y para ser justa con los pobres bichitos, no eran nada feos.  Tenian gusto a pollo.. pero más crujientes... con patitias... y ojitos.  La textura... un poco como comer plastico blandito, o papel.  No voy a decir que me comería un plato entero de saltamontes, como casí hizo Father Kizito, pero si los comería de nuevo si algún días se me da la oportunidad!

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Children of Lake Wamala

           On one of the days we visited a small village by a lake called Wamala.  There we found these children and immediately began to play around with them and take pictures and laugh.  We gave them some stickers; but they didn´t know what they were.  To better explain their function we stuck them on their arms to show them that they could be used as decoration.  They laughed and laughed at this funny first-world toy and I realized that there is absolutely no point to stickers. So I laughed too :).  But our idea worked, and before we knew it they had stickers on the cheeks, arms, foreheads, ears.  And all along they just laughed and laughed.  In the whole two weeks we were in Uganda, the children of Lake Wamala were the most impoverished that I saw... and here come these westerners to visit their village.  Westerners who have money and are supposed to give aid.  Unfortunately, at that time all we had were stickers, but stickers were not going to improve their situation.  Yet they did not seem to care that these white women were giving them something completely useless and foreign to them.  They were still smiling and laughing and so happy to see us.  And I hope that if you look at the photographs carefully, I hope that you can see their innocence and that they can bring you a sense of peace and joy, as they did with me.

        Un día fuimos a visitar un pequeño pueblito en las orillas del lago Wamala.  Ahí nos encontramos con estos niños y comenzamos a jugar, sacar fotos y a reírnos con ellos.  De regalo les dimos unos pegotines que teníamos, pero no sabían lo que eran. Entonces, para explicarles para qué servían, se los pegamos a los brazos para que vieran que podían servir como decoración.  Se rieron al darse cuenta de la función de ese juguete raro del primer mundo... y yo me di cuenta de que los pegotines no sirven para mucho, y me reí también :) Pero nuestra idea de pegárselos al cuerpo funcionó, y pronto los niños tenían pegotines por los cachetes, la frente, los brazos, las orejas.  ¡Cómo se rieron! ¡Y cómo nos hicieron reir!  En las dos semanas que estuve en Uganda no vi pobreza tan impactante como la de este pueblo.  No tenian más que lo que se ve en las fotos. Y ahí fuimos a parar nosotras, del primer mundo, privilegiadas porque tenemos agua limpia, comida, zapatos, ropa... con la obligación de ayudarlos y aliviar la probreza en la que viven. Lamentablemente, lo único que les trajimos fueron pegotines; invento sin propósito alguno que les tuvimos que explicar para qué los podían usar.  Pero a ellos no les importó.   Ellos igual estaban contentos de recibirnos, alegres, sonrrientes y tan inocentes.  Espero que las fotos puedan reflejar por lo menos un poquito de esa paz tan linda que me hicieron sentir los niños del lago Wamala.

Enseñaras a volar, pero no volarán tu vuelo.  Enseñaras a soñar, pero no soñaran tus sueños.  Enseñaras a vivir, pero no vivirén tu vida.  Sin embargo, en cada vuelo, en cada vida, en cada sueño, perdurará siempre la huella del camino enseñado.

- Madre Teresa de Calcuta

No tenemos en nuestras manos las soluciones para los problemas del mundo. Pero frente a los problemas del mundo, tenemos nuestras manos.
- Mamerto Menapace

 I did not tell her to pose.. I pointed the camera towards her and she immediately put her hands together and looked up at me... the only reason I didn´t start crying right there in front of her was because I was afraid of scaring her.

No le dije que pose. Puse la camara en su dirección y inmediatamente juntó sus manitos y me miró... la única razón por la cual no me puse a llorar ahí enfrente de ella fue porque no quería asustarla.

Es Navidad cada vez que sonríes a un hermano y tiendes la mano.  Es Navidad cada vez que estás en silencio para escuchar al otro.  Es Navidad cada vez que no aceptas aquellos pincipios que destierran a los oprimidos al margen de la sociedad.  Es Navidad cada vez que esperas con aquellos que desesperan en la pobreza física y espiritual.  Es Navidad cada vez que reconoces con humildad tus límites y tu debilidad. Es Navidad cada vez que permites al Señor renacer para darlo a los demás.
Madre Teresa de Calcuta

Dios prefiere nuestra fidelidad en las cosas pequeñas que nos encomienda, mucho más que el ardor por las grandes que no dependen de nosotros. 
- San Francisco de Sales

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Final reflection: The beginning

I could spend hours and hours photographing these children and seeing them smile and laugh like this!!
Photo taken by LeeAnn
            We left Uganda, spent an incredible and unforgettable 20 hours in London and have been in the US for a few days now.  I am still incapable of comprehending the magnitude and impact of this trip.  So much happened!  I guess I will see the results of it later down the road when in retrospect I see how this trip has changed me.  What I do know, however, is that I will not keep my arms crossed.  I want to do more for Uganda, for the people and the children and for all of those we met that were so welcoming and kind and in need of our help.  That is why I say that this trip was just the beginning.  I do not want to stop here, and I do not think that the group does either.  We have already been talking amongst us about other projects that we can do in the future, garbage bins, and definitely more water filters, the possibilities and needs are endless, and our motivation just as much.  Our personal financial resources may not cause dramatic changes in the lives of so many Ugandans in need, but I know that with our communities, friends and families we can do so much good!  We have the capability to make another positive change in Uganda, and I will not let that opportunity go by.  I do not think I could live with myself knowing that I met so many people that need my help, and that I could help, and not do anything about it.  They deserve a better life, clean water, shelter, clothing, a good diet and income, and I believe it is my duty, as someone lucky enough to have these luxuries, to help them obtain these basic needs. 

Oh how they liked the camera... :)
Photo taken by Brittany
            This trip has not only inspired in me a desire to help, but it has also forced me to question myself, by beliefs and actions, in ways I had never done before.  It has helped me to understand why I do the things I do and if I should continue with them or not.  There is still a lot I have to reflect on and figure out. 

The last day... these two little girls almost made me cry.  I will post about them separately, they were truly incredible, I didn´t want to leave them!!!!
            The pictures… will they come out as the portraits of poor, suffering children and just remain as memories from a journey?  Or will they actually have an impact on the people that see them and inspire them to help?  I hope they do. 
            And what about everyone I met?  How will they be now?  I keep on thinking about everyone we met, looking at the watch, adding 10 hours and trying to imagine what they are doing at this exact moment.  Their lives will continue and so will mine… but will they ever cross again?  We met so many wonderful, wonderful people… will I ever see them again??  Will they be okay??  Will their situations improve, or get worse?  I will pray for them.

At the seminary we visited with one of the students.  We played basketball with the boys, talked about music, hobbies... so fun! 

The students, teachers and nun at a school we visited.  We had so much fun with them! They put music and we all started dancing and laughing... I will create a separate post about them! :)
            Before Africa I knew of the poverty that existed, the situation of the children, men and women living there and the struggles they faced.  Most people now that, but we subconsciously chose not to think about it, put it far in the back of our minds and continue with our lives. But now that I have seen it, and met those people, the memories of will never disappear and I do not think it will be very easy to put it to the side like before.  I don´t want to.  That is why Uganda has changed me, and helped to become a different person than the one that stepped out of the little yellow staircase of the plain in the Entebbe airport.  I know it sounds corny and the phrase has been used a million times, but it is true.  I cannot say how exactly, I do not want to say that it has made me a better person, one with a wider view of the world, that it has opened my eyes to another reality, that it has made me more grateful for what I have and inspired me to help others… because although all that is true…  This trip was so much more than that!  Saying that those were the results does not do it justice, and does not even come close to the reality of it all.  I am humbled, and grateful for the opportunity that I had.  I would never, in a million years, have imagined myself in UGANDA.  There are no more words that I can say about this trip.  Anything I say about it will come short of what I am feeling.  Yet, I hope that I am able to turn all of this, these feelings and confusion, into aid that will help Uganda, and try to give back a little of what it gave me.

On the boat trip at Murchison Falls.  Some are missing, but I could not have asked for a better group of individuals to share this experience with!
Photo taken by Brittany

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 7: The book of the Jungle

                                                                                                                    23 May 2012
            Ladies and gentlemen, I am writing sitting on a little boat in the middle of the NILE RIVER!  Yep, the Nile.  Today we did the safari and now we are in little boats that took us to Murchison Falls.  I am speechless.  The peace of this river, the PERFECT weather, no one drop of cold and a beautiful refreshing breeze.  This is just incredible.
            The river is pretty wide, although for some reason I thought it was wider, I thought you would not be able to see the other side, but you clearly can. 

Among hippos, birds and fishermen
            I cannot believe I am here.  Here, in the same river where the Bible says that Moses was found, the longest river in the world, and probably the most known too, the one we learned about in primary school and saw in the atlases and never even imagined or dreamed of seeing in person….simply because, not only this, but the entire trip is beyond even my dreams.  When I stop to think that doing a safari in Africa is the dream of so many people, part of their bucket list, and here I am… having done it already!  During my first year of college, two days away from my 20th birthday, of entering another decade…. I’m getting goose bumps. 
            We saw SO many animals today, I tried to remember all of them, but I don’t think I got all of them… here is my best try:
Water buffalos – so many of them!! They were everywhere, and birds apparently love to just sit on them and chill and ride along!


Go to the Facebook page and watch the sequence of these buddies... pretty amazing how they  coexist.
Lions – Yep, TWO!  And one… eating a water buffalo!!

Pumbas!!! – They even sneaked into the hotel lawn!
Giraffes – Fr. Kizito’s favorite animal… by far.  Every time we saw one he would scream as if it was the first time, “Look! A giraffe! That’s my favorite animal!”

Las elegantes
Elephants – So, so wonderful! And Also friends with the birds!

Oribi- The models of the jungle… they posed for the pictures… I am not kidding, look!

The jungle´s Next Top Models!
The bird from the Ugandan flag – One of the most beautiful birds I have EVER seen!

Such beautiful birds!
Eran hermosos!
African Bald Eagles- which the tour guide enjoyed calling Bold eagle..  

Monkeys- there were not that many but we just saw some on our way to the falls, hanging on some trees and some other ones on the street!!
Hippopotamuses – SO much bigger than I had imagined!  If I had to chose to be one animal, a hippo would be the last.  They don’t do anything!  They just sit there, with a smile on their faces because of the natural way their mouth curves up and just stay there.   In a school of hippos, (or a group, I forget the name of it for hippos) there is always one loner.  The loner is the brave one, the one that fights with others and wins.  He is all scratched up and looks like he is suffering all alone, isolated from the group and bloody looking…. But apparently that´s “cool” in hippopotamus world.
But as the guide told us, apparently hippos are not the only ones that include loners.  The giraffes, once they are old, also leave and just wander off by themselves.

Agarrate Catalina!
Crocodiles: The scariest ones!  Why?  Well apart from the fact that they have huge teeth that could rip one of us apart in seconds and that they do not mind showing for 10 minutes straight and intimidating scales, they are so quick!  I could barely get a picture of them because they would either be hiding or, when they went to get in the water they would do it too fast!

I see you!
Te veo!
Whispering Acacia – a plant that ants live on and giraffes like to eat.
Quails – so beautiful but unfortunately too quick for my camera.
Waterbucks- very pretty little animals... they liked to hang out with the Ugandan birds.

….and more that I don´t remember…

                One of the best parts however, was the lion.  At the beginning it was far away from us, eating the waterbuck that it had killed.  But then, after about 20 minutes, it walked towards the road… and crossed it!!!!  It was behind us and I could not take a picture.. but it was crazy!!!!  The lion was crossing the street behind us!!! 
El paisaje... como para no querer ser un animal y vivir acá...
                I have no words to describe how beautiful this place is… the plants, the trees, the animals… it´s like living in a zoo!  And I mean that literally.  We were having lunch today and all of a sudden… pumbas on the lawn!  Yep, they were just walking along… AND we heard from the hotel people that the day before we arrived they found an elephant in the pool!  That one… is less believable, but I believe it anyways, it makes everything more fun. J
There are A LOT of really awesome pictures of the Safari, the boat trip on the Nile and the hotel on Facebook! Check them out!
Hay muchas más fotos del Safari, del hotel y del paseo por el Nilo en Facebook! Que lasdisfrtuen! J