Monday, March 29, 2010

Young Tsemay Woman, One Sunny Morning, Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia, February, 2010

We leave our rooms as the sun has yet to rise. We arrive at the village as the sun begins to show itself. We drive further up a dirt path until we see her small village, a group of homes numbering perhaps twenty.

Most visitors stop on the side of the road, make snapshots of villagers near the road and return to their sports utility vehicles on their way back perhaps to their rooms. This is so routine that groups of individuals from this tribe wait alongside the road dressed in traditional clothing with items for sale. Every time a vehicle slows down, the tribe is ready.

The day before, we went through what has become this custom.

Today however we decide to go further up the road and search for a village unvisited by the tourists. Such is this young woman's village. As we finish our photography, the elders tell me that we are the first to visit their village from the United States, perhaps from a non-African State.

We leave only after making the above portrait, first serious and then with a smile.

We are instructed to spread their story and to share their photographs with the world outside.