We venture away from the school a little bit to photograph the parents of the students. We find ourselves in the midst of a few parents in between two homes. We are of course treated kindly and offered tea. After a few moments we are given the chance to begin our work.
I find a nice spot for the women, and arrange a cot upon which for them to sit. The young girls want to go first and are allowed by their mothers. When the time comes for the older women, they instead choose to sit upon a plastic chair. Curious by their choice, I ask the good people from the foundation about it.
I'm told that they cannot sit upon the cot because it is for the men. This is especially true in the presence of men, and instinctual even in the absence of their husbands. They turn the cot on its side and bring out the chair for the session.
It's difficult to explain my reaction at the moment, to see women with great pride being deprived of such a choice. I am humbled by their strength and make their portraits in silence.
This experience moves me even more so to support the schools for their girls, to locate funding to keep their doors open for years to come.
Halim Ina Photography