This piece is less than one minute in the lives of two young boys from the Daasanach Community of the Lower Omo Valley of Ethiopia. While waiting for the sun to reappear we decided to document the children having fun, and the boys took as much pleasure in doing so as the girls. Two by two sat down and performed for the lens without direction, a surprise from one set to another.
People sat behind me to the left watching, and also beyond these two boys going about their chores. As fast as the boys sat up two others took their places. The village itself is separated from the general Ethiopian population by a small river, and has the feeling of another world. When we arrived on the other side we sat down at the local eatery, and noticed around us some tourists with their guides and locals attempting to make a living from the same industry.
The contemporary world has taken its toll in this corner of the world, as alcohol flowed quite easily throughout the afternoon. The supply of labor outpaces that of the demand, and people do what they can in order to support their families. We were offered translation skills, as well as manual labor with the equipment. When we needed the help we certainly accepted the offers, as was the case with this community since the language was an issue for our small team.
My time with this specific village marked my sickest day in Ethiopia, and prevented me from truly documenting these most beautiful people. Getting across the narrow river was very difficult for me, and on our way back it was necessary to stop for a few minutes at the bottom of the climb to gather my senses, preventing me from fainting actually.
While very little time was spent here, less than three hours actually, the images made are incomparable and have given me a glimmer of hope for my next visit. Plans are already being made with South Expedition in order to fully document this community as well as three others, and bring a sense of accomplishment that is at this time lacking.
Halim Ina Photography