After 11-months in South East Asia, I am back in Toronto, Canada. For those who haven’t been following along with the Developing Nations Project, here you can read the full story of how the project got it’s start.
To sum it up, after the first two months of my SE Asia journey, I was left feeling like I wanted to add more value and meaning to my travel. The idea came about to make portraits, print and distribute them to people who may have never had the opportunity or resources to have self-portraits before.
I recently spent 4-days on a remote island in Papua, Indonesia called Raja Ampat. I went there for the world renowned scuba diving (supposedly the number one spot in the world for scuba diving due to the biodiversity).
The catch is the price, but there are some moments while traveling on a budget that you simply need to blow the bank and splurge. When I will be in Papua, Indonesia again, near one of (if not, THE) best diving spots in the world? Who knows, and who knows how it will change due to human impact? Needeless to say after spending three nights on the Island and going on 5 dives I was nearly out of cash (and of course there was no ATM on this small remote island). I headed to the harbor to catch the daily 12 o’clock ferry back to the mainland only to find out it had left an hour early.
When I travel, I sometimes enjoy doing something called Couchsurfing. The long and short of it, for those who haven’t heard of the website www.couchsurfing.org, it’s “A volunteer-based worldwide network connecting travelers with members of local communities, who offer free accommodation and/or advice”.
Long story short, I was couchsurfing in Manado, Indonesia. On Sundays, my host family goes around to two local orphanages to visit the children and make contributions. I decided to tag along with them. The kids were very curious to see this foreigner (me) along side my host family. I asked if Icould take a group photo and the kids were ecstatic.
I had to leave on a ferry for Papua the following day but luckily my host volunteered to get the photos printed and deliver them for me (well for the kids really). Much thanks to Winda (my host) for all the help.