Tag Archives: people

People make experiences

6/18/18

These blog posts have been a really amazing way for all of us to reflect on our experiences. And even though this blog is against one of Carol’s “blog rules”, I feel as though it is a giant part of my Backpack Journalism experience. So here it is. My perspective on the 11 other people I have gotten to know the past 4 weeks.

Our family from left to right.
Top: Brick, Matthew, John, Andrew, Tim, Zach, Jacob
Bottom: Liz, Carol, Izzy, Me, Ben

This is our group. Although not my favorite picture, I think it shows the anxiousness and awkwardness of our mini-family (before we became one).

Brick has taught me a lot about very useful life hacks, like how to use a pocket knife and about the textures of just about every food. He is also the most compassionate father and partner and every parent should talk about their kids the way he does.

Matthew is the most determined, focused and reliable person I think I’ve met at Creighton. During the first week of learning the cameras, he made it his mission to master the technique for the project (but unfortunately he has not mastered the game of “Mafia” yet). You will see some beautifully shot B-Roll from him in the final cut of the film.

John and I have found out that we are more similar than our demographics would predict. John’s intelligence and consistency has kept us focused and motivated during our travels. We would not be here without John (and his bandana), and his care for this program shows through everything (especially every meditation he leads us through).

Andrew is going to be everyone’s favorite doctor. I have enjoyed hearing Andrew’s chuckle throughout the program and his compassion for people has inspired me during our travels.

Tim is the coolest person for any inspiring artist to look up to. Tim has shown a vulnerability and bravery to us that I will take with me forever. He is the life of the party and some of my favorite memories of the trip include nights when he was the narrator for the game “Mafia”.

Zach could possibly be stuck in the body of an opinionated 50-year old, but he also has the most attentive and absorbent brain I have ever witnessed. Think of the most random fact that you know, and I would bet money that Zach already knew it.

Jacob’s quick wit and dry humor has been very appreciated. He is very thoughtful, reflective and pensive and is able to take any of the jokes anyone throws at him about being from Northern Iowa. I also noticed him reading “The Myth of Sisyphus”, for fun. So, enough said.

Liz is Creighton’s absolute gem. I am not the only one who thinks this. Everyone that knows Liz, knows how compassionate, enthusiastic and down-to-Earth she is. I have really appreciated her making me play hacky sack, watching the smile she puts on little kid’s faces and the random questions she asks (that she genuinely wants to know the answer to).

Carol, by default, has turned into the “mom” on the trip. But she is the coolest “mom” I have ever met. Carol makes everyone she talks to feel like the most important person in the world and she has the most admirable way with people. I’m grateful for our bus chats and for her bubbly “Good morning!” every day.

Izzy is an absolute rock star. She makes me proud to be an empowered woman. She is a story-teller, a writer, an advocate, a horrible riddle teller, a wise soul, and above all, an amazing friend. She is going to be doing huge things for the women walking this planet, and I couldn’t be prouder.

Ben is the most present and focused person I have met. We had a few close calls with losing him in Kampala but he connected with every single person we met. He is relatable, open with everyone, has the most contagious laugh and I’m so happy that he is my friend.

Well, if you haven’t eaten any cheese today, there’s your fix. I am a firm believer that people make experiences. I am grateful that this experience included these people.

That’s What Makes You Beautiful

I don’t know if it’s the mass amount of photography terms and techniques that have been thrown my way in the past few days, or the fact that this is my second visit to the developing world that gives me a different perspective, but everything about what I see creates beautiful pictures.

As we drove through all the small towns, I couldn’t help but notice all of the raw and organic beauty around me. I promise I’m not just using those terms to sound all fancy and sophisticated, it’s a whole different kind of beauty. Something about looking at people who live in a culture that has yet to be slapped in the face with the concept of “ideal” body image and lack an emphasis on physical appearance, catches my eye. I feel like no American person would look as intriguing just sitting on a motor bike, or standing on the side of the road as the people here do. Not to mention, there is no such thing as an American taking a minute to just sit or stand in a public place like that. And if they do, they’re usually seen as crazy people, not potential works of art.

Children waving to the bus as we drove by

Speaking of catching my eye, I make a lot of split second eye contact with the people as we drive by. And for that one moment, I forget about where I am and how different our circumstances may be. For that one moment, we’re just two people, two humans exchanging a look, wondering about who the other person is. It gets overwhelming to visit all of these places packed with people because I constantly see faces and immediately wonder where their life is going, what they do with their time, what motivates them to keep living a life so vastly different than my own.

People are everywhere. And when I say everywhere I mean everywhere. Sitting outside houses, stores, on the side of the road, on top of trucks, riding bikes, everywhere. Even in the middle of nowhere (and by that I mean along the miles and miles of rainforest) you will always see men on bikes, women carrying fruit, even young children walking alone.

On a lighter, less deep and philosophical note:

I highly enjoyed our eleven hour bus ride to Lira. No, seriously (excluding that chunk where we moved about 100 ft. in half an hour trying to leave Kampala, good times). It was almost like a dysfunctional family road trip, only rather than visiting the Grand Canyon, we drove across the Nile River with baboons chasing after our bus as we tossed bananas out the window for them (True story, I know I can barely believe it too). All that was missing were some quality family sing-a longs. Next time, guys.

Keep on keepin’ on,

Gabby

The closer you look at something, the more complex it seems to be.” –Vint Cerf

We are all bozos on the same bus, so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.” –Wavy Gravy (Yes, I just quoted a clown. More proof I lack the ability to actually be fancy and sophisticated.)