Turning “What Ifs” into “So Whats”

Tomorrow is the day! We embark on our journey to Nogales, Arizona, right on the edge of the United States/Mexico border. I’m an absolute mix of emotions from “eep!” excitement to “Oh God, what have I gotten myself into” nerves.

I could probably write a lengthy narrative as to why I am excited for this experience, but I’ll keep it short and sweet for this blog post. Somewhere along my life path, I began to understand the beauty of humanity in combination with the beauty of photography. As an optimist, I have found I tend to look for the good in people, but the world in which we live today doesn’t always depict humanity this way.

This is where the nerves come in. How do I portray the migrants who pass through Nogales in a way that tells their story without losing their human element? How do I explain their hardships but maintain dignity and respect for each individual? Or other worries that have crossed my mind: What if I don’t ask the right questions? What if the camera or microphone malfunctions? What if we get back to Creighton and we don’t have enough b-roll?

While I am a worrier to my core, I won’t let the “what ifs” control my experience, but I’ll let the “so whats” take the reins. After understanding the experiences of migrants and immersing ourselves into the city of Nogales, we’ll ask ourselves, “so what do we do now?” The answer is our documentary, viewed through the lens of a Jesuit education, which will hopefully be a response to the “so what” of migration, but most certainly not the only answer.

Even though I’m going into this experience with a combination of nerves and excitement, I know this adventure will be both a challenge and an opportunity for growth. This is my first significant moment to utilize my journalism skills in the field and I’m extremely fortunate to be given this opportunity. I hope I can be a voice for the voiceless and tell the stories of migrants and people of Nogales to the best of my ability without losing their human dignity.

Arizona/Nogales Backpack Journalism Group
Here’s our film fam during our last day of pre-departure preparation, ready to film, interview, and bond. If you were ever wondering what an awkward family photo looked like if everyone met each other five days prior, here it is.


1 thought on “Turning “What Ifs” into “So Whats”

  1. Glad you arrived safely. Looking forward to your entries from the field. You’ll remember this trip, the people you’ll meet, and their stories forever.

    Vaya con Dios.

    Love, Dad.

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