Ironic really that our first assignment at college was autumnal photos! With my whirlwind week at work I haven't managed to get around to blogging about Tuesday's college session... it was nerve wracking but I was also looking forward to sharing my shots and looking at others. We split into groups so some of us could play with the studio lighting and other share their work etc.... at one point I was well positioned in the studio for others to take photos and play with lights AND I could see the photo sharing. Some really good work, my favourite was a young GCSE student's, she has a good eye for what will make a good image. I am pleased to say that my tutor and class mates appreciated my photographs, I was very nervous about being told they were a bit pants! Although I liked them myself, so many people have different tastes.
I am understanding more and more now about aperture, shutter speeds, ISO etc and unsurprisingly, more kit has made it onto my wish list... although this time it is a not so expensive reflector thingymejig!
We didn't get any sort of homework this week... didn't stop me going wild in Portsmouth though! (see earlier blog post!)
I've been wanting to blog about both of my children with some pictures but am quite indecisive on the images... not helped at all about the amount I have taken this weekend with the beautiful weather! So instead I wanted to talk to you about my Mum.... I haven't taken an awful lot of pictures of my Mum but she is currently in Uganda in her element, doing what she does best, helping those who really need it.
|Taken by me at Mum's Fundraiser for Wakisa this year.|
I think she is bordering on crazy for having four children... but hey if she didn't I wouldn't be here seeing as I am number 4. On a personal level, Mum is in fact a rock, no matter what myself and my sisters have been through over the years, she has been there without fail, without complaint and without hesitation. She has set me in good stead being a Mum myself, I respect and love her immensely.
All this aside, for the last 7 years my Mum has been going out to Uganda to volunteer. Mum started with a 3 month stint at Sanyu Babies Home, makes me smile and want to cry all at once recounting the stories Mum shared with us on her time there. After a couple of times at the orphanage over the years, Mum decided to focus her time at Wakisa Pregnancy Crisis Centre, which is where she is now as I type. I'll tell you a little of background of the Centre.... it is run by an inspiring lady called Vivian who was a Nurse. Vivian was actually in the UK this year and came and met us all... again heart wrenching stories and smiles were shared all at once. Abortion is illegal in Uganda, however women and more to the point girls are raped so often, soldiers, family members, gangs. Vivian as a nurse watched a young girl die from septicaemia contracted from a back-street abortion. Vivian set up the centre to help these girls that are so in despair. There is a lot more to the story but this is the short version!
The girls that come to the centre are cast out as second class citizens for being unmarried and pregnant, bearing in mind some of the girls can be as young as 12 year old and had this forced upon them, they don't know anyway out of their situation. The centre, counsels the girls, teaches them how to look after themselves and their unborn babies, they learn trades and are sponsored back into education. You can find out more about Wakisa, here is the August 2011 Newsletter:
Each year I do what I can to help raise Money for Wakisa and the girls for when Mum goes over. From filling smartie tubes with £1 coins, fundraiser days, collecting donated maternity clothes for the girls. My son and I even did a car boot (he added his own toys in) to raise money. It has got to the point now where the "pull" for me to go to Uganda with Mum is beyond belief, I trained as a Doula back in 2007 and although I didn't do it for long (it didn't fit in well with my young family at the time) I still constantly have a draw to pregnancy and support around that. Going to Uganda would be life changing for me, I want nothing more than to be able to give my time and whatever I could to help even just one girl out there if I could, to be self-less and humble. I am planning to do so in the next 12-24months.
This lovely image wasn't taken by me, however I wanted to share it with you all. This is from Mum's 2009 trip (I think!) to Uganda. The girls often ask Vivian to name their babies, it's a tradition in Uganda to do this in different forms, eg ask someone who has helped with delivery or a relative etc. On this occasion the girl handed her bundle to Mum and Vivian explained that she wanted her to name the baby. Meet little Hannah!!!
There is so much more I could write about the work Mum does in Uganda but I have already been sat at my Mac for long enough... if you ever want to find out more then please do ask, they will welcome any help, from fundraising, donations to even sponsoring a girl to go to college.
That's the long and short of it... My Mum inspires me... she is an inspiration and I love her and aspire to one day have my daughter saying a similar thing about me... I once told my Mum that if my feelings towards her were replicated in feelings from my own daughter to me..... I'd be very proud of myself and have learnt from the best :)
On that note, I must go reply to her email.
My Beautiful Mum on my wedding day
Photograph by the amazing Mr Beedle www.matthewbeedle.com