Day Six: "Jo Tengo Hombre" (I have men)
These two days with Accion Medica Cristiana have been amazing.
Balancing our need for video, photos, podcast audio and interviews for Offering of Letters handbook has been quite a challenge. Some of our project visits require three of these things all at once. The clicking and flash of the camera can’t happen when there’s a video camera rolling, the translation needed for a podcast radio interview is very different than that for a traditional print piece, and none of us can ever be in the background of anyone else’s shots- all of this combined with the fact that we’re an entourage of up to 10 people
In terms of video, narrowing your focus to one singular sympathetic character is of utmost importance if you hope to move an audience towards action. But if you’re 15, like Ester, and you’ve never owned a television, being in front of a camera can been overwhelming, so we’ve been scheduling our visits so folks can take us in small doses.
When traveling in Nicaragua, I’m told it’s custom that you pay for the meals and travel of your translator, driver, your crew obviously, as well as local NGO hosts. This coordination and the fact that I’ve been handling all of the cash, had one of our crew jokingly referring to me as “Hefe” (boss) today. Kimberly’s hotel in Costa Rica forgot to give her back her credit card so I’ve been covering her as well, which is why she teases me by calling me dad.
I can’t wait to see what Kimberly makes out of all of these great interviews she’s been getting. And as the only woman on the team with seven men I can only imagine how tough it has been.
We left Stew and his video crew up on the mountain last night. They woke up at 4:30am with the family and got some amazing shots of them making breakfast and doing chores before documenting Ester’s trip to school. It was at her AMC funded school that we reassembled the team and got some photos of her in class as well as some shots of the community health clinic next door.
After lunch we met back up with Kimberly and spent some time with a family that had completed an urban gardening program. With AMC training and support, a mother and daughter living next door to each other, transformed the land around their house- growing bananas, plantains, beans and some amazing fruit I’ve never seen before- not to mention putting in a grey water system that uses filtered laundry water for use in irrigation.
Stew and company were quite a hit up on the mountain last night. After an impromptu soccer match and shadow puppet show for the kids-using battery powered camera lights a screen they set up cots and hammocks with mosquito netting to make sure they were in the right place to start rolling cameras at first light. Very impressive. While making friends up on the mountain, Stew handed out powerbars to local guys while uttering his now famous phrase, “Jo tengo hombre,” which means, “I have men,” instead of “Jo tengo hambre,” which means “I have hunger.” He got a few strange looks. It was cold up on the mountain last night, but we have no doubt that he was able to keep warm, because after all, he has “Hombre…”
Brian P. Duss is the multimedia associate at Bread for the World.
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