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Nepal, Photography, Travel

My wife and I have been sponsoring children via the Action Aid charity for over 30 years.  Our current sponsored child lives in the village of Dharamanger on the Nepal-India border. This is an area of Nepal that has suffered the ravages of war over the centuries and is economically extremely deprived up to this day. We planned our holiday this year to include a visit to our sponsored child. Our plan was to stay with the family in the village and that’s exactly what we did! Over the course of 3 days, we were granted a unique opportunity to meet with our sponsor child, his family and wider friends and community. To say that we were made welcome is an understatement We have seen first-hand the impact that Action Aid is having on the ground to people’s lives – not just the children. We met a young man who was destined to work in the fields and is now qualifying as a teacher. The village has several challenges and we want to be able to help. The costs of all the projects will be €25,000  Most of the fund-raising will go to a school extension and child care facilities to allow young women earn a small income in the fields. What we are planning to do is organise a walk in Glendalough. (see Maps) The main walk will be the white route which is 9 km and should take around 3 hours to complete. We can also organise a subset of that for those who cannot manage the white walk. The date for the walk is Saturday April 8th. More details will follow as we get closer. What we are looking for is participation and/or  sponsorship. Anyone wishing to participate, please contact us via the email addresses below and anyone wishing to donate can do so via iDonate on this link: https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/11362026_nepal-schools-project.html or contact me via gerry.kerr@gmail.com or trish via kerrtrish1@gmail.com Details of what the funding is to be used for is outlined in this document from ActionAid http://www.gerrykerr.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/School-Project-Nepal.pdf Thank you    Gerry & Trish

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Camera Club, Nepal, Photography, Travel
The Irish Photographic Federation (IPF) run a distinctions program with three levels – licentiate, associate and fellowship.  Over the years I’ve applied for and successfully completed the first two stages and this year applied for my fellowship.  The process involves submitting a panel of images and a statement of intent. The judging, by a distinguished panel of judges happened and I’m delighted to say that I was successful. For more information on the IPFs distinctions process, see this link http://irishphoto.ie/distinctions/ The panel, based on a village in Nepal is: Link to larger version https://goo.gl/Jy2bce

Statement of intent

After many years travelling across Asia, I was privileged to be given the opportunity to stay in a small village in Nepal earlier this year. The village of Dharamnager is 170km from Kathmandu but decades behind. Dark nights with no electricity or running water, harsh sunlight, mud & brick huts in dark shadow, extreme heat and extreme humidity made the conditions challenging. To immerse myself in the life of the village, I stayed with a family in very simple accommodation. The warmth and generosity was extraordinary and for a lot of the people, I was the first westerner they had ever seen. My goal was to capture the people and their lives as reflected in their environment, faces, character and emotions – young and old – at work and at play. My approach was to get up close with a wide angle lens and make a strong connection with the subject. I have chosen a monochrome medium to remove distractions and focus on texture and contrast. Young men were in scarce supply with most of them working in the middle east or Kathmandu. However, a certain happiness shines through, especially in the children. People had time to talk with me – no rush and no phones!
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Nepal, Photography, Travel
Kathmandu was our first destination this year and  given that we intended to travel last year, we were concerned about how much damage had been done to the city From what we’ve seen, typically, the newer part of the city is relatively intact, however, the older parts of the city have significant damage – in particular, the main Darbar Square has been devastated.
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Nepal, News, Travel
We visited Nepal this year and the highlight of the visit was a side trip  to an Action Aid project in Dharamanger, about 160km south of  Kathmandu. The village is where our sponsored child lives and it was something that we had planned  with Action Aid Ireland well in advance. It was an amazing, humbling experience and we were treated like royalty. This is a collection of images from the village and the journey down.
It was an amazing experience and we met some extraordinary people. I hope to come back to this in a later post and talk about some of the people who most impressed us.  Action Aid are doing amazing work here and deserve every support. For more information, please see http:/www.actionaid.org  
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Environmental, Ireland, Travel
This mini-project started about two years ago when I walked into a shop that I used to visit as a child in the early 1970’s. To my amazement, it had not changed one bit in the intervening 40 odd years, including the lady who worked in the shop. I grabbed my camera and took a few images. Anyway, it stated me on a path to find similar shops around the country and the collection is growing – very slowly. This shops are disappearing forever and there are very few left! From a combined Pub & shop in Athy to a little  hardware shop in Macroom with a tame Robin, and a “general store” in Roscommon selling carbolic soap, the shops, the people and their stories are  what make me want to look for more of these before they disappear. If  anyone knows of similar traditional shops still in operation, I would really appreciate a heads up
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Photography, Travel, USA
I spent a week in Washing DC recently and had an opportunity to do a small bit of sight-seeing while there. Its a very impressive city with a lot to see and do.  These are my favorites from  the trip.  They are mainly buildings and places although there are one or two people thrown into the mix. I Thought that the family visiting a grave in Arlington particularly poignant.  
 
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