Even though my summer has been scattered location-wise, I have been able to work regularly on editing the suitcases, and have been able to upload a good number of them to the Willard Suitcases site. Click on “The Cases” to see the latest. Theresa F was admitted to Willard on 3 April 1935.
It might be a good time to mention a couple of upcoming events where I will be talking about the project. In early October I will be traveling to Galveston to speak at NAMIFEST 2016. NAMI is a national organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families dealing with issues of mental illness. I’ll be speaking at the dinner event on Friday (the 7th). If you have been following the project and live in the Gulf Coast area, please think about attending.
The following week, I will be speaking at a very interesting event in Raleigh, NC. The “Lives on the Hill” project is being organized by the North Carolina Health News folks, and will be highlighting the shuttered Dix Hospital property in downtown Raleigh. I will be speaking at the Sunday (the 16th) event taking place at the Student Center on the NC State Campus. There will also be an exhibit of the photographs up for the entire month of October. I’ll update about the location once those details are finalized.
It is very exciting to be involved in both of these events, and I am really looking forward to being a part of them.
Since my last post, I have been busy shooting, and just got back from 5 days in Achham District (more on that later). I didn’t have my computer with me out there, and as we just got back late last night, I am only now getting to an update.
I am really grateful to the folks at World Education Nepal who connected me with a wonderful organization called Pouraki who are doing work with Nepali women who have been exploited and abused as workers in foreign countries. I spent some time on Thursday photographing at the shelter for women who have managed to return to Nepal after suffering serious abuse abroad. Most of these women arrive at the Kathmandu airport late at night with nothing more that a small carry-on, and many of them have only temporary travel documents. This woman did manage to still have her passport, but not much else. Pourakhi have people meeting these late flights who screen for women who are in an obvious state of distress. They are then taken to the shelter where they receive attention relating to their physical and mental health.
In addition, once they are settled, the women are given vocational training which helps them get back on their feet and eventually return to their families, if that is possible. Because of the nature of the shelter, and the stigma that is attached to this issue, I can’t publish faces of any of the women, but the shelter is totally amazing and I am so grateful to have been made to feel so welcome.
After the shelter, Shanti Thapa Magar who works for World Ed took me to a temporary housing camp in the Chuchepati area of Kathmandu. It is basically a tent city in the middle of a large open area. Pourakhi is running SEEP classes for the residents. The Self Employment Education Program helps those who have been displaced by the recent earthquake. We dropped in on a math class, and this fellow was really happy to have a bit of an audience.
Here’s the class, who were nice enough to take a break and come out for a group shot.
After we left the SEEP class, Shanti took me around the camp and introduced me to several residents.
I was amazing how open people are in the camp.
People were curious about seeing me walking around with a camera, but were so nice to chat with.
Here is Dhalak Kumari Dotel with her grandchild, standing outside of her family’s tent.
And here they are inside where they live with her son and daughter-in-law.
Here is Shova Khadka sitting outside of her tent working with wool. / A vast number of Nepalis lived in villages that were more or less destroyed in the earthquake, and many of them are now living in these temporary camps in Kathmandu. The day after I shot these photos, I went to another camp in a different part of town. I hope to get a post up about that visit by Friday. Tomorrow, Shanti and I and another World Education staffer are off to Sindhupalchowk to photograph an area where over 95% of the houses were destroyed by the quake.
Cris starts work tomorrow, so today was a day to walk around a bit. The earthquake damage is very obvious with piles of brick everywhere and scaffolding around many buildings.
These shots are all from around Durbar Square.
Cris would gasp just about every time we turned a corner in this part of Kathmandu. She came here first in 1979 as a Peace Corps volunteer, has subsequently come back to work in Nepal on a regular basis, and is really familiar with the city. It is really shocking to see the devastation.
As we were walking back to the hotel I started noticing pictures of Hindu gods that were about 3 feet off the ground and which were spread out about every five yards along a huge brick wall. They are evocative in the odd way that things that attract my attention are. I began taking pictures of them when I saw this next guy, who looked much more contemporary than the rest.
These next two are Krishna.
He is almost always depicted with a cow and a flute.
And often a milkmaid.
This sign was higher up on the wall and Cris was looking at it and smiling as I walked past her. It is amazing to come to a place like Nepal with someone who speaks and reads the language. It basically says, don’t piss or shit on the wall. Which is why the images of the gods are placed just about the height at which a man’s stream would fall. It seems a pretty effective deterrent.
The issue of public defecation is something that the current government has begun to work on (for obvious reasons).
We like Ganesh as he is the remover of obstacles and the patron of the arts and sciences. For some reason, we have always associated him with travel, which is something we do quite often. Finally, here is Hanuman, the monkey god.
Thanks for following. We are a bit sketchy on Hindu lore, so please pardon me if I have gotten anything wrong about the gods.
I don’t post about food very often, but I feel like doing so today.
This weekend marks the start of the English Premiership season, and Peter and I follow our respective teams (Manchester United and Fulham) faithfully. We texted back and forth yesterday during the Fulham and United wins. He has an amazing mind for the game and when I asked him about Darren Bent, who is new to Fulham, this is what I got as a response.
So anyway, it is a lot of fun for us. Pete doesn’t eat a lot of the stuff that I like, but he likes to live vicariously through me. For the past few weeks he has been telling me that I need to have the “full English” sometime this weekend. So I cooked one up this morning and it was one of the best. I’m not too bothered about not having mushrooms, but everything else is there, including the fried bread, and the English Heinz beans. If figure I’ll be OK if I limit myself to two or three of these a year.
My favorite soap is Pears. I have used it for the last 25 or so years. Some time ago the company was bought by Unilever and the original formula was changed. I noticed a difference as did most other users. (Here’s a link to an amusing piece in the Guardian.) I was bummed, but have gotten used to the new smell and feel. Yesterday I was cleaning out my bathroom cabinets and came across this soap dish way in the back on a shelf. When I opened it I was happy to find a bar of the original Pears that had been abandoned well before the change. / It’s the little things, I guess, that sometimes can make life a bit brighter.
I was at Yale in November speaking to Jessica Helfand’s class about the suitcase project. I had done it last year and it was a great experience again this time. At lunch Jessica introduced me to Joanna Radin who teaches in the Med School and she mentioned that some of Dr. Harvey Cushing’s artifacts were in a small office in the library and offered to take me to see them. Last year I visited the Cushing Center to see the brain collection and I was excited to learn more about him.
Cushing was an incredible diarist and photographer. His entire life is documented to a degree that is almost incomprehensible. The above volumes contain his World War 1 journals and correspondence.
The correspondence during this period gives a fascinating view into the minutia of a wartime surgeon. Volume after volume of military records. This guy saved everything!
I only had a short amount of time and could have spent weeks photographing the collection. I wonder who the “Southern gentleman” referred to was. Clearly someone who wasn’t much liked by his peers.
A big thank you to the folks at the School of Medicine Library for giving me access to these materials. They have a great website set up where it is possible to view some of the collections that have been digitized. Check it out.
I am drinking one as I write this. It seems kind of silly as it is the essence of simplicity to make a hot toddy, but here’s what I usually do. (I am making two here since even if you are not sick it will really hit the spot. Cristine loves them.) Three main ingredients. A thick slice of lemon, a big teaspoon of honey, and some amber liquid (I usually use a fairly cheap blended Canadian whiskey, but others use rum or scotch, or well, just about anything. I would welcome suggestions for alternatives for those of you who don’t use alcohol.)
Put the lemon, honey and alcohol into a big mug. I like these glass ones. Boil some water and add. Stir until the honey is dissolved and everything is well mixed.
You can see from the mug on the left that I left the pips in the lemon slices. They add a certain rusticness (is that a word?). / The main reason I am posting this is that I did get several responses from the previous post. But leamuse’s comment sealed the deal. “The Mistral is blowing here in The Mediterranean so let’s have the recipe!” How could I resist?