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Author Topic: I didn't leave you!
EJ Loves Takashi
Master Rewinder
Member # 7767

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I am sorry for some of the confusion I have caused in my absence. I did not leave any of you or this great website for any other reason other than work. So here is the story in a nutshell!

I was offered an opportunity to travel with some great companies to do a photo project in Africa. I spent a very, very long time traveling and learning a great deal of things about not only amazing people, but about survival, cultures, and unfortunately devastation in many forms. When I was first offered the opportunity to be part of this project, my stipulations were I would not leave my daughter for the time they wanted to be gone. In an odd twist, they offered for me to not only bring her along, but they would provide care for her while I was shooting. An offer I could not pass up.

I received a great deal of knowledge and respect for people I spent only mere hours with. I also got a chance to grow even closer with my daughter, and watch her mature from a spoiled toddler into a caring and giving little girl.

I have been criticized by family and friends for my choices, especially for taking my daughter with me, and even simply for the fact of going. I understood the dangers are not only disease, but of man made dangers we could possibly encounter. I assure you, she was never once put in harms way, and I did spend some time away from her so she could stay where she was always safe with her nanny. A defining moment for me as I had mentioned in an earlier post, I watched my daughter blossom while we were away. As many parents understand how heart warming it is to watch your child be so selfless and to share with other children. It was the moment she handed another child, who had nothing, one of her only possessions she had along on the trip, and then again watching her place her blankie she has had since birth over a cold mother laying on the ground. It was hard for me to let go of something so special, but the overwhelming pride I had in her act, made me richer than any blankie could ever bring me. I knew in that moment, I was a good mom. And I had made the right choices in life for her.

It will take some months for the stories to be written by the writers, the video crews to edit their film, and for me to edit my photos. As soon as I know when the special will be on air, and the stories and pictures published, I will let you all know.

I also hurt some friends by my quick and unexplained absence. In my rush, I did not take care of some things that should have. And I am deeply sorry. I thought my methods were justifiable, but did not work according to plan.

I am sorry to anyone who worried, but I assure you, I am ok! A better person after my trip actually.

I look forward to sharing with you some of my images as soon as I get a release to share them. Unfortunately I do not own my own images since the way my contract was drafted. But I will have all rights to them once the companies release their stories.

I missed you, and hope some of you enjoyed the posts my brother made in my absence! Once again..I do not own or ride a Harley!

PS....How about them AVS!!!

Posts: 155 | From: Today Indiana....probably tomorrow too actually! | Registered: Feb 2009 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sir Sammy Hain Esq.
667 - The Neighbor Of The Beast
Member # 3150

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Sounds like that was an amazing adventure an opportunity you couldn't pass up. Glad to see you and your daughter returned back to us safely and that the two of you could share that time together.

Now I just have to get over my jealousy [Wink]

BTW which part of Africa did you go to?

Missed you and hope to see you posting again here soon on a regular basis.

Posts: 4742 | From: Cell Block 6 | Registered: Aug 2004 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stitch Groover
Rewind Groover
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Sounds like your daughter is going to grow to be an amazing person.
Posts: 3839 | From: Wangaratta, Vic, Australia | Registered: Jun 2004 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
EJ Loves Takashi
Master Rewinder
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I hope she does Stitch. She has the heart, I just hope she doesn't lose sight of it when she becomes a teen! haha

Sammy, we traveled a lot. Looking back at my journal this is where we went:

Flew into Kenya and took a bus into Nairobi, and then bussed to Uganda into the village of Bujugwa. We then headed into very a very devastated area where the Pygmy people live. It was here my daughter shared her belongings.

We then went back to Kenya and took a smaller plane to Roodepoort and stayed a few days in the larger cities.

That was the last time we were near electricity not from our generators for a long time.

We headed into South Africa and began our amazing journey. We met with the San tribe, Ndebele tribe, and Malanbe tribe.

We rounded out the end of our large group trip heading back north and heading into Malowi, Chikwawa, Villa de Senna, Mungan Mteme, Alfandega, and Bonga.

We then parted ways leaving almost all our group behind except for 4 of us, not including my daughter, and headed into The DR of the Congo. I was asked before leaving to cut my hair, and dress as closely resembling a man as I could. It was here we obtained some disturbing images caught on tape and with my camera. It was not my first time in the the DR of the Congo, but it was my first in the heart of the raging conflicts. I witnessed first hand what the Congolese women endure there. I was not a victim, but Malaki, a mother of three was killed at sundown right outside our camp. Our trip was then deemed too hostile and we cut our documentary short and headed back to our group.

Sammy, the landscape there is absolutely breathtaking. If only the conditions could be as serene as the land.

Posts: 155 | From: Today Indiana....probably tomorrow too actually! | Registered: Feb 2009 | Site Updates: 0  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Logan 5
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Modern weapons, corruption in government, civil war, and all of it in places with strong tribal backgrounds. There are some parts of Africa were I find myself wondering if full occupation by the UN might not be the best thing. Not that it's really possible.

At least your daughter will understand how lucky she is, something most of us find it a little too easy to forget.

[PS: The Harley denials are clearly a ruse. We all know you're a biker!]

Posts: 3383 | From: England | Registered: May 2003 | Site Updates: 21  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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