Tag Archives: travel

one boy and his dog…

Normally the kids here (especially in the village) start to pose and mug as soon as they see i have a camera…this kid instead was seriously nonchalant, which made for a good photo i think…

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Beautiful graphic for a meals project at a small village school:

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Seriously decorated auto-rickshaw (below), the price from Buddawaram to Gannavaram (about 5km) has gone up by one rupee, it now costs 6 rupees (6p) for a shared ride (and they pack a LOT of people into these tiny vehicles), or you can pay 50 rupees (around 60p) to have it to yourself…i usually take the shared option…

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flying and the humidity of other climes…

Time for a change of scene…am flying to India to work on art labs i run for children and young people there. See here to check out the previous years work. Am happy to be going, Edinburgh is dark, rainy and freezing and my stubborn refusal to waste what precious little money i had on something as mundane as a heating bill means staying at home would involve one longgggg, colddddd winter!

good views flying over London

…airline food, i know i shouldn’t but i kind of like it…:

lamb saag for dinner…

masala uttapam for breakfast…

Am going to near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, which involves a flight from Edinburgh to London, then London to Hyderabad and then a small propeller plane (JET, as sadly my usual Kingfisher flight has gone under…hope the beer still exists!) from Hyderabad to the tiny tin pot airport of Vijayawada.

Normally i arrive to a blistering heat that hits you like a wave, but this time i left in the rain and arrive in the rain…but to tropical rain, we just caught the tail end on some typhoon and humidity is around 100%…nice…my hair is just loving that…Flooding is not nice in rural India…it brings up all sorts of nasty stuff to the surface…literally…and me with flip flops and a pair of trainers…to be continued…

celebrations and headless priests…

…Early morning start, it takes us 40 minutes to get to the cultural centre in Moravia where our workshops are based…

School kids from the barrio celebrating…who knows what, and don’t ask me about the headless priest…apparently its a relatively common iconography here…to be investigated further…

Meanwhile inside we try to thrash out our programme and try to work out how we can keep the kids and the equipment safe in an area which although much improved is still highly problematic…The cultural centre is very well equipped with a lot of security and even then things go missing, we have been told to keep our belongings with us at all times. The situations of the girls we will work with are complex. For example we had hoped that eventually they could have taken home some of the video cameras for some overnight assignments, but this is apparently impossible as they live in very crowded situations sharing with many people so there is no way they can guarantee the safety of the cameras…but this is all part of the process and we are trying to find ways around this…

The cultural centre of Moravia is incredibly used by the community, it is a cacophony of sounds and music, kids everywhere, dance and music, babies, mums, noise NOISE NOISE!!!

The city keeps crawling on up the surrounding hills, all illegal builds…apparently up there it is still pretty dangerous.

Money is funny…am hugely confused by the currency situation  here…50,000 Colombia pesos comes to 20 Euros…yikes. You don’t take money out of a cash machine on the street, its not safe…but you can do it inside a mall…but you should walk around for a bit inside and never go straight out after withdrawal…

first impressions of Medellin…

Random first thoughts and images…

(urban intervention by Fredy Serna)

Did not expect to be stared at so much…

(unexpected – had some requested portraits…this is Cielo’s mum – she has 9 other children)

People are incredible warm and friendly

(Colombian coffee is weak but tasty)

My accent is freaking them out in – not only do i speak Spanish with a Scottish accent, but i also pronounce things the Spanish way as opposed to the South American way…in other words i sound WEIRD…

(Moravia – where the workshops will take place)

Colour and music is EVERYWHERE

(Moravia)

Measures of security (ie gates, guards, locks…) are very evident

(oops…)

(there are fiestas and the school kids are dressing up)


the journey…

Am in Medelin!! Lord of the rings style journey to get here…24 hours in all:

Just to leave Biella was hard, they cancelled my train…Then a delightful overnight stay in Linate airport to catch the red eye to Paris. In Paris airport they exploded an unattended bag using a robot…they did not tell us they were doing so…they just stopped us walking around for a bit…needless to say we were somewhat traumatised by the LOUD, unexplained explosion…Then an 11 hour flight to Bogota…

(gratuitous shots of airline food)

…then you have to pick up all your baggage, put it through customs, re-check in amid chaos and a LOT of people…and then finally you can board your final flight to Medellin…


The flight between Bogota and Medellin is wonderful, you see the the mountainous fertile landscape of Colombia all the way…

(leaving behind the urban sprawl of bogota)

I land exhausted and disorientated…i ate may dinner at 9 am for god’s sake!!! I finally come out of arrivals and no one is there to meet me…i have a minor internal freak out as i realise that A. i don’t know where i am going, B. If i did l know i wouldn’t know how to actually get there, C. Neither my Italian nor British cells work in Colombia and D. i have no Colombian pesos to use a public phone…arghhhhh

A nearby guard takes pity on me (thank god i can speak Spanish) and gives me coins to use the phone and shows me how to use the phone (i am too stupid from sleep deprivation to work this out) RESULT! my friend is waiting for me at the airport, he is just at a different part. He turns up and the guard who helped me glares at him unimpressed..!We drive through hairpin bends for 40 minutes to reach the basin of Medellin, sunset and home for the next few weeks…