A gaggle of children surrounding a couple of big white mzungus who are pointing cameras and microphones at the neighbours is pretty par for the course on trips like this. You get used to it, you understand it but it doesn’t stop it being really annoying sometimes! It’s not their interest; it’s the noise and heads peeping into shots.
Today, as I took a picture of Ben and Anna working, I became aware of eyes on me and looked to my left. Stood there, aside from the rest of the group, was a young girl in a green t shirt with inquisitive eyes. She looked at the screen and said “it’s beautiful”. Following the normal routine of things, I asked her if she wanted to have her picture taken. She quickly shook her head.
Five minutes later I felt a tap. “Please can I take a picture of you?” Afterwards she said “it’s hard”. “No”, I said, “you’ve done well”. A conversation followed about how much an iPhone cost and whether she might have her own one day. Then she asked me to explain what Ben’s light reflector did. I explained that it puts sunlight where there is none and demonstrated. The eyes widened considerably. Then, as I continued talking she noticed that Ben was filming, taking my earlier lead she put her finger to her lips and told me ‘shh’.
She asked if she could carry Ben’s tripod and light reflector to the car and we grabbed a quick snap of ourselves. As I got in the car she ran round and told me sternly, “you have not hugged me”. We hugged, said goodbye and had a quick conversation about her school. We told her that we hoped she got a job in TV one day. She laughed at us. But I think there could be something in it.