My experience in the Democratic Republic of the Congo took place at one intersection. At one corner was the Methodist Church. At two of the other corners were the Methodist Guest House and the Methodist orphanage where I painted a mural. For ten days, I walked back and forth across my intersection, painting a mural almost every hour of daylight.
However, I claimed my intersection and made the very most of it. If a lady sold dried insects outside my door, I was there to photograph those critters (but absolutely not sample any!) I talked to each souvenir merchant – in pathetic French – and had a wonderful time of it. I watched women push enormous loads of blocks atop their bicycles as young men peddled telephone minutes from a small booth at the corner.
One of the first was Amie. I liked his look and knew from the start that I wanted his portrait. Alas, Amie said no and I respected his wishes. I think he liked that. Because a few minutes later, he struck a pose that showed so much African pride. And, with a nod, he let me know that he was ready for that portrait. With one little click of the camera, our friendship was sealed. I don’t think that Amie had anything to do with the Methodist Church, but I know he came to the orphanage to help me paint my mural.
It was his mural too.
Continue on to Africa Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or back to the Portraits Home Page.