Photographer's Note

I met these charming young mothers in a village outside the city of Goma in eastern DR Congo, near the border with Rwanda. I had gone there with a representative of an NGO, possibly Save the children or maybe the Unicef (I really don't remember), who led a project for rehabilitating former child soldiers. I was to meet a teenage boy who had escaped from a militia run by the much feared warlord Laurent Nkunda (who was later arrested in Rwanda and is supposed to have been kept under house arrest for the last several years).

Unfortunately, for me, the boy was so well protected that I was not allowed to take photos showing his face, and he was told to look away every time I pointed my camera at him. Naturally all my photos of him looked ridiculous and were useless.

So when he was sitting on this bench, along with the two young women, I was more interested in them. I took two photos where they looked gloomy and indifferent, just staring at nothing, but then something happened. Probably they suddenly realized I was taking pictures of THEM, not the boy. That made them so confused and amused that they burst out laughing, or giggling, not quite knowing what to do with themselves. I am quite pleased that they are not looking into my camera. I like the spontaneity of this brief moment.

Here is a larger version.

In a workshop is another mother and a child living in the same village.

And, as the title already indicates, I wish every member of TE a Happy New Year.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11705 W: 564 N: 22496] (97572)
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