Africa: through his eyes

So, my husband went to Africa. You probably saw me whining about it on Twitter or something, lol. But, he’s back in one piece, and I’m so glad he got to go. I spent a semester in West Africa a couple of years ago, and I talk about my time there at least on a weekly basis… probably more often. It was an amazing experience where I learned that there is real freedom in living very simply. Sure, life is hard there. Poverty is real… disease is real… hunger is real. And yet, there are things that the people of West Africa taught me about community, simplicity, hard work and joy that I will never forget.

It was bittersweet that Lee was leaving for two reasons: 1) we’d only been married for 3 weeks, and 2) I wasn’t getting to go and be with him as he experienced Africa for the first time. I kept expecting something to happen that would allow me to go, but God had different plans. So, Lee was charged with strict instructions both to journal frequently and to take pictures so that I would get a better glimpse of what he experienced. I sent him with my first camera, a Canon Rebel xti and a 50mm lens. I told him he had a quota of 50-100 photos a day (which would have been no challenge at all for me, but would be quite something for him:) I had the same camera and lens during my stay in Africa back in the beginning of 2008. Yet, at that time I shot completely in Automatic. I didn’t know what I was doing… I just knew I loved to shoot photos and I tried really hard to get good ones. Lee is brand new to photography, and I am SO proud of him. He tried to shoot in manual quite often. He played around with the settings, and his engineer mind thought about how the ISO, aperture and shutter speed worked together to make the image he was capturing. So he brought back his memory cards and offered them to me. I imported them into Lightroom and we looked at them as he told stories. And then today, I took those photos, selected some of my favorites, and massaged them in Lightroom and Photoshop.

The children below are orphans whose parents have died from AIDS. The lady you see teaching them is an amazing Godly woman who pours out her life loving, teaching, and encouraging these children.

There is something about the next photo that I just loved. It’s probably her. I love my friend Michelle.

Haha love this. The Americans furiously snap their photos and the lion just lies there like… whatever…

I’m not sure what Allie is doing here… but it is awesome.

This snap out the window of a soccer game came out pretty cool after tweaked.

Are these karate kids not the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

I love the expressions found in this next photo. What priceless children..

Is this not so iconic? And do you see the pig?

Love these faces.

In addition to some great shots, my darling husband thought that it should probably be his mission to present me with a whole album-full of photos of stray cats. Yep. Mm hmm. And sometimes the occasional rooster.

So, here is a montage of things I am not surprised at all that my husband took photos of: a stray cat, Matt’s bloody elbow, an awesome portrait of the Obamas, roosters, random cow skulls, a lion pooping, an awesome ride.

And, for the team, here are a few shots as memories from your trip!

In case you are interested, the organization that my friends served with is Life in Abundance. They are one of the most amazing missions organizations out there, as they are all about empowering the local churches in Africa to take care of the widows and orphans, to do justice, and minister to their communities. God is using them in wonderful ways.

Want your own beautiful photos? I love Contact Jessica!


Michelle Weaver I love the pictures Jess! Thank you for posting these…all these pics brought back memories from the trip! Love you friend!

Laina Lagomarcino These are great. Glad to see my brother didn’t change too much. Love the stray cats and pooping lion, a close second to ferrets.

Carolyn Thank you for sharing these with me. I can just smell Africa. I think those sounds and scents and feelings stay with a person forever.

Malik Great Job Jessica & Nice Pics Lee!!!

alicia fierro just amazing…. thank you so much for sharing. and hey, lee’s not half bad! 😉

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