Aug 11

More Than Just a Charity Case

by Ava Kendrick

Ever since I was little, I've had the mental image of Africa as a crying little child, sitting naked in a dusty street, their stomach enlarged with hunger. As I've gotten older, a lion and a giraffe have been added into the background, and maybe another child or two. Up until just a few weeks ago, even though I knew that this wasn't all there was, this was Africa.

When I traveled to Rwanda this past month, I was amazed by the color and vibrance I saw around us. Even as the plane landed, the landscape was sparkling with the mental rooves dotting the leafy greenery covering the hillsides. The people were what really amazed me, however. I became captivated with how their serious faces could crinkle up into the most beautiful smiles I had ever seen. From the more well-off children in their school uniforms to the old women in the countrysides to people of all ages balancing unimaginable loads on their heads, these people completely shattered that mental stereotype that I had. 

Now, I'm not saying that this place has no problems. Quite the opposite, actually. I just wan to give a face to these people, because they are more than a stereotype that needs a white person's pity. I have collected a series of images from my photos that highlight the people I encountered along my journey. This trip was about the people, and I would like to share with you what little piece of them I can.
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