So yes I have had a little bit of free time which allowed me to play with this new photo software, but hey, I have been busy around work and the community. It is slow, but at work I am starting to transmit that we do need some kind of organizational process before we just apply for grants. It seems that people I work with right now are very eager to start a new project with youth, but they don't know what exactly, they just know that they need funding. This can lead to some frustrations for me, because I have to repeatedly explain, "yes, this is great that these grants exist, but we need to actually sit down and think of ideas for projects in our community." It is tough, but I think that people at work are realizing that they need to settle down, and take some steps backwards to analyze our situation as an organization and a community.
Right now we are looking for projects in our community that will focus on youth, particularly youth in about 9th-12th year of school. I think it will be awesome once we throw some ideas around. We are currently discussing other projects that have worked for other small villages, and have finished formulating a questionnaire for the youth today. I personally have a strong interest in teaching children photography. I think getting together some of the less fortunate children of my village and putting cameras in their hands would be amazing. Ideally I would like to have meetings with them to talk about how to use cameras, meet to discuss what photos they enjoyed, and so on. It would be an awesome way for kids in this village to express themselves. Our main goal right now is to find and develop after school activities. Children in this village are not involved in much, and typically go home after school. Right now the majority of children (and adults) are indifferent to community activities and community involvement. It is vital for us, as an institution in the community, to harness their interests so we can begin to change the mentality that "community involvement is useless." It should be a very interesting adventure.
Anyway, that's what's going on in my world. In the mean time enjoy these pictures I took, and then rendered to make look cooler or worse, you can decide.