There’s a common responsible travel saying “leave only footprints, take only photographs”, but actually leaving photos can also prompt some precious experiences, as Emily Hogan discovered in Nepal…
“In the back streets of Kathmandu, a thin, weathered, elderly lady sits on the side of the road with a handful of newly-picked flowers to thread and sell to passers by. She is but one of many selling the same thing to the same type of people, all for a few rupees at the end of the day.
I buy some flowers and ask her if I can take her picture. She speaks no English, so I show her the camera and make a gesture towards her. She sits up tall, making a stern face I had not seen before, not a smile in sight. I proceed to take her photo.
The next day I take the picture to her as a gift. She excitedly calls on her nearby sellers to come and see her. She then proceeds to set us up for another photo of her and myself. Urging for it to be brought back the next day as she lays flowers around my neck and gives a beckoning call. She is a lovely lady and very grateful for the photos, and I am also grateful for the opportunity.”
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* photo by Thai Neave – Intrepid Photography Competition