Pami and I went to highschool together about 15 years ago. She doesn't remember this but she may have saved my butt in chemistry class with a few late-night studying sessions that may or may not have included a bag full of cheetos, angry flash card reviews and a temper tantrum (or three).
Pami attended Biola University, studied nursing and thrived in Southern California. Through a series of events, she made her way back to Antipolo, Rizal and is currently the (temporary) director of a birthing clinic called Shalom. The long road that brought her back to the Philippines is only one hand-crafted and intuitively designed--a journey that she is smack-dab in the middle of. She works 12+ hour days and administrates, serves, teaches, coordinates, collaborates, delivers, nurses, nurtures and saves...
On this morning we woke up before the sun and I colored her face and did her hair and found a few nice things in her closet and went out to a place where bamboo stalks were glazed with warm morning sunbeams. Ants worked, birds sang, crickets strummed and the hum of a southeast asian jungle was alive and strong.
We hiked through the blanket of humid air a bit. Finding a rickety bridge and a few off-the-beaten-path spots, I took her bags and asked her to breathe.
I spent about an hour with my friend and hoped SO badly that something would turn out well; that these pictures would be beautiful and she would feel beautiful.
Pami rocked the whole darn thing. She carried herself with such poise…(Grin) Don’t get me wrong. It was work to get there. Some of the stuff we attempted were ridiculous and we caught ourselves giggling and wondering what we were doing out in the middle of nowhere with a half-constructed trail. Sweat dripped off my nose while I perched myself on a fallen tree with leaves the size of dinner platters. I tried not to think of the ants with fangs drooling over my foot that dangled above them. I shot and directed and just wanted to love my friend.
Fast forward to last week when I sat working in the air-conditioned comfort of my Arizona apartment wrapping up a few edits from our time in the jungle—thousands of miles away. My moonbeams were her sunbeams and as I was writing, my quick email slowed and some thankful thoughts from deep places surprised me. The session was so much more than a editorial project for my portfolio. Here was this precious lady who shared a few pieces of her worn but obedient heart looking ever radiant in a place that is not always comfortable but a place that she chooses to love and pour herself into. And I was so thankful for her. For being able to see a sliver of the life she lives and people she loves and leads and her heart and spirit that is surrendering. daily.
here are a few highlights...