Today, our group challenge is refugees. I drove out to the huge pasture outside of town that was turned into a FEMA trailer park in 1995. It was a bustling community of people running from disaster towards an uncertain future. I'm not certain what I expected, perhaps there would still be rows and rows of nondescript white mobile homes there. I found corn and soybeans.
On the way back to town I stopped at the Đại Thành grocery. I could capture a stranger shot of the girl behind the counter, the daughter of a refugee who made good in America. The grocery was closed for the evening.
As I drove, I contemplated this refugee challenge. I remembered helping evacuate people from the Philippines after Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991. I remembered the people we left behind. That changed me, and it is still too raw to try to depict. Perhaps I was thinking too recently. After all, Cajuns were refugees of the Great Upheaval, or Le Grand Dérangement. Their culture is all around me. Then I realized...... My grandfather was a refugee from Scotland. He came to the United States alone as a six or seven year old boy. I, myself am the product of a refugee.
I pondered this as I drove, and I decided that depicting myself as a refugee would be a disservice to all the poor, destitute and traumatized people who leave their homelands in hope of survival. Even so, I had nothing for a 365 shot or a Herrio shot today. So, as the sun began to hit the horizon, I took this image in the hope that it would depict the path of a refugee and the uncertain hope beyond the door. It is that path, and that hope and that appreciation for our fellow man that gives us our humanity.
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