I'm less inclined to do anything and everything to go to The Congo and the Central African Republic.
Financially, I am unlikely to make any money. Coupled with the possibility of dying an agonizing death from an ungodly disease, for now, Africa will remain on my To Do list. If I wanted to take part in a project in Africa that wasn't going to make money, I would do something much safer, like cage diving with Great Whites or pay Chris Fallows to take me out to photograph breaching Great Whites. FYI - those two adventures are on my bucket list.
In the past month I've begun losing weight and I'm exercising so I feel better. The old foot injury has cleared up, at least until the next cortisone shot, but the hip I fractured ten-twelve years ago has been acting up. So much so that I made an appoint with the Ortho doctor. I have degenerative bone disease so I jumping rope, running on asphalt, and other high impact exercise is out and walking for months on end, as in walking the length of Thailand, is unlikely.
The Mekong River Expedition
A few months ago I started thinking of travelling down the Mekong River. It's lively, runs through six countries, there are fantastic photographic opportunities, and with China and Laos building dams, the river is changing.
Here's the rough breakdown of the trip
Trip 1 - Fly to Laos, tentatively to Huay Xai, and find ways down the river. Make my way to Phnom Penh, then fly back to Thailand.
Departure date - August 26
Trip 2 - Fly to Northern Thailand, take the Mekong into Laos, down to Southern Vietnam, then circle back up to the Tonle Sap Basin.
Departure date - December 17 or January 6, 2015
Trip 3 - Fly to Tibet to scout the possibilities of taking the river down through China.
May 6, 2015
Trip 4 - Fly to Tibet (or as far north as allowed) and take the Mekong all the way to the Tonle Sap Basin.
September 1, 2015
The Story of Bang - Part 2
If you have been following this site or my YouTube channel, you are aware of my Klongtoey slum project and my interaction with Baang, a seventy-nine year old disabled man. Unable to walk, Baang spends every day in a tiny, ramshackle apartment owned by his son.
In the below clip, I bring Baang and his girlfriend Ooy some food. Ooy proceeds to show me how Baang is unable to straighten his legs and the amount of pain he suffers is quite apparent. At times, he is unaware what is going on around him and he is childlike. Other times he is irritable and wants to be left alone.
In addition to bringing Baang some groceries every so often, one thing I am working on doing is getting him a replacement national identity card and hopefully, get him seen by a doctor who can alleviate his pain.
In the months I have been photographing the Klongtoey slums, I have seen at least three people in the same condition as Baang. While there are numerous organizations in the area catering to impoverished children, I have found none that assist the elderly. If anyone reading this post knows of any, please get in touch with me as soon as possible.