In April of this year, after moving out of my apartment with no real plan to find another home in LA, she and I were catching up on facebook. "How's Rwanda?" I asked. I didn't know what I wanted to do next, but the idea of doing some work abroad, of going off on an adventure, was appealing (actually is and will always be appealing). I had been working as a photographer for a little while, and I knew a change of scenery, culture and comfort zone would be good for me and my art.
I was thinking maybe I would apply for one of those medium-term volunteer gigs with a small stipend (that's a thing, right?). I'd take photos in my free time. And it would all take some time to fall into place. 2014 would be a good year.
Grace sent me a list of people to contact, most of which were friends who ran (incredible) NGOs. The last was a restaurant, a social enterprise run by Josh & Alissa Ruxin. I shot Alissa an email: "I'm a food photographer with a communications degree and experience writing marketing materials. I'm also a server at a great restaurant and a supervisor at a cute little cafe. Is there anything I can help you with?"
Two weeks later I booked my flights with a plan to spend the summer immersed in Heaven Restaurant's community in Kigali, Rwanda. Together, Alissa and I are rebuilding their website, which will feature many of my photos. I can't wait.
Check back each day this week for more photos and stories from my trip.