I discovered new Nepal

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Keela Sweeney
USA
Photography Program
21 May-4 June, 2012

 

My first week in Nepal was more than I could have imagined. By deciding to volunteer as a photojournalist, I was able to experience various events. For instance, on my first day, I had the opportunity to take pictures at a rally. With my mentor, Ram, we rode his motorcycle through the crowd until we found a good place to park and run! Running to the front of the crowd with my camera around my neck and book bag on my back made me feel like a real reporter, a serious adrenaline rush.  After making our way to the front of the rally, we took many shots of the hundreds of people, all protesting for their rights. I began to think: I came to Nepal at the perfect time. With the constitution supposedly being finished in nearly seven days, protests were everywhere and for the first time in my life, politics actually affected me firsthand. As a reporter here, I needed to know what was going on in the political world. It was exciting

Ram showed me how to shoot my photos in manual mode and admittedly the first day of photos were not exactly good, however after a few days I really got the hang of it. As an intern, I had to find a topic to do my own photo feature on. After much deliberation, I chose to take a closer look at the food industry, particularly meat. I took photos everyday on my outings of the meat markets, the livestock, and even took a secret investigative trip to the slaughterhouse. I zoomed in on the problems here in the city with the lack of sanitation regarding meat products. I was proud of my work as an intern, and was certainly learning a lot, but I wanted to make an impact on others through my trip to Kathmandu.

I plan to show my photo feature to many more people when I get home. Also I want to expand on my project. This leads me to my current perplexities “how can I take what I have learned and done in Nepal and transform it into something that helps others?” Nepal was a fantastic adventure for me and I am so thankful that I ventured out of my own backdoor and discovered something entirely new and beautiful, Nepal.