Weekly photo challenge: Silhouette.

Having been on our annual month-long pilgrimage half way across the world to see friends and family, it would be fair to say my blogging fingers have been having a serious rest!  So I’m easing back in with a little post for this week’s silhouette photo challenge.  This is my favourite silhouette shot from my archives. In fact, a silhouette in front of silhouettes.  Bonus!

Simple pleasures

Simple pleasures

The model is a young island girl, entirely focused on her play, in the Philippines.  Malapascua seems an idyllic picture-postcard island.  And for visiting holidaymakers it is.  But life for the locals can be pretty tough once you step beyond the white sandy beaches and resorts along the tourist strip, into the heart of the island.  This little girl lived in a tin shack on the side of a beach with her elderly grandmother and two younger siblings.  No running water, no electricity, no beds.  Life stripped back to bare basics.

She was happily absorbed, playing in the shallows as the sun set.  Just watching the bottle bob and the water cascade as she repeatedly plunged and poured from a scavenged empty cola bottle tied on a length of old string.  Despite my awareness of the hidden hardships of this little girl’s daily life, I love this photo for the way it embodies her innocence, and her joy in the simplest of childhood pleasures.

Looking at it always reminds me to cherish what we have and appreciate how fortunate we are as a family to live the life we do.  We are not ‘wealthy’ in a Western sense, and I try really hard not to go too overboard with the commercialised trappings of childhood for my little girl.  But every time I think about the little girl in this photo it makes me think again about perspective and relativity.  Very humbling.

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7 thoughts on “Weekly photo challenge: Silhouette.

    1. jennylratcliffe Post author

      Thank you Patti. In many ways it was quite a life changing experience volunteering on the island for two months. Wise words aren’t always so easy to live by though are they? But I do try to keep it in mind when I get too sucked into the minutiae of modern life!

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  1. Indah Susanti

    Lovely picture! I have been to Malapascua as well but before the typhoon. I like the diving there and the island was so pretty. Did you dive as well there? Just wondering how it looks like after the typhoon. It was a very tragic and sad nature event..

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    1. jenny Post author

      I was there for 8 weeks on a diving research and conservation project focused on thresher sharks. It was a really amazing time. I loved diving with the sharks (really, really loved it!), but I hated the lack of care by divers and boat crew for the coral at Monad Shoal, which was doing real long term damage. And I was saddened by the evident realities of dynamite fishing and seahorse cyanide trapping, in a place where dive tourism was such big business. I was there before the typhoon but have local friends on the island who were hugely affected by it. It was awful. Those friends working in the dive industry really struggled in the aftermath, but the diving and tourism is bouncing back, which is such great news for the island. Who did you dive and stay with while you were there?

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      1. Indah Susanti

        Hi Jenny, wow, 8 weeks! We spent only one week there and loved it. I was diving with Sea Quest. It was arranged by a diving travel agent in the Netherlands – sometimes we were too lazy to organize our travel itinerary 😀 I am glad to hear the island is recovering. I hope the best for the islanders and the tourism there. The thresher sharks were amazing (and cute!)

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