Emmanuelle R. wrote to us a couple of days ago to tell us that she’d found Camera 101:
When i was in Laos, (end of january), in Luang Prabang, somebody that i dont even know gave me a camera at a bus station, where we were aparently the only two tourist, waiting during hours and hours for our different bus.
This guy (from Italy if I remember well), gave it to me at a moment of my life were i felt the most alone in the world (cause was travelling by myself since 9 months, but never been so hard than at this moment), and also it was the day before my birthday. Nobody could wish it to me (no phone, no internet, nobody who knows my birthday), and that cam was like a sign to say ”you’re not alone, that will be the present for your birthday..” . We didnt even talk much with this guy, and he gave it to me (his bus coming first finally), and said: you can do whatever you want with it, thats yours now..
I think now that he has been able to read on my face that many things was happening in my head at this moment.. So that’s why i took a picture with this camera of the bus station, place where he gave it to me, and place where i had so many different feelings inside of me.
Emma goes on to explain its journey from that day forwards:
And then, i took this crazy bus to follow my trip in Laos, a bus which was going to Sam Neua. 17h hours in a bus where you cant even close an eye during 10min, because of the noise, the small place that you have, sitting in the middle of the bags of rice and so on.. just with locals people. At this moment, i took an another picture (cause i knew that i will probably not live this moment twice in my life).
Then , i crossed the border of Laos to go Vietnam, and went later on in the Halong Bay, in Hanoi. Beautiful place, so i took another picture. I’ve been travelling down Vietnam, and at the end of the trip in Vietnam, i had to meet some unknown family in Ho Chi Minh. The traffic was so crazy in this place that i took another picture.
Finally, i came back to Australia (where i had a working holiday visa there), in Perth. I took a last picture with the camera in the metro of Perth, to say like ‘back to the civilisation now’.
Even though each camera which goes out has a unique code, sometimes cameras are sent out with that code, but we don’t know about its original drop. As this was the case with this camera, we emailed Christy H. who was given the code back in December 2008, to find out about its beginnings:
When I last saw Camera 101, it was 26 January 09, and I was handing it over to a traveller in Xieng Khouang, Laos. At the time, I was working in Xieng Khouang, facilitating a teacher workshop in partnership with the Ministry of Education, so most of my time was spent indoors at the workshop venue.
Christy sent us some images of the camera, before it went out on its journey. She also told us about the great work she’s doing in Laos, educating children about the perils of landmines:
One of the goals of primary school education in the area is to teach children about the dangers of undetonated military explosives, which are unfortunately a common feature of the landscape in and around Xieng Khouang. The most dangerous are anti-personnel bomblets, which are about the size of a baseball, and painted bright colors, so they’re particularly attractive to children. About 30 million of them were dropped on Laos during the aerial bombardments from 1965-75, and it’s estimated that 3 million are undetonated, out in the forests, rice paddies and schoolyards of Laos. So it’s very important to teach children to not pick up unfamiliar metal objects.
The images at the top of the post are of one of the teachers at the workshop, as well as one of the children who will hopefully benefit from Christy and other teachers work.
Thank you to both Emma and Christy for such evocative emails about this camera. I truly hope that Camera 101 returns home so we can illustrate their stories.