I returned from my trip to Ethiopia on June 15. Six weeks later I have shared the photos and stories with many people and in many formats! I decided to take the time to be really organized and comb carefully through all of my photos (1,000+) to choose the best, and to place them in order and caption them to re-tell the story of my trip, my thoughts, experiences, and recollections. (See the highlights of my Ethiopia trip here.) After going on a number of trips over the past 3 years, I have learned that if I don’t do this right away, it just doesn’t happen. And then all my memories slowly slip away. I look at the photos 3 years later and wonder what I was thinking when I took them. So this time, I had a really strong sense of “it’s now or never” driving me to organize, annotate, and share. And having the ability to post everything online and share with friends across the globe was a great motivator too. There’s a real sense here of not just creating a record of my traveling experiences for me and my friends, but of contributing to a larger education (in the West) about the country and history of Ethiopia, as well as about the joy of travel.
This trip was also unusual because of my family connection to the country. Soon after I returned back to L.A., I gave a pecha kucha slideshow (20 slides, 20 seconds each) presentation about my trip and my dad’s life living there, in which I reconstructed some of his photos from the early 60s. That, in turn, inspired me to re-create the slideshow on Flickr. And then from there, I decided to create a book, which I published myself on Lulu.com, based on the pecha kucha: Connecting to History in Ethiopia, A Travel Reconstruction.