Saturday, April 28, 2012

back

I am back from the Philippines. What a wonderful trip. I worked in our office in Makati City and then visited our mine site on the Island of Mindanoa.  The island typically sees no tourists as it is pretty dangerous to travel around there without a security team. I have fully armed security with me wherever I go. The fishing villages are astoundingly picturesque - the only sad thing was that I could not leave my car as it was too dangerous; foreigners can be kidnapped there and leaving your vehicle at any time is stressful to the militias that follow me everywhere. These images were taken at the Port of Santa Maria, where we ship our copper from. It took a lot of security logistics for me to be able to visit so I took opportunity to shoot some images of the surrounding fishing villages.

There is a great deal of poverty everywhere - quite astounding actually. But people are extremely friendly and happy and hilariously, everyone, I mean EVERYONE has a cell phone, no matter how poor they are. I got stared at continuously as people on this Island rarely see westerners. Being blond and female made me stand out even more. Our company has a hospital/medical clinic on our mine site for our employees and the surrounding indigenous people - when I toured the wards, the children were hilarious...they kept touching my hair and face because they could not believe I was real. I laughed so hard - it was just too funny. I go back in July and will be there pretty much every two to three months.