Do Not Write on the Walls

image_1

Some photos do not need any explanation. However, I can’t let this one go without a few words.

I found this sign on a wall on the trek upward to the dome of the Duomo. The Duomo is the most significant and toured cathedral in Florence, Italy. At the end of this sojourn, the view is magnificent as you look out over the city of Florence and it’s red tile roofs. The hills of Tuscany are in view and so is Michelangelo’s home church, Santa Croce.

There was only one thing I found to be mildly disappointing in Rome and Florence–GRAFFITI. The fact that someone has to put a sign on the wall to remind us not to write on the walls of a beautiful historic cathedral is disturbing enough, but what is more disturbing is the ignoring of the sign altogether.

Now graffiti has been around since the cave-dwellers and has a Biblical record in the book of Daniel. Since papyrus and parchment and the printing press have come into being, it seems mankind would be beyond writing on walls. Now I can understand if you have a sudden poetic urge while you are having a bowel-induced event in a public toilet or want to proclaim to the world your joy about the lovely evening in the company of a young lady. But, that is it.

I have to confess that I am an Andy Griffith Show junkie and I was thinking of one scene when I saw the above sign. In that scene Barney recites the rules to some newly arrested inmates in the Mayberry jail.

So, even if you are enduring a long incarceration at the hands of a despotic sheriff’s deputy, graffiti is forbidden. I raised my son like Opie and our walls are clean. Maybe there needs to be more reruns of The Andy Griffith Show in Italy.

If you like this picture, you can see more here.

Advertisements

Young Girl in Haiti

Sometimes you just have to get off the depression couch and go outside and put your face in the sun and thank God you are alive. That is what I am doing today.  This photo always makes me smile, like Snoopy dancing on top of Schroeder’s piano.

I got lucky when I took this picture.  I was in Haiti, driving with my group back to the airport when one of our members wanted to stop and get some kind of sugar product.  The rest of us had no clue what he was talking about or where we were, which was my normal state of mind in Haiti, but since he was Haitian and he seemed to like us, we did not fret about this stop. Also since there were ten of us riding in what was the equivalent of the back of a covered small pick-up, we welcomed the chance to pile out like clowns out of a Volkswagon.  We pulled into this mango grove in a rural area of western Haiti.

I saw some children playing so I grabbed my camera.  This little girl and her sister were in a makeshift classroom and I guess they were on a break since the “blancs” showed up.  I asked their mother if I could take pictures of them and she agreed.  After taking a few shots, and I might add they were more than willing to cooperate, one of my collegues wanted to get a shot of the blackboard to see if we could interpret the French writing.  My young model had a difference of opinion.  She did not want to leave the view of the camera…so I did what only I could do and kept taking pictures.  This was one of the shots and I loved it immediately.  It has a strange composition and her expression is so joyful.

Haiti is a difficult place to visit.  It is hard to see people living in poverty and unsanitary conditions.  However, I enjoyed the Haitian people and they taught me so much about being happy and joyful.  I think anyone who has a chance to go and visit Haiti, should.  I am not going to say it changed my life,  but it made me more aware of the plight of the rest of the world and the hardships that others go through in their day to day lives and how we Americans take so much for granted.  It helped me understand that Jesus loves all the world, not just Americans.  We all could learn a few things from the Haitian people.  I learned a lot from this young girl and she is still making me smile.

Incidentally, my one year of high school French was not near enough for my interpretation of the material on the board. Help me Mrs. Wells…

If you like this picture, you can see more here.