So I am back from Peru now. I have a lot of great photographs from Lima, but before I get to those, many people ask what I do when I’m at home. Here’s a little bit of insight into my life in Virginia…
I don’t put my camera down when I’m back home, though I’m not as good at toting it around as I am when I’m on assignment. I’m still trying to get into the mentality that I am always on assignment, even when I’m not in a foreign country. On Wednesday I went down to Chesapeake, a 90 minute drive, to hang out with my grandmother. Above, our lunch outing at her favorite restaurant, the Pirate’s Cove.
At 85, my grandmother still gets out and does her own shopping and errand running, though at a slightly slower pace than she’s perhaps used to. Her shopping destination of choice: Walmart, or Walmark as she calls it. For her, nothing beats the convenience of one -stop shopping.
My grandmother likes to hear about my latest travels and look over my photographs. My late grandfather was a Chief in the US Navy and their family spent years in Japan and Korea, two countries where I have yet to travel. She also keeps up with politics and world affairs and can talk my ear off about US history since 1942 as if it were yesterday. The war in Iraq in particular is an issue that irks her, and one on which she speaks out.
In my grandparents’ day, war was a last resort and something to be avoided at all costs. She is still angry at the casual, hasty way in which our country invaded Iraq, and the continued expenditure of resources there. McCain’s continued support for the war is one of the reasons she’s casting her vote for Obama in November. “McCain will just go along with what Bush has done. He’s a Republican and we need a Democrat back in office,” she says.
“They talk about him (Obama) being young, this that, and the other, but that’s what we need.” She goes on to compare Obama to JFK: “I remember when he was a young Catholic, and everyone had reservations about voting for him. But I feel the same about Barack Obama, he’s just what the US needs to give us new life. I just think he’s got more ideas about this country moving forward… he’s younger and more energetic.”
Having lived abroad extensively, my grandmother is also worried about the way our country is perceived throughout the world: “Nobody respects the US anymore.” She doesn’t think a McCain presidency would do much to improve our country’s standing. With less than three months to go until election day, the two candidates now appear to be in a statistical dead heat among likely voters. An Obama victory may lie in bringing out unlikely voters who may never have cast a ballot before. One thing’s for certain: I’ll make sure my grandmother gets to the polls on November 4th.