The Dakhata Valley sits in a remote corner of Ethiopia, near the border of Somalia. A trader waves his stick, signalling caution around the camels. Two children stare at me. ‘Stick?’ I gesture, and they lead me to their home, no trees in sight. Three branches lie on the floor, and the mother shapes one with an axe as she looks me over. The stick is sturdy, a meter long and 5 cm thick. The cost is 50 birr, over three times my bus fare. I do not haggle.
Upon return, a stick vendor arrived selling beautiful staves. My companion laughs, but an angry camel soon knocks her over. Children trail me as I leave; one asks for a photo, the price: my stick. She stands, smiling, watching me depart.
The less you own, the more space you have for meaningful connections.
I am a freelance photographer working in corporate, TV and the public sector to fund my projects. My photography focuses on causes close to my heart, inspired by individuals who possess nothing but the essentials for a happy life.
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