Jul 31, 2007

I went back to the swimming hole yesterday with a disposable underwater camera. This girl is the daughter of one the families who is always there. With her bright blue eyes, and super long lashes, she immediately reminded me of a girl who I took pictures of on Pajarito Mesa, a small, rural community outside Albuquerque. A friend and I did a story about the girl's family, and their way of life in a place that was off the city grid, with no running water or electricity.

The girl in New Mexico lived in a trailer that got so hot during the summer she and her brothers and sister couldn't stay inside. Almost every day her family had to haul water to a holding tank so they could cook food, take showers and wash dishes. It was a life that most people would never choose. The girl's family didn't like hauling water, but they loved the fact that they had their own land and that their kids could tear down the dirt roads on their bikes. It was home.

The same goes for this girl's family. Who would think to jump in a canal along a freeway that that once had gators swimming through it? Who wouldn't when it's 95 degrees outside and you've been outside all day putting a roof on someone's house? Back, before Naples was a sea of pastel colored condos, this is what people used to do according to the family. And these people , and their daughter, refuse to stop leading the life they've always known.

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