12 June 2007

"International colleagues, fixers, translators, guides, drivers, assistants, go-fers, or maybe just somebody to meet you at the airport..."

Wanted to highlight some of the wonderful friends & colleagues who've opened their homes, hearts, talents & shared experiences with me through the years. None of my international work, both for clients & personal work abroad would have been possible without the help of the fine people I've grown to know in my travels... -cg.

*Fixer. Translator. Guide. Air-Traffic Conroller. My main man in Kenya; Vincent Opondo Odour. April 2006.
Vincent Opondo Odour. "Fixer." Translator. Guide. Air-Traffic Conroller. All-Around Good-Guy. Vincent is my main man in Kenya. I can't say enough good things about Vincent. He's bent over backwards for me on numerous visits to Kenya since 2001. I first met Vincent when I was documenting a mission for client Operation Smile in Nairobi, Kenya back in November of 2001. We instantly hit it off, and have remained friends since. I've returned to Kenya three additional times, and each visit has been special for making photographs, thanks to Vincent's help and guidance throughout his country. My relationship with Vincent is very special, and besides he's an air-traffic controller working in one of Africa's busiest aviation corridors at Jomo Kenyatta International & Wilson Airports in Nairobi and Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya. He absolutely knows everybody! And he's got the craziest, high pitched laugh, almost like a squealing pig...! oh yea, and he drinks his beer warm. -cg.

Trans-Siberian Railway. Irkutsk, Siberia.  6/2005
My friend Ivan Shapovalov and I riding (slowly) on the front of diesel locomotive along the coastline of historic Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Region of Siberia, Russian Federation on Wednesday, June 15, 2005. This was about the midway point of our 11-day journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway across the Russian Federation.
*Ivan Shapovalov is one such person. It was a mind-bending experience to travel across Russia two years ago with Ivan on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Besides being a first class guy, he's a dynamite photographer for the Russian Railway Co., JSCo. I'd initially met Ivan & his wife Natasha in the summers of 1999 & 2000, while documenting facial corrective missions for client Operation Smile in his hometown of Tomsk, in central Siberia. We remained in touch via the internet & set up this working vacation for me for June of 2005. -cg.
More on the 11-day Trans-Sib journey here:

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