Postcard of The Week: Rastafarian Vibration

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Elton told me no one had ever taken photos of his dread locks before. He normally keeps them tucked away in a dark blue knit cap, at work and when walking around his village, Maskall.

When I first saw him, well before my first horseriding class, I felt something special about him (all right, besides the fact that he is not so hard on the eyes). When I did meet him, he was genuine, kind and tried his best to alleviate my fear of horses (that’s not ever happening by the way).

While we rode through the back rainforest of Maruba Resort, directing my horse and his, we talked about Ethiopia, his Rastafarian faith and his mixed Garifuna and Creole heritage.

I was relieved to be off that horse after an hour but I knew I couldn’t leave without capturing him. I explained to him that I was collecting portraits of Belizeans for a special project called “Faces of Belize” to showcase Belize’s diversity. That I wanted to include him and that I only photographed people who somehow touched my spirit. He was more than willing. “Anything I can do to help,” were his words.

A few minutes into our shoot he removed the cap, as if he had wanted to do that for a while, letting his locks down and posing for photos for the first time in his life in the hot sun and for as long as I needed.

This is an outtake from the shoot. The final one I picked for my “Faces of Belize” project has yet to be released, along with the remaining 15 portraits. I will share my plans for those in the near future.

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Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma's writing and photography have been published in CNN Travel, New York Magazine, AFAR, Delta Sky, MorningCalm Magazine (Korea Air), The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, The Travel Channel, BBC Travel, and more. Lily is the author of MOON BELIZE and MOON BELIZE CAYES for Moon Travel Guides; she is currently writing a brand new edition of MOON DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (October 2016 release). She is also AFAR’s Jamaica expert, and author of the AFAR Jamaica Country Guide. A serial expat, Lily has lived and studied on three continents, including Africa–from her native Ethiopia to Côte d’Ivoire–Europe and the Americas, and is fluent in four languages. A former attorney who ditched the office for the road in 2009, she favors all things culture, adventure and storytelling, and escapes Washington DC’s winters every year. Lily has a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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2 Comments

  1. Jacquelyn Hughes Moo 8 June, 2012 at 7:27 PM #

    Oh I can’t wait for “Da Faces” Pray when?

  2. Lebawit Lily Girma 9 June, 2012 at 9:40 AM #

    Thanks Jacquelyn! No set date yet but I will keep you posted. So much to do, so little time!

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