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 is an award-winning writer, photographer, guidebook author, and blogger specializing in the Caribbean region. Her work has been published in major travel publications, including CNN, AFAR, Delta Sky, Lonely Planet, Shermans Travel, and BBC, among others. A self-professed "culture-holic," Lily left her native Ethiopia at age one, fast developing a passion for the expat life. In 2008, she ditched her US corporate law career for the road and created Sunshine and Stilettos— a travel photography blog showcasing authentic ways to experience the Caribbean, through culture and nature. Lily has since partnered with multiple travel brands and Caribbean tourism boards, and also authors major print guidebooks on three Caribbean destinations, including Belize, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. She is the 2016 recipient of the Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism from the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Jamaica Tourist Board.

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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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