Party Hearty

I was asked to take some pictures and video at little baby Eliyas’ baptism a couple weeks ago. First of all, I had no idea what I was getting in to. I thought this would probably be a pretty casual affair. You know, like a little church basement reception with some cake and a few family photo ops. But there was easily over 100 people there, a huge buffet line, live muscians, balloons, booze flowing, dancing, etc. I was told relatives and friends came from Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, and North Dakota to help celebrate.

Wow.

It seemed like the entire midwestern Eritrean community came together. And it was a gorgeous cultural experience to witness. Everyone was so affectionate and happy and they partied from 3pm to well after midnight! Ayyy oohhh.

Please notice: Guy pouring straight up Black Label into plastic cups for everyone, guy with a mullet that rivals Joe Dirt in terms of greatness, and how much of the serving and childcare men are doing. Claps all around.

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The video is kind of long (it actually ends at 5:22) and horribly edited (thus why it continues the length of the song and not the footage) but you can check out some Eritrean dancing here (its very beginner friendly and awesome): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHx7QSR4msY

Love,

Taylor

“Henri Matisse Looks Like Satan”

Ever since I returned from Uganda I’ve been itching to find a way to more or less continue some of what I was doing there. I have a beautiful, wonderful friend who works with refugees. We ended up getting together a group of 6-10 women who meet once a week to learn about art. They range in age from 4 to 40 and come from all over the globe: Burundi, Congo, Nepal, Eritrea, etc. We look at famous art eras from history, eat, laugh, paint and most recently took a trip to the Des Moines Art Center. Next on the agenda is exploring the art of dance. Which, with a bunch of African ladies, is bound to be AMAZING. I’m always fascinated by which pieces the love and the reasons they hate others. I get lost in thought about how crazy it would be to see a Picasso for the first time EVER and learn that, “When you mix blue and yellow you get green,” as an adult instead of when you’re in 1st grade. But in turn, they teach me what art is to them, what art looks like in their country and their thoughts (while sometimes absurd and hilarious) inspire me. To me, the community IS the art. The relationship between the participants and the process of making IS the art. It’s all about the experience.

And we have so. much. fun.

I LOVE IT.

Love,

Taylor