Bill McDavid Photography: Blog en-us (C) Bill McDavid Photography [email protected] (Bill McDavid Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:34:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:34:00 GMT Bill McDavid Photography: Blog 80 120 It’s My Party I was walking with a girlfriend in NYC some years back when she nonchalantly dumped her journal in a trashcan as we passed by. She had been writing that journal for a year or more. Why she would do such a thing?


It was full.


“I will remember what I need to remember.” She said.


She was a master, at least compared to me, at living life in the present moment. At that time in my life, "now" was really just a word.  Having something to refer back to was not the point of her journaling efforts. My sister journals religiously and has done so since she was a young girl. And she keeps every last one of them. Something for the kids to read when they are older. Indeed, I am certain they will read them and perhaps even her grandkids and future generations. They will probably cherish those journals. There is no right way to do this but it is a good thing to do.


Obviously, we each have our own motivations for putting words to paper. My breakup with the girl who threw the journal away was the most difficult one of my life… harder than my divorce. I feel forever indebted to her for having served as the catalyst to my greater though still somewhat limited understanding of presence... of simply Being... and of all the wonderful things that come from that understanding and practice. Following that breakup I coughed up 50,000 words starting with my earliest memory. I think I made it through college before I put the pen (keyboard) down. Throughout the process I found myself awake at 3 AM laughing out loud till my gut hurt and also gushing the type of tears that heal… not the self-pitying kind. Honest tears. It was the most effective and least expensive therapy I ever had. I decided to keep those words. I have revisited them and added to them now and then since. It is written like a memoir though in its current form I would never dream of publishing it. At a minimum, there would need to be some serious name-changing or perhaps a brainstorming session for an inconspicuous pseudonym.


Today I went back to work. I got up early and headed out to Philipsburg to show a couple of ranches and tried to put in the back of my mind the reports that we may get to go home today. I came through the pinch south of Maxville looking forward to that dramatic view of the Pintlers. Smoke. Only as I drew closer could I see the very faint outline of Warren Peak. It had been a long time since I last saw my clients (though I really consider them more to be friends) so I was looking forward to it. The day was spent straddling ATV’s alongside irrigated pastures and timbered slopes. WCM_0463 It was great to be out and about. At one point not too long after we had seen a badger scamper over the ridge I received an email that we get to go home… TODAY!!! At that point I felt like I had been invited to two great parties and I had to decide which one to attend. I will explain. 


But first, here is a goat.

I met this little guy on one of the two ranches I visited today. WCM_0491

My friends/clients were staying nearby at The Ranch at Rock Creek, another property I sold about six years ago that was recently listed as “The Most Expensive Hotel in the Country” though I wouldn’t really call it a hotel. The owner says it’s like summer camp for adults (though it is open in winter as well and kids are welcome).  He called me last night after having read my blog about the fire and invited me up to the ranch. I have learned that whenever he calls with an invitation to the ranch it is best to run – not walk – to the car. He told me I could stay through Sunday night if I wanted. Wow. I could go out to the ranch, hang out with friends and do anything Western I could imagine – fish, hike, horseback ride, shoot sporting clays, ride around in a freaking Wells Fargo stagecoach, shoot archery and eat the most amazing food I have had anywhere on the planet. Or, I could go home.

The view towards Lolo when I arrived back in Missoula

Back in Missoula, catching Mingo was a chore but eventually I stuffed him into his cat carrier. More yowling. I told him we were going home but he didn’t listen. The choice was not that difficult. I have only been gone for a few days but it seemed like an eternity. I love to travel and do not mind living out of a suitcase. Those trips are planned though and I don’t spend any time contemplating my home as charcoal. Waking up in Sleeman Gulch on a Sunday morning right now is priceless. I also was desperate to see Mingo’s face when I let him out of the cage.


When I turned into the gulch I saw a barricade across Sleeman that read “Road Closed – Local Traffic Only”. I thought about the woman at the table yesterday who seemed to enjoy telling me that I couldn’t go home. Screw her. I drove around the barricade, looked up and saw three aircraft at once - 2 spotter planes, one on a steep bank towards the gulch, and a helicopter carrying a large water bucket.


It still sounds kind of like a war zone but I am home. I am the sole attendee of my own little party and there is no place I'd rather be… well, okay if I had the choice of being with Bea in Puerto Rico right now I would give it very strong consideration. She’ll be home day after tomorrow though.


The yowling stopped the second Mingo saw the stone arch. He knew that life was about to get much better. I let him out and left the door to the house wide open. He went in, then out. In, then out. I walked around to the front of the house and saw a little squirrel perched on one of the landscape rocks acting like he owned the place.


Mingo did not approve. He clearly has a lot of work to catch up so I don't expect to see him until sometime tomorrow. He is off to a great start though.

It is my understanding that we have been downgraded to a pre-evacuation order so the final nail is not in the coffin of this saga but it is, without question, much better for now. Home Sweet Home!

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[email protected] (Bill McDavid Photography) Lolo Creek Complex Montana forest fire Sun, 25 Aug 2013 04:53:52 GMT
Gay Skunks and a Murdered Duck Up until a few days ago I had written all of two blog posts on my website starting last fall. I am blown away by the reaction I have received from it over the last couple of days since this fire business began.  I have never really had much of an audience to my writing other than some family members and a few close friends though I did have a story about how silly Fly Fishermen can be (me being one of them) published in a small corner of Australia years ago. I do have regular readers of my words that are delivered in the form of brochures for the fancy properties I broker. I write about the “unparalleled views” that can be enjoyed from this “unique offering”. Exciting stuff. Well, it IS exciting for those who have a few million dollars in their pocket to spend! I’d be excited too. Anyway, my personal website has received more traffic over the last few days than the sum total since its inception a couple of years ago. Things with the fire seem to be improving for now but I am still quelling expectations as they arise. I hear wind is in the forecast. 


My website wasn’t supposed to be about writing (it’s a photography website) but I do love to write. I have zero training in the craft but my father is a storyteller. I grew up watching him entertain everyone with his colorful stories all of which have become increasingly embellished over the years. In fact, some of them bear little resemblance to their original narrative. But they are still entertaining and they are invariably based in some zany real world scenario. I always enjoyed hearing the story of his pet skunks, Stinky and Winky. In contrast to the reports about Tinky Winky from some concerned members of the Christian community… Stinky and Winky were not alleged to be gay. The female, Winky, was friendly and could be played with but Stinky was known for doling out a hefty bite. Once my tolerant grandmother (who allows their children to acquire a pet skunk – or even worse, TWO pet skunks!?) grew tired of living with skunks they gave them to the zoo. According to my father, the McDavids were regular contributors to the animal population of the local zoo with discarded ducks, goats and, of course, Stinky and Winky. You gotta wonder why a zoo in Alabama would need a goat exhibit. Me thinks maybe they didn't really go to the zoo. Anyway, I used the story of Stinky and Winky to convince my father to buy me a pet duck when I was 11.


“But Dad…. If we don’t get this duck I won’t have any funny and interesting stories to tell like you when I get older!” I pleaded.


One pet duck, coming right up!


So, here is my story of my beloved Waddle-ina. The dog next door immediately hated Waddle-ina and decorated the backyard with all her feathers within a few hours of her arrival. Poor Waddle-ina. The End. 

[email protected] (Bill McDavid Photography) Sat, 24 Aug 2013 02:19:50 GMT
A Hard Drive I cried this morning. For the first time. I woke up late after suffering through a night of Mingo yowling in my ear and drove to Lolo after eating a warm banana. In the night I realized that I had failed to grab the hard drive in my recording studio. I can stand to lose all the recordings of my musical life. I can stand to lose the instruments I left behind… one of which I have had since I dreamed of being a rock star at age 14. What I cannot fathom losing are the recordings of my son on that hard drive. When he was little (now he is huge – 15 and towering to heights that defy my genes) I used to record him out in my studio. I wish I had done more but the few recordings I have of him are priceless. I have him declaring what he wants to be when he grows up – a drummer at that time. I have him telling me that he loves me in the pure way that kids do before ego gets in the way of spirit.  I have him calling me “Daddy” which I will never hear again outside of my own head. I became “Dad” at some point along the way. All of you fathers out there should cherish the fact that your daughter might always refer to you as "Daddy". Sons don't do that. I don't do that. 


I parked at the incident base and walked across the parking lot. After stopping to photograph the mud puddles in the parking lot from the little bit of wetting rain that came this morning I stood in a short line to obtain a permit to return to my home for that hard drive.

I explained to the man at the table why I needed to go and was told that I could not go. This was after a woman in front of me had been granted a permit to visit her home for something or another. I was caught completely off guard. I did not expect this. I felt the air in my lungs burn a little and then turned and left without saying a word. I sat in my truck for a few minutes, eyes closed and breathing.


I thought of my favorite Mark Twain quote…  “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened”. I realized that the news was better today… that the fire had been 30% contained on the side opposite my home. That is good news for highway 12 but relatively meaningless for my home’s location. The forecast today is for winds to come out of the WSW at 10 miles per hour. That points the fire directly at The Elf Palace – an informal name given to my home some years back for reasons obvious upon visiting. All the firefighter reports are positive but I know that none of them really know anything with any certainty. After all, last night we were supposed to get major wind gusts that fortunately never showed. Whose to say they don’t just like to show up fashionably late? If things are so rosy then why can’t I go to my home for 5 minutes and yank that hard drive? I heard my son say “I love you, Daddy” and I got out of my truck again.  I approached the information desk and asked the man behind the folding table how they define a legitimate reason for a permit.


He then asked “Why? So you can tell me what I want to hear?”


I told him that I was being very honest with him about my reasons and that I was puzzled. I explained to him that the day before I had been granted a permit to retrieve “medical supplies” – Sophia’s contact lenses – and I failed to see how something as replaceable as contact lenses could take priority over what I had just described to him. He looked as if he wanted to give me the permit but the lady next to him, appearing to be his superior, piped in. All I could hear was psychology 101 and my frustration grew quickly. I felt patronized and stopped her after listening to a bunch of “yadda yadda yadda”. 


“I do not need to hear your manipulative attempts to get me to become a believer. I have told you what I need and why I need it. I just need you to tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’.” I declared


“Sir, I am telling you ‘no’.” She answered.


I went to my truck and, not surprisingly, my wife called at just the right moment. And I cried.


I used to think that something was wrong when I cried. I used to think that things were not the way they were supposed to be when I felt sad or when something "bad" happened. I have come to understand over the last number of years that things are always as they are supposed to be, even when they seem to be awful... even when they actually are awful. By being human it is inevitable that we will suffer from time to time. It is normal to be sad now and then and it is best if we allow ourselves to be sad when the time comes. To realize that fact is to break free from the shackles of a deeper suffering. We can then experience all there is to experience in a more graceful way. So much of our suffering is in our head. As Mark Twain described, most of it isn’t real. When it is real we do have a choice. Victor Frankl, a nazi concentration camp survivor who knew suffering greater than any of us can imagine, taught me about our only true freedom in his book Man's Search for Meaning.  If things keep on the track they are now my recordings will survive and I will probably only listen to my son’s young voice on the next blue moon and others that follow. If those recordings don’t make it I will disappear from this earth sooner or later anyway but I will always remember my son calling me “Daddy!” as he flew through the air like superman, arms outstretched with his chest resting on the soles of my feet.

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[email protected] (Bill McDavid Photography) Lolo Creek Complex Montana forest fire Fri, 23 Aug 2013 18:05:58 GMT
Screw the Whales... Save the Heels!! Last night my stepdaughter, Sophia, flew in from having spent some time with her father the last few weeks. We went to the 8PM fire meeting directly from the airport and then checked into a hotel in Missoula. I woke up at 4 a.m. and could not sleep so I read for awhile before falling back asleep. I did not wake again until close to 9 AM and realized that we needed to get moving. Per last night's meeting, there was a chance we could get a permit to revisit the house between 9 and noon if we had a compelling reason. As we drove south to Lolo the smoke became thick and reeked of burnt wood… the kind of scent that is delightful when heavily diluted by crisp autumn airs. However, a concentrated dose in the Lolo Creek Complex fire chokes the entire body. When we got out of the truck Sophia immediately pulled her shirt up over her nose and mouth.

The incident base was understandably very busy. We got in the line to get a permit and were soon granted one based on the need for “medical supplies” – Sophia needed her contact lenses.

We turned west onto Highway 12 and had to show our credentials at the road closure before driving deeper into what looked like a dense fog stained brown. In Sleeman Gulch, we passed some large water tanks on the side of the road put there to refill the fire trucks once emptied.

One firefighter we passed looked absolutely exhausted. He was leaning into the bed of his truck with both hands on the tailgate and his head drooped.  As soon as he looked up though he smiled a bright smile and took a big sip off his water bottle before telling us they were going to be there morning, noon and night trying to protect all the homes. I am brimming with respect and gratitude.

When we pulled into the driveway I immediately noticed some new landscape work. A bulldozer had made a run though my pasture digging a firebreak. There is also a new trench on the west side of my home west of the sod roof.

I noticed that the firefighters had moved all my patio furniture, firewood and other items away from the structure out into the yard. I felt stupid for having left this job for them to do when I am sure they had more important measures to take. I should have done it myself. I know better. Who leaves a stack of firewood right next to a house in the middle of a wildfire’s path? Apparently, I do. Oh well… I guess I was thinking about photographs and guitars and hard drives. These are gallant efforts that are much appreciated but I know where I am vulnerable. There are two sections of my roof that are composed of cedar shake. This material is like kindling. One burning ember falling in the wrong place could be all it takes. 

I had not made a list but I knew there were a number of things we needed to do while there. Sophia is starting school soon so her mother, still in Puerto Rico until next week, gave her detailed instructions on what to get. Sophia went upstairs and got to work. I went about the task of emptying the contents of our freezer and refrigerator lest we return to a perfectly good home filled with the stench of rotting flesh in a hot freezer (my father's suggestion based on his own personal aromatic experience).  Sophia located more photos I had missed and then we called her mother. Sophia was given the task of getting some of her mother’s clothes and, of course, the shoes! I do love her shoes and I never mind when she buys another pair which is often. Being a Cuban girl raised in Puerto Rico, Bea is Latin through and through. That means her shoes are really pointy on the bottom. That is good for me because you don’t see a lot of that in Montana and after having spent my college years at the University of Miami in the eighties I decided I kind of like the way those stilettos make my eyeballs fall out of my head. She also wears spicy dresses when everyone else seems to be wearing drab green or gray polar fleece and Birkenstocks or, God help us all, those awful things that have a little neoprene sock for each toe! And here's a bag of high heeled shoes. 

Speaking of women’s fashion, I have an old friend who decided a few years ago that he was going to make it his personal mission in life to change the course of a trend he deemed offensive in women’s fashion. He lives in NYC and each winter he documents (using smartphone camera technology) the abhorrent presence of the long, down-filled potato sacks that have become popular among some. He posts these photos on Facebook and the jokes follow. I must agree they are quite unflattering though I am sure they are quite comfortable. Naturally, a mutual friend of ours bought him one as a birthday gift last year. We all egged him on to take a photograph of himself wearing it. When I say “we” I mean me mostly. It is the least he could do for such a good friend who would spend his hard earned money on a coat to keep him warm. The next thing I knew it showed up in my mailbox as some kind of dare I suppose. I knew my Cuban queen wouldn't be caught dead in that thing so I held on to it for many months waiting for some kind of opportunity. There it was this morning in a plastic bag sitting in the corner and I knew what had to be done. Let’s call it an effigy to the absence of style and move on. If anyone feels the need to call me me out for being judgmental here please just let it go. It is all in good fun. A little levity is needed right now. If you love your michelin man coat and your neoprene toe socks just ignore me and keep right on wearing them. To each his/her own. If the coat you see in this photo survives the fire looks like something you could use let me know and you can have it. But you have to send a picture of yourself wearing it.  Hell, it might be the only thing that survives this fire!

I climbed atop the roof rack. Sophia threw the garbage bags of clothes and shoes up to me and I strapped them down. For whatever reason, I did not feel the need today to take one last glance at the house before leaving. We eased down the driveway pausing briefly to allow an eastbound hen turkey with her little ones following cross the driveway. 

[Note: Many have had trouble subscribing to this blog but I think I have it fixed. Click here and click "Subscribe to Bill McDavid Photography: Blog by Email" in the upper right hand corner.] 
[email protected] (Bill McDavid Photography) Lolo Creek Complex Montana forest fire Thu, 22 Aug 2013 22:34:11 GMT
A Blue Moon [Note: Many have had trouble subscribing to this blog but I think I have it fixed. Click here and click "Subscribe to Bill McDavid Photography: Blog by Email" in the upper right hand corner.] 

I was at home all day yesterday with our cat, Mingo. I didn’t want to leave because I would need to take him with me in case I was not allowed to return. I knew he would be stressed and yowling to high heaven if I put him in the car. There was a fire meeting scheduled at the Lolo School at 5:30 PM. As that time grew closer I went outside and things just seemed mostly calm despite the massive plume of smoke towering over my home. Last I heard the fire was about 4-5 miles west of my location so I decided I could just run down to the meeting and leave Mingo at home. 


The meeting didn’t really provide any meaningful information. I don’t mean to suggest that these people are not doing a wonderful job. They are. The truth has just become clear to me that nobody knows what is really happening and certainly nobody can know what is going to happen.


So, I grabbed a few grocery items and headed back home. As soon as I arrived at the base of my gulch I saw emergency vehicles everywhere and immediately noticed that something had changed. A firewoman stopped me and, after confirming that I was a resident, told me that I had about 30-45 minutes to get out. I have been driving up that gulch for almost 20 years but this was the most surreal trip home imaginable. I passed several other emergency vehicles on the way up each of which stopped me to make sure I knew that this was the final notice and they would not be coming back. When I got home I had a hell of a time catching Mingo. He has been very angry the last couple of days that he has not been allowed outside to fulfill his self-assigned duty of executing various creatures that live around our abode. I put him in his cat carrier and the yowling began. I stood there in my living room and experienced a very strange emotion. I really did not want to leave. I looked outside my bedroom window and there was a spotted fawn standing next to one of many burnt pieces of debris that have been falling in the yard all day. I managed to get a quick photo of her.


She was one of many animals I had seen throughout the day that seemed to be migrating east away from the flames. The day before I had already vacated the house of our photos, hard disks, computers, files, artwork and my wife’s jewelry. Alas, I would have needed a U-haul to take all her shoes. So, I stood there… not wanting to leave. I had this house built for me almost 10 years ago and though the term is overused when referring to real estate it is truly “one-of-a-kind”. Most who come through the front door just stand there with their lower jaw resting on the floor for some time because they have never seen anything like it. I don’t mean to sound boastful. It’s just the truth. All I did was write the checks so I am not claiming ownership of anything other than to be so incredibly lucky as to have lived in such an interesting structure. It is a treehouse of sorts. I have trees everywhere. I live in a forest inside my house.  Most of the wood is reclaimed from old barns or dead and dying timber. I have a tower that is made of straw bale and that fact always baffles those not familiar with this method of construction. The tower has deep set windows with curved walls between them that billow out like soft pillows. Our covered patio has a large stone fireplace where we can sit on cool evenings and enjoy the warmth of a fire. The recording studio I dreamed of owning as a teenager is out on the far end of the house under a grass roof on which I can occasionally hear deer grazing over my head. I don’t use it as much as I envisioned but it’s there and I always enjoyed knowing that. It is a home that could never be replicated even if I won the Powerball and had unlimited access to funds. I read a comment posted on one of many news articles by some individual who felt it necessary to publicly label those of us who built up there in the woods as “stupid”. I hope I always remember this comment whenever I decide to label the actions of another as “stupid”. If my home is reduced to ashes tonight I will never regret having built there in that spot where I sat, just after having purchased the land, dreaming of all the possibilities. Life is about experience, isn’t it? One day while standing next to my barn I looked over and there not 5 feet away was a Northern Pygmy Owl perched on top of a fence post. I thought he was looking at me until he spun his head around and looked right through me. It was then that I learned that pygmy owls have false eyes on the back of their head… a viable defense against other predators. Say what you want about wolves but I felt privileged to find a large pack just outside filling my walls with their howls early one morning a couple of years ago before moving on up the ridge. These things do not happen in town and those of us who have chosen to build or live in places where we can enjoy such things have very good reasons for being there… and there is where I was last night. Not wanting to leave. I thought of my wife’s family. They are from Cuba and left in 1961 never to return. My ex-wife’s mother is from China and she left Beijing in a hurry as a child. Countless others throughout history have had to leave their homes unsure if they would ever return. I suppose it may sound to some like I am over-dramatizing but emotion is emotion and every bit of it is a real experience. I strolled from room to room knowing that I would return yet uncertain whether I would be returning to something more than ash and rubble. For some reason, I grabbed a few random things that were not even that important and threw them in my car. I walked around to the back of my house to take one more panoramic photo of the scene. When I first framed the shot with my iPhone I was too close so I took a few steps backwards tripping over one of the large landscape stones I had placed there years earlier. I fell backwards and narrowly missed hitting the back of my head on a larger boulder behind the first. I stood up and said out loud “Well, that is how it happens!”  I hooked my new sailboat up to the trailer and came back inside to grab Mingo’s cat carrier. The phone rang. It was my ex-wife whose parents are my neighbors to the north. She told me they had left their car with all their photos and other sentimental items left parked in the garage when they went to dinner. They must have attempted to come back home just minutes after I had and were turned back. Nobody was available to drive their belongings out of there. I was sorry that I couldn’t do anything to help realizing that I was likely one of only a few remaining in the gulch. I stopped at the base of my driveway one last time and photographed the plume and the colored tape hung there by the firefighters… a message to other firefighters that this home had already been informed of the mandatory evacuation.


I still did not want to leave. A helicopter with a huge bucket of water hanging beneath flew directly over my home and I could see the water sloshing over the rim. I stepped on the gas pedal. I passed a neighbor's home and it seemed they were just minutes from leaving. Their two kids came running down the driveway. I asked Jack, a 14 year old kid with a work ethic nearly absent from our modern society, if he could drive. He said he knew how but didn’t have a license. Like I cared. Good kid. 


I asked his parents if they minded if he drove Jim and Pearl’s treasures out of the gulch. They didn’t mind so Jack squeezed into my vehicle and we headed back up the gulch. Jack followed me back down to his house. His parents gave me a beer and we all stood there just watching the plume grow. Aircraft were now flying below the ridge lines adding to the impression that we were in a war zone. Unexplainably large chunks of charred debris - things that shouldn’t fly - and fine gray ash continued to fall. We still had yet to see any actual flame but it was clearly time to go. Our convoy made its way south.  I saw two firefighters standing on the side of the road looking up the south fork of our gulch. I pulled over. It was then I saw the flames creeping over the top of the ridge. The wind was still blowing directly towards my home. Jack and the rest of his family pulled up behind me. We all stood with the firefighters watching this red monster climb over the crest of the ridge. It was astounding to see how quickly it all happened. A tree or groups of trees would simultaneously “candle” and then huge "boulders" of fire would tumble down the mountain igniting everything they touched. Soon the entire ridge was an inferno. It was nearly dark so I cranked my ISO to the highest setting and snapped a bunch of photos before finally leaving.


When I got the bottom of the gulch a fireman took my name, address and phone number presumably so I could be informed as to whether I had a home to which I could return. I looked up and saw what I had earlier in the day learned from a radio broadcast was going to be a blue moon. It didn’t look blue to me.  

For the whole gallery you can click here



[email protected] (Bill McDavid Photography) Lolo Creek Complex Montana forest fire Wed, 21 Aug 2013 20:45:01 GMT
Montana Fly Fishing Magazine Cover I am flattered to be able to say that one of my photos made the cover of Montana Flyfishing Magazine. There is also an eight page spread featuring a number of my Rocky Mountain underwater shots. Shooting underwater is a fascinating challenge. I look forward to next summer when I am going to dive back in the cold waters of the rockies and bring to the surface some more not often seen images of the "underworld". 

[email protected] (Bill McDavid Photography) Fly fishing Montana Fly Fishing Magazine Trout Underwater Underwater Photography Sun, 17 Feb 2013 17:06:53 GMT
Our One and Only Freedom  

In October of 2012 on our honeymoon, my wife and I visited the people of Pulau Palue, a small island in the archipelago of Indonesia. The greatest luxury some of these people have is a pair of flip flops. There is no fresh water source on their island other than via the condensation that accumulates in the bamboo rods they drive into the earth... they siphon this condensation off into buckets one drip at a time. Their village is 1,200 feet above sea level and many of them make the steep trek up and down the mountain to the ocean daily to fish for their meals. The striking thing is that these people appear to be as happy or perhaps even happier than any others I have come across anywhere else. Their smiles were bright and full of sincerity and gratitude. We brought the children some pencils, erasers, magic markers, etc. and they were jumping for joy like it was christmas morning. There is a lot to be learned through travel. One sad realization that comes to light is the fact that we here in America complain. Remember, complaining is a choice. So, the next time you have the thought that you have it tough... let that thought drift away somewhere else. Smile and enjoy life. To paraphrase Victor Frankl, choosing your attitude is the only true freedom you have in this life. The world will be a better place if we all choose well.

This is the steep hike they make every day.

After I took my first photo of this lady she was terribly concerned with the condition of her hair when I showed her the photo. She then spent a few minutes combing her hair before she allowed me to take more photos. 

And here she is again. 

To see more images from Pulau Palue click here.


[email protected] (Bill McDavid Photography) Indonesia Pulau Palue Mon, 29 Oct 2012 00:10:14 GMT