Foto’s Blog: What are you thankful for? DMW is thankful for Barbara!

Nov 25, 2013   //   Foto's Blog, Jamaica  //  Comments Off on Foto’s Blog: What are you thankful for? DMW is thankful for Barbara!

PhoDOGrapher Barbara Gilbert with friends
Note Foto in the lower left, safely in a plastic painting glove for protection!

Of the long list of things that Dog Meets World is thankful for….Barbara Gilbert is high on the list. Indefatigable, she’s a three time practicing phoDOGrapher, took Foto and Dog Meets World on a incredibly poignant return to the village in Jamaica that bears her name. Accompanying her again was her 84 year old mother and her son, Steven Walker, on his first visit back to the Caribbean island since having both of his legs and both of his hands amputated due to a rare, awful bacterial infection last spring. YES, imagine your child losing his hands and his legs and you continue to bring comfort to others in Jamaica! Read her recounting of her trip….

On my annual mission trip to visit the poor of Jamaica traveling with Food For the Poor I visited the personal projects I have raised funding for, in addition to working with the poor at other locations. Each year I do the Dog Meets World project at a different location with the children. Foto, the mascot stuffed dog is always an instant hit, as is the actual printing of the pictures. This year was no different.

Foto’s special day was spent in a very poor village, where all the children live in shacks. The day was spent building a house in the village for a single mother with 3 daughters, who had lost her home in another village 2 years ago in a fire. With the help of donors to Food for the Poor, funds were raised to build and furnish her a new home for her family. Foto was a part of the house building project every step of the way. We built the house in one day. All the children from the village and many adults came to watch. The children were all introduced to Foto and were a part of my construction crew. We nailed and painted and Foto supervised and posed for pictures with the children and new home owner. We even put Foto in a plastic glove for painting! Everyone wanted their picture taken with Foto, from kids, to teens, to family pictures. For the new home owner I made her a photo album of pictures from the entire day, all with Foto, as her new home was being built-my gift to her. Many memories were made that day and Foto and DMW were there to record it all as a keepsake for life. The children and families in the village will have their pictures in their shacks, showing their huge smiles on this special day.

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Praise for DMW

"Participating in Dog Meets World was a truly magical experience, bringing joy and wonderment to all I met."

John Carr, Phodographer across South America

"Dog Meets World unleashes the power of photography as a diplomatic and personal tool in building connections among the people of the world. It embeds a memory in photographer and subject alike."

Prof. Patrick Fleming, Fulbright scholar & Phodographer Cambodia & Kyrgzystan

"You will never know just how important that photo will be long after it is taken and given."

Delores Barr Weaver, co-owner Jacksonville Jaguars

"Dog Meets World went over fabulously in my village. It is a perfect option for Peace Corps volunteers like myself. I like the Foto dog mascot, kids like it, and it is a representation of the peace and the ideas of the project."

Kristen Woodruff, Phodographer Costa Rica

"The kids are absolutely loving Dog Meets World. For a majority, these were the first images of themselves that they have ever owned."

Marti Johnson, Phodographer Uganda