Muncie, Ind: Addiction Recovery and Youth Mentorship Guatemala: Food Security in the Western Highlands January 2013 $4.50
Editorial Content Front-of-Book contents editorâ€™s letter masthead source page
Departments reconcile stories of peace-making
record contributions from readers of photos or writings
restore stories of lives and places rebuilt
relocate information on how to connect with organizations featured in this issue
Features nate howard lives and work in the western highlands of guatemala
toddrick gordon lives and work in south central muncie, indiana
884 million people do not have access to clean water www.water.org
Editorâ€™s Note Soul Balm Magazine was created for a project in a magazine design class. We were given total creative control over the type of magazine we wanted to develop, so as I thought about what type of magazine I wanted to create I asked myself, if I ever had a platform to speak to a potentially very large audience what would I want to tell them? I decided that I would want to tell real life stories of ordinary people that have decided to live outside of the individualistic society that is the cultural norm in the United States and instead choose to live in community and connection with people in their neighborhoods, cities, country and the world. My hope is that these stories would inspire other ordinary people to begin looking outside of themselves and see the treasures that can be found in relationships, particularly those that you make with people very different from oneâ€™s self. I hope that readers would not only find this magazine visually appealing and full of great art, whether that be photos, poetry or paintings, but that also they would find meaningful content that is rich and diverse.
1 in 7 people in the world will go to bed hungry tonight
World Food Programme/www.wfp.org
Assistant to the Editor
About 1.6 billion people live in substandard housing and 100 million are homeless.
Habitat for Humanity/www.habitat.org
Sources This is a Ball State University magazine design class project, created Fall semester 2012.
Photos: Emilie Carpenter Text: Emilie Carpenter
Photos: Psymphonius deviantart.com Emilie Carpenter Text: Josh Arthur Walt Whitman
Photos: Lee Jeffries Text: Lorna Dockerill Photography Monthly Magazine
Photos: Emilie Carpenter Text: Nate Howard Emilie Carpenter
Photos: Lisa Munniskma Text: Lisa Munniskma Urban Farm Magazine
Photos: Emilie Carpenter Text: Toddrick Gordon Emilie Carpenter
Photos: Emilie Carpenter Text: Mennonite Central Committee mcc.org
We Want to Live, So We Can Tend the Good Things 28 Jun
The first time we say it, it rarely sticks And our kids wonâ€™t hear it until they are no longer kids He ends all of us, eventually, thankfully But . . . If I live long enough, I will teach you to grow our corn If I live long enough, I will show you how to raise our chickens If I live long enough, I will give to you well chilled peach pits If I live long enough, I may see us all lose a finger And if they donâ€™t kill us, we will stay on our lands and catch our grandchildren as they pass into living -Josh Arthur, Muncie, IN
The Great City The place where a great city stands is not the place of stretchâ€™d wharves, docks, manufactures, deposits of produce merely, Nor the place of ceaseless salutes of new-comers or the anchor-lifters of the departing, Nor the place of the tallest and costliest buildings or shops selling goods from the rest of the earth, Nor the place of the best libraries and schools, nor the place where money is plentiest, Nor the place of the most numerous population. Where the city stands with the brawniest breed of orators and bards, Where the city stands that is belovâ€™d by these, and loves them in return and understands them, Where no monuments exist to heroes but in the common words and deeds, Where thrift is in its place, and prudence is in its place, Where the men and women think lightly of the laws, Where the slave ceases, and the master of slaves ceases, Where the populace rise at once against the never-ending audacity of elected persons, Where fierce men and women pour forth as the sea to the whistle of death pours its sweeping and unript waves, Where outside authority enters always after the precedence of inside authority, Where the citizen is always the head and ideal, and President, Mayor, Governor and what not, are agents for pay, Where children are taught to be laws to themselves, and to depend on themselves, Where equanimity is illustrated in affairs, Where speculations on the soul are encouraged, Where women walk in public processions in the streets the same as the men, Where they enter the public assembly and take places the same as the men; Where the city of the faithfulest friends stands, Where the city of the cleanliness of the sexes stands, Where the city of the healthiest fathers stands, Where the city of the best-bodied mothers stands, There the great city stands.
- Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Portraits of the Homeless
10 January 2012
“Everybody wants something for nothing.” The words of 40-year-old Bolton born accountant turned amateur photographer, marred by hundreds of forlon expressions from the homeless. The unfortunate lives of those sleeping rough have been his subject of choice since he attempted a candid shot of a girl huddled in her sleeping bag while in a London doorway to run a marathon in 2008. His first taste of street portraits turned sour when the irate female was angered by Lee’s non-permission based approach with his 5D and 70-200mm lens. Once bitten Lee was determined not to be twice as shy, but twice as confident. Stolen Emotion “I’ve learnt it takes a lot of balls to be in a position like that and approach people. I need a subject to give a picture emotion and it is reality and moments which present themselves that I like to shoot. I’ve stolen emotion while talking to these homeless people who are not having a good time. I recognize a sadness, a lonliness which isn’t directed in any way. Maybe it’s my own lonliness reflected in them,” Lee admits. Though only a connoisseur of documentary photography for five years, his disturbing black and white images of gaunt cheeks, crumpled skin and desperate windows to the soul, pulled heartstrings at The Independent, The Guardian and Time magazine. The latter offered him photojournalist status when they threw a self-financed Miami assignment his way. On the trip he formed a relationship witha tragic drug dependent shredded by her addiction - a relationship he was never to forget. “My favorite picture is of a 29-year-old girl named Latoria, taken while I was in Florida,” Lee says. “I think it’s because I took more risk and it has this sort of power. I’d not seen anyone like her. I talked to her everyday and she appreciated the time I spent with her, but she was so hooked on crack cocaine that any money she had she took to a guy around the corner and I knew that’s why she was homeless. So I bought her food and drink instead.” Lee’s magnetic portfolio entices even the most apathetic viewers, but Latoria’s struggles written on her pained ebony face as she
lights her desire packs a punch - right in the stomach of any rehab center. It’s testing work to view, but how does he capture these fleeting moments in bedraggled alleyways with minimal kit and harsh daylight?
“but Latoria’s struggles written on her pained ebony face as she lights her desire packs a punch right in the stomach of any rehab center.”
12 January 2012
The Technique - Patience “In the daytime I try to underexpose in the camera and then dodge back the light working on the shadows, midtones, and highlights in post processing for atmosphere,” Lee says. “I’ve learned how it alters local contrast and that it can be a powerful way of expressing your own vision. But dodging and burning is something you can’t teach because it’s about trial and error, and people forget that all the greats did it in the darkroom. But I guess now people look for an instantaneous preset for editing but there isn’t one.” The Bolton wanderer stresses that many amatuers don’t take the time to learn Photoshop properly either. “No one has ever taught me anything. I took a week off work and worked through it myself - there is no quick fix. No one did anything great by being lazy.” In the few seconds Lee has to take a photograph his subjects, he tries to position them where few distractions exist - perhaps in front of a dark wall, or a flat background to isolate them. He doesn’t use flash. However, lighting was proving a problem when the photographer strived for a glimmer in the eyes of a man with deep-set features. “I would use f/2 to focus on the eyes and have everything a little softer, but I was missing the light in the subjects’ eyes because I underexposed. So I started to hold a small white lastolite handheld reflector under their chin or chest area while I was talking to them, so I could escape the flat light, illuminate the person’s face and retain detail. With one guy’s eyes sockets I couldn’t catch any light in his eyes so I use a reflector while he looked up,” he tells. The flat light Lee refers to is when the sun’s glare falls vertically with no direction. He also began using a 24mm lens instead of a 85mm for more character. “I had to stand further back with the 85mm and the portraits weren’t as pronounced. I want to be right in on the subject and I can get in on their eyes.” Even though Lee converts his pictures to black and white, he won’t push his ISO beyond 100. “I tried it but the noise created completely destroyed it. If you try to bring back the detail it just doesn’t work.. I bought a Nikon 3D for that reason but I sold it to fund my expedition to L.A.
An Unlikely Obsession Jeffries hasn’t always summoned fame and glory from the media. His voyage into photography began when he invested in a Canon 400D to shoot product shots for his now defunct business selling high-end cycling products. His intrigue into interesting characters however, began at school. “I didn’t always recognize the influence, but I remember looking at WWI pictures when I was 14 during history lessons at school. I noticed soldiers with bright white eyes that had this spirit in them even though they were dead. I didn’t see those images in color, but I think I subconsciously tried to recreate that emotion I felt. I guess that’s my analysis.” After observing the homeless in Rome, Los Angeles, Paris and New York, it’s puzzling that the camera buff hasn’t spent more time building relationships with British homeless people. “The homeless in Britain are to shoot,” he defends. “You could walk for days and not see a homeless person. My inspiration is wider than here and I like to go where photojournalists go. I guess I would love to be a photojournalist but there is no money in street portraits. But I don’t do it for that.” Ironically, despite his day job, money proves a frivolity for Lee, unless he’s fundraising for worthy causes. He has photographed former football star Ian Wright while at a national charity golf club challenge for Help for Heroes organized by his brother, and raised cash for Centrepoint to support homeless people in London. Next on the cards is a workshop to enable those on the streets to learn how to take their own pictures which Lee is hoping to arrange - as well as a trip to visit Latoria again. He finishes: “I’m currently trying to raise funds and save up to go back to the U.S. and I hope I’ll see Latoria again.”
13 January 2012
Lee Jeffries is a 40-year-old accountant and award-winning amateur photographer based in Manchester. Hooked on gritty portraiture, he travels the globe to photograph homeless culture and he has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent and Time magazine. www.500px.com/LeeJeffries
14 January 2012
27 million people are enslaved right now
15 January 2012
fisherman in the lago de atitlรกn, guatemala
16 January 2012
Guatemala: Food Security in the Western Highlands Interview+ Photos by Emilie Carpenter
17 January 2012
Photos from top to bottom: Mountaintop Garden in La vega, Guatemala. Dried goods for sale at the city market. Maria, a woman in La vega Guatemala, tending to her young plants in her greenhouse.
â€œHowever, where I feel like I invested most of my time was in trying to help folks see differentlyâ€?
18 January 2012
Nate Howard, Missionary for the Mennonite Central Committee in Guatemala
s 19 January 2012
SB: What was your role in Guatemala specifically in regards to your work with communities like Yalu and La Vega? Nate: My official role was to provide support to an MCCsponsored “food security” program that both the communities of la Vega and Yalu were involved in. “Support” entailed a bunch of different kinds of activities: from planning, to writing proposals, to administering workshops, to conducting meetings, to building fish tanks and greenhouses. However, where I feel like I invested most of my time was in trying to help folks see differently: to see themselves as powerful actors, to see the distinct value pre-
sented in their native culture and natural environment, and to see the possibilities for change that arise when people are willing to work together. Sb: How did this change in focus, from structure to people, come about? Nate: When I started back in 2006, the official “local” partner for our program was the San Marcos Diocese. The Diocese is one of the biggest NGOs in the department of San Marcos and it employs a lot of well-trained workers that do a good job. The program methodology was pretty straightforward. Our team was made up of 2 college-educated
Organic Garden in the mountaintop Community of La Vega
20 January 2012
agronomists from the city of San Marcos, one local person from Sibinal (Juan Pablo) that functioned as a community organizer and me. The objective of the program was to provide technical assistance and financial support to 50 families via the construction of fish tanks and greenhouses that would serve to produce food or generate income for the families involved. And that is how it went for about the first year and a half. It didn’t take long however, for me to see that, if we stayed with this methodology both the sustainability of the program and the depth of impact that it could generate would be severely limited. That is when Juan Pablo and I started to visualize something else. What we had in mind was to transfer as much of the decision-making power out of the Diocese and into the campo (the field, or Sibinal) as possible. Development within our new vision was to be wholly given to empowerment. The truth is that most “programs” don’t spend much time, energy and resources on human development because it’s messy. Meanwhile, due to my idealism and Juan Pablo’s wisdom, we were very emphatic that the priority should not be on agricultural or economic development, but rather on human development. Out of that philosophy and focus, birthed two new levels of organization: the two cooperatives that are comprised of the families from the communities we were working in, and what we called our “Rural Development Technical Team” that was made up of people from Sibinal (Juan Pablo, Denise, Gustavo and Margarita) and responsible for implementing the program instead of “outsiders” from the Diocese. Organization is important, but in and of
21 January 2012
itself not worth much. There also needs to be some corresponding vision that people can rally around – something that they are willing to work for, invest time and resources in, and that keeps them moving forward when times are tough or when people start to doubt. However, the birth of a vision requires the ability to see out in to the future, to see possibilities that don’t seem to exist yet. For people like the folks from the remote, rural areas of Sibinal, this can be very challenging – years of migrating, working as day workers, scraping by to make ends meet – takes its toll on people’s capacity to project out in to the future and visualize something different. In addition, I feel like folks had also lost the ability to see with God’s eyes all of the blessings that He had bestowed them, even in their remote village way up in the mountains. This thinking that had taken root in much of Sibinal was that though beautiful and gifts from God, their mountains, forests, streams and wildlife had little value beyond agricultural, unless they were forever altered, used up, or even destroyed. I spent a lot of time and energy looking for ways to affirm the communities. Rather than an economic wasteland, I tried to help locals see Sibinal as a radically beautiful landscape with vibrant human communities; as a rich mixture of Mam cultures, land-based traditions, sustainable use of natural resources, and cooperative communities with considerable economic potential. Many people like Gustavo, had learned implicitly that to “make it” in life, they would have to go elsewhere, and so that is why Gustavo left for the US as a teenager. the desert. However through conversations, activities – “rubbing shoulders” –
On this page: A woman in La vega, Guatemala watches as people tour her community. Next Page: From top to bottom, Maria, a woman in La vega Guatemala, giving a tour of Her organic gardens, A Woman looks out at the mountains from her front porch.
When he came back to la Vega after five years of working in the US, he had planned only to visit and then make the trip again back across the desert. with Juan Pablo and me, his sight began to change. Juan Pabloâ€™s and my task was to help people like Gustavo see again the immense possibilities and resources that they were immersed in. Once we had the organization and the vision, from the there on in it was primarily just a matter of accompanying the process. In all honesty, what we have started to build in communities like la Vega and Yalu is just the foundation. There is still much work to be done. However, laying the foundation is probably the most important and most difficult of all the processes, and so I have faith that things of value will continue to emerge from it. SB: Thank you Nate for sharing your story with us.
22 January 2012
23 January 2012
Spinning your Wheels
People strap on helmets and ride bikes for various reasons, and any good bike mechanic will recognize how to adjust your bike performance to fit your needs. When you walk into a community bike co-op, the mechanics will treat your bike accordingly, but they wonâ€™t treat you any differently if you are a eco-conscious commuter; someone who rides a bike for financial reasons; a hard-core, two-wheel competitor; or a weekend recreational rider. Bike co-op mechanics - almost always volunteers - are just there to help you get your bike in shape.
24 January 2012
Community bike co-ops, found in most major cities across the United States, have a learn-by-doing model. Ben Siegfried, a recent Princeton University (New Jersey) graduate and CycLab bike co-op volunteer of two years, calls the bike co-op a community, do-it-yourself repair space. “We don’t fix peoples bikes; we just help them fix their bikes,”he says. Volunteer mechanics staff a bike co-op for several hours throughout the week - usually evening and weekend time slots that are convenient for those with 9-to-5 jobs - to answer questions, assess problems and offer assistance. Bikes of all kinds are offered for sale, too. This sounds a bit like a traditional bicycle-repair-and-retail establishment. However, at co-ops: You pay a nominal hourly fee to use a bike-repair stand and tools; and you do your own repair work with guidance from the volunteer mechanics; you have access to new and used parts; and often, your fees can be worked out in trade for volunteer time. Annual memberships make parts and services even more affordable. “Everything in our shop has a price, and it’s nonnegotia-
25 January 2012
ble, but how you pay for it is negotiable,” says Tim Buckingham, volunteer and board member at Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop in Lexington, Ky. Broke Spoke has “sweat equity” program, in which one hour of your time is worth $8. You don’t have to know how to fix a bike to fulfill volunteer hours; co-op shops have landscape-maintenance, shop-housekeeping and community-relations duties up for grabs, too. Broke Spoke volunteer Jack Clarkson earned a nearly new bike from the shop through sweat equity. “I wouldn’t be able to afford that bike without the sweat equity here,” he says. He also refurbished his old bike to sell through the shop, which allowed him to gain valuable skills for both fixing his own bike and working with others’ as a volunteer. A WORTHWHILE PURSUIT It’s a lot of work to manage and maintain an organization like CycLab - finding space, keeping up with volunteers, fundraising and getting the word out to those who need the services - but Siegfried maintains that the volunteers get even more out of the experience than the customers do. As a volunteer mechanic, you have to be passionate a
26 January 2012
Restore about bikes and people. (Otherwise, you’d be volunteering elsewhere.) Through the co-op, you get hands-on time working with bikes, often working on creative solutions to your customers’ problems. You meet more like-minded bikers than you can shake a stick at. You can use the tools and equipment for your own bike and get inexpensive parts and advice. Yet the most rewarding aspect to Siegfried’s volunteer work is knowing that without a bike co-op’s services, many bike enthusiasts in the community would not otherwise be able to afford to maintain their mode of transportation. ________________________________________ Having visited Broke Spoke Community Bike Shop and CycLab, freelance writer and Urban Farm contributing editor Lisa Munniksma wants to learn how to maintain her bike - just as soon as she’s done traveling around the world to learn about sustainable living, agriculture and food systems. Follow her journey at www.freelancefarmerchick.com.
27 January 2012
Toddrick Gordon Interview + Photos By Emilie Carpenter This month Soul balm features Toddrick Gordon. He is on the pastoral team at urban light community church in muncie, Indiana. Toddrick was Born and raised in urban muncie and has committed himself to ministry on the streets that surround his home and church. sb: What life experiences have brought you to where you are today? Toddrick: Mainly the prayerâ€™s of my parents for my life to be spent serving the Lord. Also as a young man growing up, I made some bad choices that taught me that the only way to true happiness is by serving the Lord. SB: What do you believe you have to offer the youth in Muncie? Toddrick: What I have to offer the youth is understanding and love. I understand what they are going through with peer pressure, todayâ€™s negative influences through the media and a lack of role models within the African American community. God has loved me more than I could ever love myself and with that it has taught me how to love our youth. By being a great example to them. Next Page: Toddrick Gordon Gives the sErmon at Urban LIght Community Church
28 January 2012
29 January 2012
On this page: Pastor Toddrick Gordon Worships during a time of music at urban light community church. Next Page: From top to bottom, Pastor Toddrick plays a game of ping pong during iyouth group, Members of the Urban lIght Youth group pose with pastor toddrick.
SB: Why Muncie? Toddrick: I was raised in Muncie and for a number of years I was apart of the problem in this community. Now I strive to be apart of the solution to empower our youth through education and by helping them see that they can accomplish their dreams and goals through Christ how strengthens us. SB: What is your role at Urban Light Community Church? Toddrick: I am the Community Outreach Pastor at Urban Light, I help lead our youth ministry and addiction recovery ministry as well. Mainly I feel that God has placed me in this role to show those who continue to struggle that with God as your guide anything is possible.
30 January 2012
31 January 2012
Find your place Interested in the work Nate Howard is doing in Guatemala, Mennonite Central Committee has workers in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East, as well as in Canada and the U.S.
Go to serve.mcc.org to learn about current service opportunities.
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