The one-year-old girl on the left has the strength to ride on the back of her bigger sister–arms at the neck, legs clamped–for most of every day. The older girl is eating a stalk of sugar-filled sorghum.
Ethiopian women trying to sell mangoes to people on my bus. The buckets of fruit cost half a dollar. Selling identical product means they have little available beyond enthusiasm to differentiate themselves in their attempts to make a sale.
These three photographs, before, during, and after, were taken in the same month on Ofir’s Journey through the Gibe River valley, in which he lost his horse, lost his way, and didn’t eat for two weeks.
Ofir heated and licked drops of oil off the carcass of the baby hippo he found. Sick and famished, he made it out of the river valley. Though he’d never felt weaker, he knew he was already stronger than he’d ever been. Was the journey wholly reckless or the kind of experience you’re lucky to have?
Out of food for days, Ofir tried fishing, tried bludgeoning monitor lizards with rocks, tried catching a python with his hands. But all he found to eat were river clams, and harvesting them from the water took as much energy as they gave back. Ofir could see in his arms that he was wasting away. His only hope was to climb out of the valley.
With the fishermen is a woman and her daughter, who both wear nice dresses. Ofir struggles to communicate with them in Orominya but takes their prosperity as a sign that there must be villages near. Carrying a gift of food, Ofir continues along the river and finds no one and his body begins to give out.