Notes : Daniel Ridings

February 14, 2008

Bought a roof on my lunch-break

Filed under: Malawi,PAW 2008,Photography,Uncategorized — at 10:35 am

Some of you might remember Phillip Tambala. I met him on my working trip to Malawi in November last year. I wrote a little report at the time.

One thing I knew I wanted to do this time, was to get a roof on his house. He had put up the walls, but couldn’t afford anything more.

The little house Phillip built

It is a little late, but anything is better than nothing. It is late because the rainy season has been going on for a couple of months and a wall is collapsing in the little hut he, his wife, his two own children and four adopted children have been living in.

Their present house

Word gets around and Phillip was waiting for me when I arrived. I knew he would be. I was prepared for it and was very happy that what I wanted to help with was exactly what he wanted help with. We hadn’t discussed it before.I didn’t have time to go to the bank so I sent him with some cash to change. It wasn’t enough, but he bought what he could and hid the sheets in the market for safe-keeping:

The first installment of roofing

Believe me, if I tilted that camera upwards and caught some faces I would have left the market as an unhappy man.I took these on my lunch break and by then I had passed by an ATM and pulled out the rest of the cash so he could buy the remaining sheets. While we were at the market he introduced me to his sister:

Phillip and his sister

He is holding the portraits from last year in his hand.I took some more of his sister because she wanted some too the next time I came down.

Just another view taken of her in her daily environment. I bought some cucumbers (5 for 75 cents) and some fruits.

I haven’t done much in the way of processing the images. I am using a laptop (untested) that I brought down. It has Ubuntu installed and I processed the Nikon raw (NEF) files using the GIMP and dcraw (both are available on GNU/Linux).


  1. hi dad!
    just wanted to tell you that this was a nice little story, and the pictures turned out well considering!
    love you,

    Comment by rebecca — February 20, 2008 @ 5:13 pm

  2. Those are some good-looking cucumbers.

    Oh, and some very nice photos, too.

    Keep talking.

    Comment by rcmckee — January 25, 2009 @ 2:24 am

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