Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dean Krakel returns safely with a good story from Omo River adventure in Ethiopia

I wrote on Aug. 19 about Dean Krakel, former director of photography for the Rocky Mountain News, going on a rafting adventure down the Omo River in Ethiopia. His story was probably the wildest of any from former Rocky employees.

Well, Dean got back safely to Colorado on Saturday, with a different story than he might have expected, but nonetheless he wrote me that it was a "wonderful trip."

I should have a story from Dean in the next day or two. But here's a quick taste of what he experienced.

"We drove 1400 miles in the land cruiser, over mostly dirt roads. We drove up riverbeds and in some cases walked to find the people. We were able to make it to the Omo River in two places and got to meet the guy with an AK-47 who was waiting for us at the Bele bridge, what would have been our launch point.

"I think i have a good story and did some of my best photo work. My heart cracked open like an egg. I love Ethiopia. So much of that country is like the west must have been, just little wild frontier towns with villages at the edges and even wilder people beyond. Getting an education is huge there. I had so many people approach me about helping them get books, or pens or paper or help with sponsoring them for school, big strapping high school sized kids who are still in primary grades.

"So many impressions. Africa is like being on a drug or being like Alice and tumbling down the rabbit hole. You just see amazing things every minute and for every photo you get you've missed a hundred others."

More to come...

** The photo by Dean Krakel shows a young Karo girl above the Omo.


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