As part of this amazing journey, I was invited by a Bukusu family to document — and thereby be a part of — their son Humphrey's journey into manhood.
Circumcision rituals are sacred rites of passage for many tribal groups in Kenya. The Bukusu do it every 2 years.
I was able to go with the linguist with whom I am volunteering, taking photos of changing customs, everyday life and traidtional ways still practiced.
Very few outsiders, and never women, get to see this. I'm not really sure why they decided to allow me into this intimate experience, but I am ever so thankful that they inherently trusted me. Clearly, it was through the relationships that the linguists have made.
And so I spent all night with Humphrey (right) and his family and friends. They danced and chanted around him, and sang, until people would need to sit and rest but always there were others to stand and start the songs and stories told with music again.
Before dawn, somewhere around 4am, the 100 or so of us gathered outside his house in the most rural of Kenya — near to the Ugandan border and a good half hour down a road that was no longer a road but a path and then nothing but grass...
The two candidates were smeared with the grass from a slaughtered bull's stomach, and draped with part of it, to give them courage and strength and find their anger as a warrior to confront the upcoming circumcision.
I was a few feet away, and used my headlamp to illuminate them.
What an immense honor to have been bestowed the responsibilty of showing their sacred moments in a way that does it justice.
Life. How is it so amazing?!