Weekly Photo Challenge: Family Through the Eyes of a Niña

The Weekly Photo Challenge asks us to capture an image of family. I lent my camera to Luvy when her mother returned to Ometepe Island for a short visit. Her mother worked in Costa Rica to support her family for most of Luvy’s young life. “Luvy, take some pictures of your family while your mother is visiting,” I said.

Family through the eyes of a niña…in her words with her photos.
“The night before my mother left for Costa Rica, we slept on the beach together. It was rico.”

DSCN0722“My mother is beautiful. She brings us many gifts from Costa Rica.”
DSCN0750“My brother, my nephew, and I sleep together. They like to wrestle and they wake me up.”
DSCN0751“We have one photo of my nephew, Oscar. He is proud of that photo.”
DSCN0718“Oscar doesn’t like to take a bath. He cries when I pour water over him. This is his favorite truck. I give it to him after I give him a bath and he is happier.
DSCN0621“My Papa is very old. I cook for him.”
DSCN0748“My brother, Julio, wants to be a veterinarian. He takes care of all the sick animals.”
DSCN0626“Julio is very silly. He was very tiny when he was born.” ( Luvy explained that Julio was like their smallest puppy in their latest litter…a runt.)
DSCN0760“He likes eggs. He is very good at finding the chicken eggs in the tall grass.”
DSCN0767“My big brother, Jose, is cool. He likes music, girls, and thinks a lot.”
DSCN0735” Here are my cousins. They live next door. We play together every day.”
DSCN0758“Congreja had puppies. She always has new puppies.”
DSCN0784“Julio took my picture. We don’t have a mirror in our house. I was showing him how to use your camera.”

16 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Family Through the Eyes of a Niña

  1. Lovely post and I love how you showed the world through your little friends eyes. As a parent I can’t imagine not being able to be there with my children and how difficult it would be. They are so lucky they have an extended family to help out unlike us here who all live so far apart. Beautiful post.

  2. Claire said the key phrase “the appreciating of the richness of family”. It’s the same here in Ecuador. The children here focus on their families, whether it’s doing household chores or the gathering of a group of cousins to play together in the street.
    Luvy got great photos of her family life, what a sweet , lovely girl.

    • You are right! Family richness has nothing to do with money or ‘things’ in Nicaragua or all of Latin America. Instead, the focus is on appreciation, laughter, and living in the moment. Luvy took great photos, didn’t she? I only posted a few, but some of them are so funny because of the angle she used…she has a lot of ‘looking up your nose’ shots. lol

  3. You’ve given me so much to ponder . . . the huge differences between this Nica family and the American families I work with; the concerns and stresses of this little girl, along with her acceptance of her status quo and appreciation for her family. Implicit here is her valuing of what she has, and I think of the kids here with their game-boys and DSs and smartphones and their disinterest in the vast array of books to which they have access, their sense of entitlement and expectation that they can miraculously and effortlessly have what they want in life. Then there’s her brother who “takes care of all the sick animals” and wants to be a vet, contrasted with the disconnect here between children and the natural world. I hope I’m not glorifying poverty, but perhaps appreciating the richness of family and living symbiotically with nature–something we seem to have lost on this continent. Still pondering . . . Thank you for this thought-provoking piece and the beautiful “niña’s eyes” photographs.

    • Claire, No, I don’t think you are glorifying poverty at all. The children on the island are connected not only to their natural world, but to their large extended families, too. They help one another within their means to do so. Yesterday, on our way back from Granada, our taxi driver told us that his father had to go to a private hospital for a hernia operation because he was in too much pain to wait a year or more for surgery. He had 12 children and every one gave as much money as they could to help pay for his surgery. Francisco, my taxi driver said, ” It is very good to have a large family. No one suffers or lacks anything.” It’s the Nicaraguan way and I’ve seen it many, many times. If the Nicaraguan families suffer from anything, they suffer from the myths of poverty.

  4. You have mentioned doing this project in one of your previous comments and I’m so pleased you posted this. Very heart warming. Luvy’s love and concern for her family comes through in these snapshots and words. The first picture of she and her mom spending the night on the beach must trigger special memories for Luvy.

    • Lynne, Luvy and her mother have always had a…how do I say this?…a love/hate relationship. Luvy loves her mother, but she felt abandoned when her mother left her family to work in Costa Rica. She was 10 years old and responsible for taking care of her younger brother and nephew, cooking for the family, and doing all the cleaning and washing clothes by hand in the lake. I think she likes to recall the night on the beach because that is a special moment her mother and her shared together. She didn’t have many of those moments in her young life.

      • I can’t imagine taking on the responsibilities that Luvy did and not having some bitter feelings toward her mom. She represents so many kids all around the world who become the adults while sacrificing their childhood. You really bring this home, Debbie.

    • Beauty, after I read your post about sand play therapy, I was thinking that given a camera, for many people ( children especially) it could be another type of visual therapy. I learned so much about Luvy’s thoughts when she took these pictures. It was easy to see what was important to her in her young life, and how much she missed her mother.

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