2012 Workshop: Day 1

June 10th, 2012

By: Elsbeth Pijnappels


So on this first day the ‘Dutch Connection’ is checkin’ in for a little report! I arrived in Sulaymaniyah just a few days ago, in the wee hours of the morning, with a bag full of donated cameras. Luckily I had some time to get used weather–for the Dutch means immense heat. It’s quite a shock if you left a country with rain and only 12º and you end up in a bright and sunny 42º city.

This first day was all about meeting the children and assigning them their cameras for the coming weeks. We started the morning at The Teenager’s House. It was absolutely great to see how happy the kids from last year’s workshop were seeing Erin & Heber again.

So far the kids here act exactly the same as the kids I teach in the Netherlands–when they get their hands on a camera, their faces start beaming and they can’t wait to get started! The kids from last year that will now go for a level 2 course, were chuffed when they each got a DSLR to work with. After a short introduction they could all go out and ‘play’ with their cameras. It was no surprise that with my blonde hair and blue eyes I had to pose a lot.


After my first (immense) traditional Kurdish lunch we visited the Step Drop-in Centre in the city bazaar, where we will also run a course with about 17 kids. Here I experienced the same enthusiasm.

I really enjoyed finally meeting the kids today. They are so bright and talented. And so far so good; there have already been great pictures taken.

So now it’s all about downloading the photos, recharging the batteries and preparing for tomorrows lessons. We’re going to have fun!



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