There are a lot of ways to give back to the community and get that feel good feeling. Not only do using my talents as a photographer or film maker double those feel good feelings, but it takes me places I would have never gone nor allowed me to meet people that I would not have had I not volunteered my help. Those who haven’t experienced giving back through their art are really loosing out.
Jack and Peg Emery, servants and leaders for Arvada Rotory Club, held a number of eye-glass and medical clinics at the 8,000 foot high community of Guachochi, Mexico. I went along and made a documentary titled Medical Flights to Sierra Madre. They typically flew in for a four-day weekend and, when they drove, it could take a week or more. The volunteers paid their own expenses and chipped in for gas.
When flying, the trips usually started Thursday morning at 5 a.m. and taking off from 6 to 7 a.m. at S. Jeffco Airport. That would put you on top of a dirt mountain runway near Guachochi, Mexico, in the afternoon. After getting situated in a hotel room, there is usually a get-together party that night. The next day the clinic would start after breakfast.
Imagine finding a blind Indian girl and bringing back her sight as shown in my documentary. Each trip had its own personality and lots of adventure. One winter I had a lifetime experience and it made a really awesome short story, Survival at Sierra Madre, and my photos still bring back the thrill of that adventure. This was one of my most memorable experiences… truly unbelievable, and it happened just as written! Don’t skim, the text is carefully crafted for a special ending.