World AIDS Day – I see you.

In a previous life I made development videos for nonprofits. Now I do this sort of silly thing.

The following video is so important to me for so many reasons. It changed my life. I hope it changed some of the lives of the people in it.

My colleagues and I went to Durban, South Africa to see the good work that was being done for AIDS patients and their families, specifically the children. The AIDS orphans. We saw so much that week. It was exhausting physically and emotionally just to be there for a week. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live it.

On one of our last days we learned that the little girl we interviewed the day before had been raped during the night. It was too much for me to think that we, I, may have had something to do with it. The attention we paid her, traipsing through a neighborhood without any material possession with our seemingly fancy shoes and camera equipment. It was too much for me.

I stayed behind in the van and cried. Our handler assured me it wasn’t anything we had done and there was nothing we could have done to prevent it. It just was. With that, I was done. I just couldn’t go into another house and hear the stories.

Recently I was told that she died not too long ago from AIDS. Again, the tears flowed for a little girl. Thinking how somehow, we failed her.

Part of the reason for creating some development videos and documentaries is to bear witness.  So that those going through struggle and adversity and, well, sheer hell, are not forgotten.

I saw you baby girl. You mattered to your family. You mattered to me. I saw you.


My friends and I travelled halfway around the world to tell this story. It’s a story that is still worth telling today. Especially on this day – World AIDS Day.


Love to my friends Susie Weekes, Meredith Crowley, and the beautiful children and their advocates in South Africa.





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