Katherine Goguen ’16 sends this reflection from Tanzania:
Gently zoom in to adjust the lens, trying to capture the moment of laughter in the group of small children.
“A picture,” but I wish I had a screen shot of a beautiful memory that followed after it was taken. I decided to turn the screen around and show the little boy of six years the image of him. His face lit up all the gray clouds and heavy rain that down poured that morning. A small giggle escaped the side of his shy smile and big brown eyes stared up at me in amazement. He tapped the arm of his friend and pointed to the small 3’’ by 4’’ screen. Not long after a small group developed around me, all tossing their heads back and screeching with joy. A little hand placed on my shoulder and a face resting against my head.
Fifteen preschoolers now surrounding the camera in the dining hall all trying to pronounce Katherine the best they can, sounding more like “Kafin”. I would make a silly face and they would try to mimic me, tapping me if I didn’t notice their attempts. I then told them I would take one more picture of them before they had to return to class. A few frowns replaced the smiles and then they turned to one another into a small circle. I could hear bits of them saying “only one more”, and then they turned and made sure everyone could fit in the frame before the shot. I counted them down and said, “big smiles!” I looked at the picture and then turned it to there gazing eyes. Climbing and pushing one another around wanting to get a glimpse.
A teacher called them to head back to the classroom. The little bare feet stumbled and skipped away yelling over their shoulders to me. Bumps scaled my arms in the heat and I watched them disappear into the distance holding on to the feeling. I switched the camera off and placed the lens cap on; I realized the moment could never be concretely saved, but would remain with me forever.