Monday, September 8, 2014

Summer 2014 photo scavenger hunt, part three

My first post with scavenger hunt photos consisted only of photos that were NOT taken on purpose for the scavenger hunt, and my second was photos that I took just because of it and wouldn't have taken otherwise. Those were both rather easy, but I've been having trouble completing the list!

The first one that I thought would be very easy was number 3, birds on a wire. The friend of mine from whom I have the scavenger hunt in the first place lives in London and she had difficulty, because there aren't very many overhead wires in London! Here in Cyprus, however, there are plenty, and not only that, I KNOW that birds often sit on the wires in front of our house, by the dozens or scores or possibly hundreds. Our cat, Makenzy, makes me rather nervous for her safety when she's out in the middle of the intersection (we live at the top of a T-intersection) trying to catch the swallows swooping around and landing some 10 meters above her head. I expected to take a photo of birds the morning that Jörn and I spent running errands, and that's when I discovered...there don't appear to be many birds here in the summer! I kept looking, at all hours of the day, and saw very few birds, none of them sitting.

Now that the weather has cooled down a bit, at least in the early morning, my friend Sue joins me on my morning walk three times a week. She often has a camera with her (and blogs considerably more often and more interestingly than I do) and knew about my failed search for birds on a wire, so when we saw some last Monday, she quickly took a photo. Not quite quickly enough, though, as one flew away just as she snapped the picture:

In the nearly hour we were out, we didn't see any more.

Then on Thursday morning, almost at the end of our walk, Sue got this photo in the street behind our house:

...and another one trying to get a close-up:

So even though I didn't personally take the photos, I WAS present when they were taken, and they WERE taken specifically for my blog. So it was no longer necessary to do what I thought I was going to have to do, namely, photograph some of my earrings, but I did so anyway:

I have no idea where I got these earrings, and I'm not sure that I'd even ever worn them until a couple of weeks ago, when my three youngest daughters mounted a campaign to get me wearing earrings again and have been taking turns each day choosing which ones I wear.

The one pictured below is one that I did wear very, very often, though, until I lost one of them. I imagine I made it (them) when I was 14, as that year (1985) was the 40th anniversary of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so learning about Japan was a big deal and our church made 1000 paper cranes. These were the smallest paper cranes I managed.

Oh, and here's another photo for number 11, a horn, just because;
Lukas was given this vuvuzela in the colors of the German flag while we were in Germany in July, which also happened to be while the World Cup was happening. Germans are generally very wary of being patriotic, seeming to have a difficult time distinguishing between patriotism ("my country, may she be right, but my country, right or wrong") and nationalism ("my country is always right"), but their guard drops considerably during the football (soccer) World Cup every four years. I think they deserve to be proud, having won this year for the fourth time (the first time as a united country), the only country to have won more times being Brazil, and the only other country to have won more than twice (also four times) being Italy. Incidentally, the United States did better this year than ever before, which just might have something to do with having had a German coach. But I digress. As usual.

My most triumphant photo for this post, indeed, for the whole scavenger hunt so far, is number 8, a tattoo on a person. I doubt that a single day has gone by since we moved to Cyprus on which I have left the house and NOT seen a person with a tattoo--I don't know if this is because they are more common in Cyprus than Germany, or if they've gained in popularity, or if it's just that the much warmer weather here means that more skin is exposed and so tattoos are visible, but there is NO problem finding people with tattoos. However...I didn't want to photograph a random stranger, and one person I know that I thought of doesn't like it now that he HAS a tattoo, so I didn't want to ask him, and I very nearly did ask an acquaintance whom I ran into last week if I could take a photo of her, but I wimped out. I was telling Marie about my dilemma (and how last Wednesday I finally decided that I would take a photo of the very pretty rose on the shoulder of a woman standing in front of me at the airport, but the camera batteries died JUST as a got up my courage to do so!), and she pointed out that her good friend, Elina, was very likely to be happy to be photographed. So I took the camera with me to church yesterday and asked her, and she certainly was, and also gave me permission to put it on my blog:
I didn't quite get the whole tattoo in the photo (we were already laughing together about me asking her to partially undress in the middle of a church!), but I do like this picture. I also asked Elina if there was a story about the tattoo that she would want to share, and she said, "Oh, yes!"

First of all, she'd wanted a tattoo from when she was about 12, but her mother (wisely, she agreed, as do I) said she should wait until she was 18 to do something so permanent. She chose the location for quite a few logical reasons that interested me as well, for instance, it's easily covered up if she doesn't want it visible, especially with how large it is, and the skin in that area will change little as she ages, so the picture won't get distorted with time. As for the design, Elina is an artist and freelance animator and designed it herself, taking a full year to do so to make sure it was just right. She chose a dragon because it represents strength and power, which in her own words, represents her, and she's always loved dragon lore anyway, but most intriguingly to me, the whole dragon is shaped from her name in Arabic (لينى, and yes, I got that from Elina, because I do not know ANY Arabic at all).  Elina speaks Arabic, as her mother is from Syria, so this isn't one of those random using-some-foreign-language-because-it-looks-cool things that many people do. She said that it's not really very visible in this photo and I'm welcome to take another photo the next time I see her, so this post might be edited eventually. :-) And finally, the dragon is wearing a cross earring, partly because Elina likes earrings (she had ten ear-piercings), but also because earrings can be lost, but the tattooed cross, representing that she is a Christian, cannot be, thereby symbolizing the permanency of being a Christian.

And now watch this space for a good photo of the whole picture!

This is my third year in a row doing this photo scavenger hunt (although I didn't actually finish last year), and I've asked myself a couple of times why I'm doing it. Any excuse to ramble, I suppose, and it's fun to see how many photos I can get out of everyday life, or use to illustrate everyday life. Elina's tattoo and the story with it are hands-down my favorite thing so far.

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