In Transit In The Philippines

November 15, 2009 · By Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO, Hello Neighbor

You can see most photographs from the Philippines and my Kiva Fellowship on my Flickr account HERE (and add me as a contact if we're not already connected).

This series is called In Transit because you really have no idea how much time people in the Philippines spend in transit unless you are there and traveling in the provinces. Developing countries share that infrastructure problem where it just take a long time to get everywhere, all the time. I spent time on commuter boats, fishing boats, buses, jeepneys, tricycles, pedicabs, fastvans, the ro-ro, walking, taxis and motorbikes. It's hard to capture all of it, but here are five of my photos that stand out as memories of the experience.

Tricycles Parked On The Side of the Road

Scheduled Departure as a Theory in Relativity

Waiting For Papa

Jeepney Not Quite At Capacity

God Is Love

I have spent the better part of the weekend going through photos from my Kiva Fellowship in the Philippines and sorting them into stories and experiences, editing them and putting them on flickr where they are then tagged and descriptions given. I've yet to annotate every picture, but I've made great progress. 468 new photos are now posted on my Flickr account. I never would have done this were it not for the advice and encouragement of Brian Oberkirch, who when asking why more photos from the Philippines weren't online had no idea that posting pictures is maybe my single biggest online flaw. I've never been good at it posting pictures. Not my thing. But you know what? Costume weren't my thing either and the last few years I've embraced Halloween (and in Park City Summerween) in a whole new way, so here's to old dogs changing their spots. Plus, I've gotten ok at taking pictures this year and hope to only get better so I should be in a better habit of sharing them too. Very web savvy of me, I know.

I also understand it's important to share my experience from the Philippines, to retell the stories I heard, and to continue my mission to empower the women who benefit from microfinance organizations and microlending platforms like Kiva.

The issue of photos and content also sparked a much bigger conversation about where our data goes online and what online communities really care about their users and the user experience and discovery (in a Flickr vs. Facebook debate) and suffice to say I am going to be much more conscientious about my data and content in the future. I don't like that much of what we put online disappears days after and is sorted across multiple platforms around the web. In an online streaming version of my life, I am abandoning twitpic (and others like this) and limited Facebook pictures to "best of" or conference/events. The majority will now live on Flickr. As they should. I've been a member for years with scarce use. That changes effect immediately.

I hope you enjoy this series. In my newly infused Flickr'ing self, there will be a lot more sharing of my experiences to come.