It is always amazing how quickly word gets around in small towns, and I have been asked recently a few times if I am leaving.
While I have no idea how people know this so quickly, as I just made the decision myself, I will be leaving Fort St. James in November.
But I want to make it clear I will come back and return to this job in January.
I have been offered an internship in Bolivia, doing photo and multi-media documentary work on a human rights project in the Latin American country for the non-governmental organization International Bridges for Justice.
At first I had thought I would not be able to take the internship when it was offered, because I would not want to leave a job and community I have truly come to enjoy immensely.
However, I finally came to the conclusion I can not give up an opportunity to do the very thing which drew me to photojournalism in the first place, international documentary work.
But luckily for me, I have been supported wholeheartedly by my publisher and Black Press and they are going to allow me to do that elusive thing I have been told from childhood I could not: have my cake and to eat it too.
While the details are still undetermined, the organization will be working to fill in my position for the two months I will be away and I will be allowed to return to this great community and this job I enjoy so much.
I truly appreciate the great support I have gotten in the Fort, and all of the wonderful things this community has to offer, and so while I am looking forward to my internship and going to Bolivia, I am also looking forward to my return (hopefully to an awesome snowboard season so I can really have it all).
While I am away, I will be publishing online via the International Bridges for Justice blog as well as sending stories back to keep the community in touch with what I am doing.
I will also be putting on a slide show and talk about the work I did, and I feel like the work I do in Bolivia will help me to improve my documentary skills and allow me some time to shake the dust off and improve on my multi-media skills as well.
Skills I can bring home to The Courier and the Fort.
I will also be doing fundraising before I leave, and so keep your eyes open for an event my amazing friends are spearheading at the Legion on October 8. It will be a fun night, with appetizers, optional black tie, a silent auction and live music, all for the worthy cause of human rights.
Anyone interested in donating silent auction items can contact me at The Courier and everyone is welcome to come and enjoy some good times with an excuse to dress up, if you like.