Hello everyone, I am back on the blog again…and as most of you know I was in Thailand volunteering in 2012. I had received so much while I was in Thailand, that when I got back to Mexico I began working towards a fundraiser event. It all started as a small family and friends get together, and slowly progressed to a lovely event held at the Cultural Pavilion in Cabo San Lucas.
Over my nine months stay in Thailand I had taken over 14,000 photographs. I decided to print some of them thinking that maybe I could sell some and raise some money for scholarships and ATMA SEVA. It took months to select just a few among thousands. I wanted to show all of them lol, but that just wasn’t happening. I learned that digital photos and printed photos are two very different worlds. I had to learn about aspect ratio, printer profiles, sizes…etc. It was indeed a lot more work that I could have possibly imagined, but the thought of giving something back was a great fuel for my engine. I was very excited to organize this and in the end it all paid off.
After looking at my photos over and over and over again, selecting…I got a bit overloaded so I asked my niece Daniela and my friend Karena to help which was an excellent idea; their input meant all the difference; looking at the photos from a different perspective helped me narrow the thousands to hundreds. After months of planning and working I was able to constrict the topics to only six: The beginning of the story, Thailand: Landscapes and People, Daily Life Style, Temples, Monks and Novices, and ATMA SEVA. It was a story told through photographs; what had taken me to Thailand and what I had seen there. The exhibition was called “A taste of Thailand through my lens”.
A lot of people got excited with the project and helped me. My mother took me to all the places I needed to go (I can now drive but not as much as I would like) she also helped with all the errands and supported me anyway she could. My niece Daniela, from Love Ideas, helped with all the planning and logistics. My friend Mirna (from MX producciones) helped with all the permits and locations. My friend Heidi invited me to her radio talk show. The local radio station, Cabo Mil, helped with spots during the days prior to the event. My friend Adaisa donated all the photo framing from Marco Framing; her employee Aldo was an amazing help framing and handling all of the photographs. Nico, one of my students from ‘Bonaria carpentry’, helped with the set up and construction of the blackboards and display boards. My nephew, Luis Fernando, from Cantoya Studios helped adjust the ATMA SEVA logo for the event. My friend Nivea donated the cloth for the display boards and all the tablecloths. The Faraway Restaurant Lounge, in Cabo San Lucas, donated some food for tasting during the event. My friends Martha and Josefina helped at the photo selling station. Also, my friend Indalecio, from Los Cabos News came to the event to photograph and published an article about my story and how I got to Thailand! Many of my students helped that day with whatever I needed. So, as you can see this was a wonderful and successful volunteer-team work!!!
The team in Thailand led by David Poppe had set up a video to show at the fundraiser. The video was excellent!! I had been showing our YouTube videos during the exhibition and at the end we showed the video where David explains about ATMA SEVA and the monks chant a blessing for all the participants and donors at the event. Everyone loved it! Prior to showing the video I spoke a little about the experience, shared some anecdotes and I was shocked to see how people showed great interest in what ATMA SEVA does, the monks, the food, and asked many interesting questions. One little girl asked about the girls in Thailand: “Why aren’t there any girls?” she said….I had displayed many girls but most of the photographs were of novices and monks. I was happy with her question which gave me the chance to speak about our huge project: the building of a school.
The day of the event Cabo was hit by a storm and we considered canceling it but in the end we thought best to continue and opened it anyway. We had a great turnaround, over 90 people showed up regardless of the heavy winds and rain.
A lot of people got involved and learned about our work. Many were intrigued by the culture and Buddhism. A very nice couple arrived early, while I was still getting things organized but they didn’t mind, they waited and stayed till the very end, wanting to hear me talk and watch the video. During the set up as well as during the event I could hear people calling other friends telling them about what a great exhibition it was and asking them to come to the photo event. I will forever be grateful to everyone who helped and believed in me and the project.
Planning and organizing this fundraiser was a unique experience, I am planning on doing it again someday when I go home. We would love for you to organize something like this and be part of our worldwide community; you can help us spread our work and raise money to help us for the school we are planning on building for kids less fortunate here in Thailand. If anyone is interested and would like more details please send me an email! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you sooo much to all of you who helped, believed in us, and made of this event such an incredible night. May you all be blessed with abundance and love!!!
I hope you enjoy the photos!
Again, huge thank you to all supporters and friends who helped make this event a true success!!!
Bonaria Carpentry, Nico Marchesi