Archive for sarita

Live Below the Line 2014

Posted in life in general with tags , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2014 by Sarita

The Live Below the Line Challenge has caught me by surprise this year – my friend Chad emailed asking if I was doing it over the weekend and I didn’t realise it was starting so soon.

Anyone who knows me on FB has probably realised how big a part of my life food takes up. Unwinding after a job is usually done around a table, socialising with friends, the same. The love of photography and food has made this portion of my life readily accessible to anyone who chooses to see what I post, and I told Chad that this year, a big part of me felt like a hypocrite, because of how food centric I’ve been.

At the end of this week, as usual, I go back to normal life.

For Chad, a big part of it is about being aware and raising not just money, but awareness. I thought about it all weekend, and decided that he was right. For me though, the awareness, or re-awareness, would begin at home. It’s easy to lose sight of things that help keep you grounded sometimes, and this year, this challenge starts with me.

I looked through the organisations that I could donate to this year, and have chosen Possible, a nonprofit healthcare company that delivers high quality, low cost healthcare to the world’s poor –

If you’d like to join us in eating on $10/day, we’d love to have the company – we’ve found that having team members helps with feelings of isolation and anger.

If you’d like to donate to us – even if it’s a dollar (every single one counts!) here’s the link to my page and beneficiary organisation (Possible) 

and here’s the link to Chad‘s page and beneficiary organisation (Heifer Int’l – provides livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income).

Thanks for anything you feel able to give!:)

If you’d like to share your opinions – for or against what we’re doing, this is welcome as well – awareness is impossible without conversation and that’s a big part of why we keep doing this.
We also appreciate your advice on where to shop and what to buy – more people than we realise live on restrictive budgets and have to make these food buying decisions every day. 

Thanks again for taking your time to read what we share and for sharing your views with us.



Day 1 – Salt is Really Necessary.

So as I mentioned in my first post, this year’s challenge took me by surprise – I didn’t know it was this week until my friend told me. I’d already done some shopping, so rather than waste the food I’d already bought, I decided to use what I had and portion it out and tally up the cost to work out to $10TT/day. Because of my ill-preparedness, the dried bag of mixed beans/peas I put to soak took all day, until I was struck by the brilliant idea of putting them in a pot on low heat. I don’t own a pressure cooker. Thought about it, then thought about my track record in the kitchen and decided to be prudent. The beans finally cooked down enough for me to add parboiled rice and a piece of salted fish for flavour. I’m no cook, but it is filling and will stretch for at least 6 more meals. The total cost of the pot of food, rounded up to the higher dollar, is $28, for a total cost per meal of $3.50. I’ve eaten twice today, so I’m well within budget. There’s a banana that’s going soft on my kitchen counter that can’t be more than a dollar fifty and I think I see my name on it…

Peas n Rice with a Hint of Salt Fish


It’s Been A Year?!?

Posted in life in general with tags , , , , , , , on January 12, 2012 by Sarita

How far along into the new year can I post without looking like I just woke up from a coma?

(I think after this week if I don’t post something I should just ignore the fact that it’s 2012 and act like nothing’s new)

2011 was packed with experiences, learning and great people helping me along in my quest (nice and adventurous sounding, eh?:) to become a better photographer. I started and finished (yay me!) a Level 2 photography course with Desmond Clarke – one of the people I referred to earlier, who helped me to understand who I am and what I bring to a photograph (I still can’t freaking ‘see’ light – I’m hoping I’ll understand it before I die, but…)

I worked on many weddings, many corporate events and many official group photos, including being part of the team (thanks Scully and Curtis:) that shot Raoul Castro when he was here on Commonwealth business.

I’m grateful for every opportunity and obstacle that presented themselves to me in 2011 – without the motivation of both, I would not be able to say, as I can now, that I’m a better person and therefore photographer than I was one year ago…

Here’s proof:)

And here’s to bigger and better in 2012!

My Fan Snores (and other random pieces of nothing)

Posted in life in general, stuff no one wants to know with tags , , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by Sarita

#1. *Ggggkkkkkk…Gggggkkkkkkk…* I realised my snoring fan was a problem the fourth time I incorporated the sound into one of my dreams, waking up each time wondering ‘what the -?!?’ then taking over an hour each time trying to recreate my subconscious masterpieces. It doesn’t snore when stationary, but then the mosquitoes come…

I’m a light sleeper – my snoring fan clearly wants me to look like hell.

#2. I never realised how strong I was until a friend and I were forced to PUSH my Rav4 up the incline of my driveway after it shut down half in and half out. I also never realised how freaking heavy cars were till last night too…

#3. My body is out to get me. Right now I have to be awake in 2 hrs. to head out to a shoot. I tossed and turned for 30 mins. trying to get sleepy, gave up and came outside. Now my eyes are burning and I’m torn between trying to sleep again for maybe an hour or going straight through till tom at about noon.


#4. Still thinking about #3…


Broken, But Beautiful!

Posted in behind the picture, photography with tags , , , , on September 22, 2011 by Sarita

We were shooting stills for a production company doing a cool new series for local tv yesterday when, horror of horrors, Betsy decided to pitch a fit and stop functioning. (I don’t want to assume it’s because Markie was in such close proximity to her for so long, but what else is there?)

At first I thought it was early onset retardation on my part, and that I may have accidentally flipped something or pressed something and caused her to get all PM-essy, but her autofocus stopped working and she refused to show me anything on the LCD, so after clicking and pushing, twisting and turning and even swapping out lenses and batteries, I laid her to rest in my camera bag and sent out an SOS email to Nikon, who, as luck would have it, serviced her 3 months ago, with the service warranty expiring last week. (I haven’t gotten a response from them yet…)


And she’s so beautiful, with her little 50 f/1.4… 😦

Broken, But Beautiful.

I’m going to be seriously upset if I have to pay to get her fixed AGAIN, and even more upset if I’m forced to contemplate sell(sniff)ing her, since a few posts back we established that I’m a hoarder.

Which is not to say I won’t get over it pretty quickly if Santa brings me a D3s for Christmas:)

Blogging Delinquent! or I Told You So…

Posted in behind the picture, life in general with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2011 by Sarita

So much has been happening over the past 3 months that I don’t know where to begin.

I think I’ll keep it simple and pretend that it hasn’t been as long as it has that I’ve been such a blogging delinquent (that actually sounds like it could be an insertion for a *bleep* instead of a real word – just an observation).

I’m sorry – here are some flowers…

Really Sorry!

So Very Sorry :{

A very good friend of mine lost his wife in a car accident less than a month ago, and it rammed home the fact that in less than a minute, life as you know it could never be the same. The night that it happened, I came home and started a post, but nothing I typed could convey the weight of what I felt. The weirdness of being with a group of friends and experiencing a total paradigm shift in the space of a phone call – the shock, the disbelief. It’s funny how heavy hollowness can be. I’ve had my share of deaths, and have done the dance many times over the years, and it always amazes me how resilient people are. And how people rally together in times of grief and sadness. And how much more bearable times in our lives like that are because of family and friends.

(Segue something appropriate here) So there’s a really great programme for young boys (how schizo was THAT topic change?!?) being put on by photographer Michele Jorsling in conjunction with the YMCA to teach them the basics of photography, and I’m really happy I crashed it the first day:) Last week I showed them a few of my street images and am more grateful than you can imagine that none of them fell asleep:) It’s a very cool thing to be able to connect with young people in a way that gets information across to them without being preachy or condescending – it also helps that I’m 30-something going on 17… :p

Annnnddd finally, for this post anyway, tomorrow is the culmination of my 5 month UWI photography course with Mr. Desmond Clarke. There was an exam last week, which I passed, thank GOD! and an exhibition of 5 pieces of work from each student taken during the course tomorrow, for marks – lord. I collected my pieces today and will be choosing my 5th piece tomorrow (yes, I need help…). It’s open to the public and is free if anyone is interested – at Belmont Senior Sec. on Belmont Circular Rd next to the Police Station, in the main hall from 1-5, tom (Sat 30th) only.

Ok, having not written for a while, my fingers hurt, so if you’ve made it this far without being bored to tears, thanks for hanging in there:)


Of Eating ‘Below the Line’ and Learning.

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by Sarita

Wow – what a week. Trying to eat what I could afford for TT$10/day has been an eye-opening and humbling experience.

I initially saw the website posted in a photography forum looking for photos of what poverty looked like to you – a friend suggested I join because I have a few photos. So I took a look, and saw that there was a challenge beginning May 16th – 20th where people were to eat no more than what US$1.50, or the equivalent – TT$10.00, could buy. Since I’ve recently become involved in a programme that feeds the homeless, I decided it would be a challenge I would try, approaching it as an exercise in an awareness of how much the money could do – rather than spend it on ‘x’, I would stop and think that I would have to spend it on ‘y’ in order to eat and it would make me more aware that while in the ordinary course of life, that is not a life and death decision for me to make, it would actually be one for many people, who not only make those choices for themselves, but for their children. I hoped it would give me a better understanding of what the people I met and spoke to every day were going through.

I got so much more.

I expected I would feel hungry, but that has been manageable – no worse than if I’m just running on fumes for a couple days – but what I didn’t expect was the feeling of total isolation I would get when faced with situations where people were eating or snacking, or in places selling food/snacks, or even seeing road signs for various eateries and not having the option of partaking in any of it. It’s very demoralising.

I CHOSE to do this for only 5 days and it’s been extremely difficult for me – the lack of options I have to eat, the lethargy and extra effort it’s taking me to be positive, and having to constantly account for money ‘spent’ on food. What do people who have no choice and not only have to budget for food, but also health-care, school, transport, living costs DO? It’s become very clear to me how a cycle of poverty could just continue, beginning with very little to eat, because it affects your ability to function – yes, you will continue to survive, but existing and thriving are very different.

There’s a lot I take for granted – one of the cooks in the feeding programme told me she feeds 100 people her soup for the cost of a manicure. – It cost her $140TT to make a soup that people send messages about how much they loved it back to her about, so it wasn’t even to say it was lacking in ingredients. I started doing this for myself, to make myself think more and appreciate more – I’m not fooling myself into thinking I’m going to eradicate poverty or hunger, but I don’t think trying to appreciate what someone is going through would be doing me or others any harm either.

It’s great to be in the Top 5 for fundraisers globally, but the top 10 thing is purely monetary, and that was never my motivation for doing this – I really just wanted to put myself in the other person’s shoes, if even for a little while. Even if me and my team never made any money, I think we’ve changed our perspective, reached some people and at least made them start to think, or question their own spending, or assumptions, so for me, a monetary reflection isn’t accurate as a success marker, because if we never raised a cent, I think we’ve done what we set out to do, if only for ourselves…

And at the end of the day, it’s about making your own journey to where you’re going in your own way – be it through pulling other people down or trying to raise them up or just trying to see and understand their point of view, and now more than ever, I think it’s a sin that in this super wealthy world we live in, there could be people wanting proper nutrition…


What. To. Blog. About…

Posted in life in general with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2011 by Sarita

Should I tell you about my computer chair that keeps losing a foot and flinging me sideways when I forget and try to roll it closer to the desk…

…or my fridge that looks like a yogurt ad because Carnival is about 30 days away. (My freezer on the other hand, looks like I flew to Jamaica specifically for their beef patties and imported packs of it in bulk. I’m trying not to think about them too much).

Should I blog about my 2 dogs that bark all night and sleep all day, resulting in bags that could hold a week’s groceries under my eyes?

(They’re horrendously stupid, but I love ’em.)

Mosquitoes have made a comeback in my house. I went through an almost mosquito free period (approx. 2 weeks) where I forgot what it was to hear an incessant buzzing and feel small winged bodies brush up annoyingly against me. I have a racquet zapper, but all that does is serve (serve – get it? racquet:) to make me look like I’m insane – swing, swing, swing – nothing…

Ugh – time for me to sign off and go kill me some insects…