DISPATCHES

When a story doesn’t work out

April 18th, 2012

by Mary-Alice Warren, videographer

My time in the Galápagos was not quite what I expected it to be. I hit some obstacles with my original story and had to change my direction late in the game, which I must admit led to some disappointment and frustration. However, throughout this experience, I was constantly reminded of the goodness of people.

I began the trip pursuing a story about fishing, which turned out to be incredibly political in the Galápagos. My translator, Leandro, and I struggled to find people to interview about this touchy subject. We finally found Carlos. Carlos is a fisherman and political activist. He invited us into his home and opened up about his view on the matter. His daughter, also a fisherman, was also incredibly helpful. I am so grateful for their openness and help. Catcha, a local fisherman, was willing to take me out fishing with him. Although this sounds like it would be an easy thing to get on a boat with a fisherman, that is not the case. I was stood up by fishermen five times during our trip, so it was wonderful of him to allow me to join him. Pete, another fisherman, invited me to dinner with his friends and helped me to make connections with possible subjects.

When I had to abandon my first story, I began pursuing people with strong opinions about sea lions. Sadly, I did not get to know my subjects well since I was only able to spend limited time with them that late in the game, but although I did not have the opportunity to form close relationships, I was able to meet many amazing and kind people. My subjects Edwin, Fabo, and Judy were just great. Not only were they willing to let me interview them on such short notice, they incredibly forthcoming in their interviews.

Throughout the week, my team members were amazing. We became so much more than a class. We became a team and friends. When I was struggling with my story, they were so supportive and helpful. I really don’t know how I could adequately express my gratitude for their support.two passengers; I was lost in my own thoughts trying to figure out the best way to shoot steadily from this small boat.

We came to our first stop, and I was jolted from my thoughts when one of the passengers jumped off our boat and onto another one. Luckily I had already placed my camera on my tripod to adjust settings and such because, as soon as he landed on the other boat, he began kicking at sea lions who were resting on the deck. I ran to the front of the taxi and was able to capture this moment of raw interaction between man and sea lion, and I must say, it was rather awesome.