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My first day on the job

[This article was originally written for an e-newsletter sent out on 28 November 2005.]

I came into work on the Monday morning having arrived just the previous day, to be invited to help out on a 'fotonovela' photo-shoot. Being jetlagged, I just wanted to crash back to bed, but I couldn't resist going along.

Every two months, Milamex publishes its Christian women/family magazine 'Prisma', and in each issue there is a fotonovela - or photo-soap-opera as a rough translation. The fotonovela is a series of photos of actors enacting a story, with speech bubbles - just like a print cartoon, but in photos. It dramatises real-life problems, and through the story explains how a faith in Jesus can heal these situations, or how the Church can help to meet people's needs. I was drafted in to help with the lighting.

The fotonovela is in fact an important meduim of communication in itself, as it serves many less-literate Mexicans (often women) who would struggle to read text-heavy literature.

The experience of that day was both wonderful and yet surreal. Just two days earlier I had been wandering around the streets of Bedworth going about my everyday UK life, and now I found myself surrounded by this Latin American spanish-speaking world, helping with a photo-shoot. I can't say my role was all that earth-shatteringly significant on the day - I just helped position lighting to minimise heavy shadows being cast in the photos, but it was wonderful to have this small role to play on my very first day.

The latest issue of Prisma was published a couple of weeks ago containing the fotonovela I had attended.

You can see a picture of the photo-shoot in action at: The two pictures that follow in that set show the finished results.

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