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Travel is not limited to the new & exciting – sometimes it’s returning to a place that’s familiar. As the White Stripes song says, I’m going to Wichita this weekend, for a wedding.

I’ve had family here all my life, and some of my earliest memories are of playing in my Grandma’s garden and my Grandpa’s workshop, and their little blue house on Sheridan. Time’s passed, many of us are in new places, and the paint has faded and peeled. Still the city itself doesn’t seem to change significantly, a plains city riding the business winds of the airlines providing much of Wichita’s industry base.

Anyway not so many picture/story opportunities yet, mostly running around with flights and rental cars and hotels and trying to get assignments and grading done in between, but I’ll give you what I’ve got so far, from the airport

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Here are links to Nogales, AZ & Nogales, Sonoroa, the two parts of Nogales which lies across the border between the US and Mexico, and has been a trading center since at least the early 1900s. Today it’s one of the busiest points of entry, and the biggest shipping point for produce, with major industry contributing to population growth on the Sonora side. It’s also one of the frontlines in the immigration debate, the drug cartel power struggles, and environmental border issues. It’s a challenging, exciting place to visit, let alone live.

We spent the day meeting with politicians, city directors, and non-governmental workers who deal with issues like health and immigration.

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I’ll be writing more later, but in the meantime, here are the updates I posted via Twitter along the way, under our Bootcamp and News21 hashtags:

bexz24 Nearly ready to walk out the door… first trip to Mexico / first time live Tweeting something… I expect an interesting day :) #bc9 about 17 hours ago from TweetDeck

bexz24 First rest stop, ’bout 25 min from Tucson #news21asu #bc9 about 15 hours ago from Twitterrific

bexz24 En route to Mexican Consulate #news21asu #bc9 about 13 hours ago from Twitterrific

bexz24 Nogales consulate handles most juvenile cases of Mexican consulates #news21asu #bc9 about 11 hours ago from Twitterrific

bexz24 now in Mexico – Mexico’s immunization campaign is national, free; rising obesity/diabetes linked 2 changing lifestyles #news21asu #bc9 about 11 hours ago from Twitterrific

bexz24 Mexican repatriation officials in Nogales receive 300 to 600 deportees, needing food, shelter, medical care, daily by bus #news21asu #bc9 about 6 hours ago from Twitterrific

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Spent part of the evening at this lecture, Visual Storytelling: The Power of Photos, by James Gregg.  Gregg is a photojournalist at the Arizona Daily Star, and the lecture was part of the Cronkite Schools Must See Mondays series.

I felt a lot of Gregg’s advice, which was all fantastic, could be applied to travel as well as photography – and photography plays a huge part of travel anyway. Therefore, I’m double posting my Cronkite Conversation post, and adding the travel twist on it over here along with a photo of my own.

James Gregg was a perfect speaker for this series. Gregg started with his thoughts on incorporating video with his still photographs, which he sees as an enhancement, and pointed out that video and still photos can each do something the other can’t. Specific insights like this and broader advice on photography and journalism made the lecture a valuable experience to aspiring photographers and journalists. But Gregg himself is a valuable lesson. In a time when journalism is shifting and adapting, Gregg talks about standards and challenging himself, finding stories and constantly looking for material, and being his own advocate. Gregg described the exhilaration of “pinch yourself moments” like photographing rodeos up close and personal, to the times people have allowed him to witness intimate moments like his first piece involving illegal immigrants. I was amazed that Gregg says he’s happy if he gets one photo a month that’s up to his standards – and impressed when he said that the more he knows, the higher his standards get. In short, I left the lecture intimidated and inspired – and really ready to get into the field to start learning and practicing and seeing what stories I can find and put together.


“We have an opportunity from one moment to the next to enter into someone else’s world.”

“It’s really important to listen to your gut.”

“I just started asking people, ‘How can I see more?’”

“Take people where hey can’t go themselves…if that means getting on a horse, get on a horse…when you don’t have a horse, take a mule.”

2008-01-23 (46)mini

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