Medellin, Colombia April 28, 2001: "Animals Live in Peace, Why Can't We?" March for Peace in one of the communas plagued by wars between paramilitaries, militias and gangs.

New York, May 22, 2001

Spent my first week back in NY on my back unable to move: vertebrae out of place, muscle spasms, a pinched nerve. I couldn't move or stand up straight for 5 days. Finally a combination of muscle relaxors, anti inflammatory drugs, ice packs and a chiropractor began to give me some relief.

Then my bronchitis started up. Went for xrays. The doc says he thinks it's allergies to pollen and to darkroom chemicals. He advises against working in the darkroom. It's bad for my back and my lungs. I wait two weeks to begin processing my film. The back aches come back. The chiropractor says I have "nervous muscles."

My last day in Medellin I photographed a peace march. Most of my images are of children in their school uniforms or cheerleaders in skimpy costumes dancing. Everyone is trying so hard to have fun. But you see the tension come and go in the kids faces.

A week after I got home I had an email from a friend who works in the Ministry of Justice. While I was on the plane travelling from Medellin to Bogota to NY-- struggling to sit comfortably with a pillow behind my back--armed men took over the neighborhood I'd been photographing earlier that day. They threw a couple of grenades in the office of a community group I'd visited. Later that night six people were executed.

My heart is heavy for the people I know who are grieving. I am frustrated to be missing a crucial moment in the story I've begun. I needed to come home now. With my back as it is I couldn't have photographed anyway. I read some poetry, meditate, try to let it go.

I write my friend an email. I ask her to tell everyone I am thinking of them, that I will not forget them, I will return soon.