Many moons ago, way back in October 2009, I wrote a post about a chance event where I stumbled upon a copy of a National Geographic from 1991, that was especially significant to me. It's amazing that I found it really, given it was amongst so many others that dated as far back as 1967!
The chance of finding such a treasure in so many magazines was quite remarkable, and yet the title on the spine just happened to catch my eye and I was drawn to it. I call it a treasure, because not only was there an article in that particular issue that covered a journey along the Zaire River that I had taken myself in 1989, but I suspected that (perhaps) I may have actually been in one of the photos.
It was an exciting prospect. And within days I had sent an email to the photographer Bob Caputo via his website and waited eagerly for his reply.
and (yes, you guessed it)... waited some more.
And no reply came.
Some months later, I revisited the search and eventually tracked him down on facebook, and sent him a message there too. Not surprisingly (I don't think he is a consistent FB user) I still didn't hear from him.
Then just the other night, when it came up in conversation, a friend said not to give up the search and suggested I try twitter. That night, I did as she suggested - but once AGAIN with no luck.
However, re-motivated I returned to his website to see if there was anything new... and there was a new link to another website (a collaboration with another photographer) and so I went to take a look... Seemed it was quite recently updated and quite active too, and so, I found the contacts page and sent another message.
And I waitied.
But this time, the wait was rewarded with a reply less than 9 hours later! How exciting! Bob sent me a greeting and (having read my previous post) finally answered the question that I had been eagerly awaiting!
Could it be me in National Geographic?
Well, I can't say I'm not disappointed, because I am. How incredible it would have been to actually be in a photo in a magazine that has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. A publication that was no doubt instrumental in developing my curiosity and love for other cultures and the natural world.
Nevertheless, it's still a beautiful article that brings to life the very same trip I took in 1989, at the innocent age of 21. It was an incredible journey then, and now even more so, because I can reflect on it whenever I wish by opening the pages of the November 1991 National Geographic, reading the article and gazing at the magical photography of Bob Caputo.