Activity Report for Linda Herkenhoff


Equipment purchased: polaroid camera, case, photo paper

Recommendation: Excellent camera, great pics and very easy to use

Issues: The camera overheats after about 20 pics. But this occurred in a very hot rainforest in Thailand so perhaps might not be a problem in temperate climates. The battery has a short life so carry and additional one.



The camera produced excellent quality photos for the indigenous children we visited both in India and Thailand. After taking photos at a school for Burmese refugee children the teacher had our St Mary’s students and their primary students create an art project around each of the photos. These types of activities allow for strengthening relationships around the world. None of these children had seen real photos they could keep of themselves before. Our students learned a lot about a new culture and the photos were the catalyst between students who spoke different languages.


We had the same success in the slums of Mumbai where the opportunity to present the children and teachers with photos of them standing with us was an important step in building enduring relationships. When we go back there next time, they will be better able to remember us. The camera was also used with Father Xavier’s work in the remote hill country outside of Mumbai. He had made several very important inventions to do with sustainability and going green. By presenting him with photos of these inventions he gained important documentation. He does not have a computer or ipad etc; there is no internet where he lives. So using the polaroid was a great solution for him. Our students will now be allowed to work with Father Xavier on future TGEMBA projects. Once again building the relationships like this is critical to the academic success of the TGEMBA program.


I am looking forward to using this in my own research area in Uganda next March with the Batwa pygmies. In my earlier trips there I presented several of the elders with photos of themselves that they still have pinned on the walls of their huts. When I need interview questions answered through one of my local helpers, they remember me and have been very willing to work with me. I just used this approach in a recent paper: Understanding different Types of Subsistence Economies: The Case of the Batwa of Buhoma, Ugnada. Journal of Macromarketing. Publication next month.


The earlier versions of polaroid cameras in the past 4 years have been either very bulky or required peripheral printers. They also required shaking the photo in sunlight while waiting for it to develop. This technique made the picture grainy with muted color. The new camera is light and the printer is built-in. It produces the photos in half the time with high quality color. All faculty who travel in remote areas would find this tool most helpful.

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