Billy Pope Photography
Billy Pope Photography
Billy Pope Photography
Billy Pope Photography
Billy Pope Photography


What am I doing in Rwanda Again?

It is finally here…well for me at least because you’re at home reading this and I’m someplace else. When you read this, I will be on the ground in Rwanda with a great team from Visiting Orphans doing what I love – sharing the love of Christ through the gift of photography. It is a trip that is inspired by Jermey Cowart’s vision for Help-Portrait which is the taking of photos and giving of prints. This is something perhaps many of us take for granted – the photo on the mantel of the family or the Christmas card photo. You know the one that looks amazing but mom needs a stiff drink afterwards because of the booger on little Joey’s argyle sweater. No matter what, we tend to take them for granted. This isn’t true in most developing countries around the world. The family photo or the school photo isn’t even an option. This will be my third trip the Rwanda and each time we visit the Rwanda Genocide Memorial/museum so that the team can learn more about the Genocide that occurred in 1994. In the last section of the museum, there is a room full of snap shots and small portraits of hundreds of people who were murdered in the genocide. Every time I go into that that room, I find myself thinking about the relationship between the person in the photo and the photographer that took the image.

memorial photosShooting a portrait is an intimate moment between the subject and photographer when the image is taken and then again when the print is given to the person in the photo. It’s an exchange that is hard to explain. This is why we are here. To make that connection and basically SHARE that moment…. and to share Christ’s love for us.

I’m excited to share with you the stories of the people we will be photographing in Rwanda.  Also, I look forward to sharing the photos with the people we encounter. Below are a few of the images from the first shoot we did with former prostitutes. These ladies have been blessed with a church that is helping them redeem their lives. Each one of the women gave a testimony of their transformation from being despised in the community to bringing light and hope to the same community through accepting Christ into their lives.


former-tall former-tall-2-2We are headed to the town of Gesinyi, Rwanda in the morning to photograph children from the Noel Orphanage. These children are in a sponsor program with His Chase that provides them private education. Children are still available to be sponsored. Go check them out. I hope to post more about them soon.

Pikliz for the Soul

Haitian Pikliz Ingredients

So, when you go on a mission trip you have to do a few things. Work. Take cold showers. Sleep. Eat… Yes, eat! I’ve been going through the mission trip blues as of late and was thinking of a way to stay connected to where I’ve been and even share with others some of the things I’ve experienced while traveling. Along with the hundreds of stories in my head and thousands of photos on my hardrives the food is really the only tangible thing that I can think of to share that could give my friends and family a glimpse into what a mission trip is really like. If you have been around me at all you have listened to me talk about some of the food I have tried in other countries. Some of them were great and others not that spectacular. So, I wanted to try something that could be replicated here and not offend anyone at the pet store… so the Peruvian Cuy (guinea pig)–you’re really missing something here people–was out. So, I thought I would go with something simple and something I now crave on a weekly basis. It is Haitian Pikliz.

Haitian Pikliz is a blend of pickled shredded cabbage, carrot, onions, shallots, garlic and peppers. Some people refer to this as Haitian coleslaw with a kick. Most Haitian homes have a jar of pikliz on hand. It is much like American chow-chow. The relish is served as a side dish at most Haitian meals. I ate it on pretty much everything and even brought some back with me on the last trip to Haiti.

Below is the list of ingredients that I used. I would suggest using less peppers. I made a double batch and kept the peppers at the single portion.


1 glass 32oz jar
1 pair of tongs
4 cups of pre-packaged coleslaw or
1 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 small shallot (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup onion (thinly sliced)
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lime (juiced)
3 large habanero peppers (thinly slice 2 & cut 1 in half)
3 cups of vinegar/white wine vinegar
4-6 cloves of garlic

In a medium sized bowl, add cabbage, onion, lime juice, pepper, habanero peppers and vinegar. Mix with tongs, then add ingredients into jar and pour in vinegar mixture. Refrigerate and let sit for 24 hours before eating. The longer you allow the mixture to sit the better taste.


Haitian Pikliz - Copyright Billy Pope Photography

Just few images from Ethiopia and Rwanda 2012

Here are a few images from my trip to Rwanda with Visiting Orphans. After 10 days in Kigali and the Gesinyi, Rwanda on the Congo boarder. After leaving Rwanda I was able to send a couple of days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia scouting and photographing locations to send teams to visit orphans. The time in Africa was amazing!