A Rookie Mistake

Today I woke up to the sound of rain lightly pattering on my window. Despite the rain, it was a beautiful day outside and I was excited to get to work. I got dressed quickly, grabbed my camera, and headed outside. 

The oberos were already up and harvesting the ripe coffee on the hill right outside my room. I decided it was a perfect time to take some pictures and videos. I started climbing up the side of the hill, which was quite treacherous due to the fact that the ground was extremely slippery and muddy. I really couldn't figure out how the oberos were managing to stay standing while picking the coffee cherries. I was using all my strength just to balance properly and hold onto bushes as I walked sideways on the hill. I finally made it over to where los obreros were working and started taking pictures. The more I watched them work, the more I realized that there was special way to hold the branch of the coffee plant in order to only pick the red cherries. 

One of the men asked me if I wanted to try picking the cherries while he took my picture. I agreed, so we traded roles. I pretty much failed at it. Clearly, I need to practice a little more. (I have videos of all this for you guys, but I can't figure out how to post them yet. Hopefully, that will come at a later date!)

After filming for awhile, the rain started to pick up so I decided it was probably best that I go inside. (Those of you who like photography or own a nice camera might have and  idea as to where this story... Unfortunately at the time, I didn't realize the consequences of my actions.)

When the rain cleared up, I went back outside to film a little around the house. I kept checking my white balance and all the settings on the camera, but for some reason the video just didn't look clear and the sky was all blurry.  I thought that perhaps the camera lens was dirty so I started to clean the it. When i examined it closely, I realized that there was a layer of fog covering the inside of the glass. And it didn't just stop at the lens either, there was fog in the view finder and on the settings screen of the camera. I think that's when my heart almost stopped. If I didn't have a working camera, there would be no way that I could do my work here. And beside that, the camera isn't even mine. It's Paul's. He'd already taken a risk letting me take it on the trip, now I had probably owed him an entirely new one. 

I walked back to my room to think. This was not a good situation. Maybe if I let the camera air out for a little while, the fog would clear up. I set it on my desk but then I realized that it would probably never dry out in my room. It's so humid in there that all my books are wrinkled and wet. I decided a fan might help, so I brought the lens to Selena and asked her for a fan. She didn't have a fan but instead offered me her blow dryer. So we spent the next 15 minutes trying to dry it out without directly applying any heat or air to the lens. By this time, the sky had cleared so we reasoned that the best option would probably be to put it out in the sun. I waited nervously as the fog slowly cleared away. I knew that the longer I waited, the more opportunity there was for dirt to work its way into the lens or the camera and severally damage it. I only had one option to choose though, if I didn't risk getting dirt in the camera, I'd have to settle for a foggy camera forever. Luckily, the fog eventually completely disappeared from the lens and the rest of the camera. 

From my observations thus far, the camera seems to be functioning perfectly well, and the photos are just as clear as they were before the incident. I learned my lesson though - NEVER take the camera out in the rain, no matter how harmless it seems. 

Posted on May 20, 2013 .