Archive for January, 2012

A photographic tribute to Rudy

My friend Rudy was cremated today in a simple service after he died last week after a long battle with AIDS. Amazing Grace was played at the crematorium and the speaker drew reference to this particular verse that was especially poignant for Rudy:

My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

Visited Planet’s philosophy and creed is about redemption, liberation and freedom. Rudy had found that in his life, the challenge is for the rest of us to do the same and enable others to do so too.

I published a gallery of photographs for Rudy last week, today I just wanted to share one more. This is an image an orphan in Myanmar took during photography lessons I ran there in November/December 2011. A simple white flower, fragile in form, delicate in spirit but bright and verdant with life. Not only does this reflect the journey of the nation Myanmar, the student who took the image but also Rudy – bright in life, filled with hope and living forever in our hearts. RIP.

Delicate flower photographed by a Myanmar orphan.

This photograph is one of the images used in the 2012 Myanmar calendar. These calendars are still available.

Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Feature photo galleries from Visited Planet

I’ve been publishing photo galleries regularly on Travel Wire Asia ( of late.

Here’s the link to a few of these:

In pictures: Burma’s Buddhist monks

In pictures: Burma’s many modes of transport

In pictures: The stunning beauty of New Zealand’s South Island

In pictures: Maluku Islands, Indonesia – Part 2

In pictures: Maluku Islands, Indonesia – Part 1

Alternatively view my profile and all other posts at this page:

Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Photo gallery: Celebrating life – Saturdays with Rudy

I read “Tuesdays with Morrie” some time ago about a former student visiting his professor who was dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).

For the last six months I’ve been visiting a friend in hospital dying from AIDS on Saturdays after lunch. It became a routine: bike ride, market, Rudy. There is little that is honourable, decent or dignifying about AIDS and watching the slow deterioration in this friend has been agonising.

Like in the story, I enjoyed immensely the time we had together, even though Rudy was no philosophiser on life. His face would light up when he saw me, he’d whinge and complain about family members to me in confidence and we’d go downstairs in his wheelchair so he could smoke away to his heart’s content. Yes I took him – why should he have been denied a few simple joys in his last months? A nip of Baileys and a good dose of chocolate were our other great shared joys. Read more

Update on 2012 calendars – 20% discount now available

There have been some good sales of the two 2012 calendars offered through Visited Planet.

To jog your memory one contains images taken by orphans in Myanmar and the other from the database of Visited Planet. Profits from both calendars will go directly back towards developmental projects and to the orphans themselves. See the product page for more details.

Anyway Lulu, the company printing and distributing the calendars, is now offering a 20% discount on all purchases made before the 20th January – this Friday. For those in Australia that basically wipes out the postage fee.

Please do consider a purchase to support Visited Planet’s work.

Feel free to email Jo at with your comments/thoughts/photo aspirations. See and learn more at

Photographic gallery: Pure New Zealand

I just spent the morning creating a photographic post of images of the south island in New Zealand for Travel Wire Asia – a site I blog for on travel. It’s not yet published but I’ve added the same gallery of shots here.

The view from above: Lake Wakatipu between the clouds on a flight to Dunedin.

Read more

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Visited Planet's documentary and lifestyle photographic projects are designed to aid, equip, empower and educate people around the world.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King Jr.