Normal Kevin Kuster
kevinkuster con·tem·pla·tion. The action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time.

Although I do not know what his internal thoughts were at the time I took this photo, I could completely see the conversation taking place in his eyes.

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kevinkuster THREE 4 THREE. I was asked to post three things about myself that not many people know about me. Here goes.

1. I have been SCUBA diving several times with sharks in the open ocean without a cage.

2. I enjoy the process of having a suit tailored by a profession seamstress. Feels exciting and relaxing all at the same time.

3. I used to build W.W. 1 plastic model planes by hand and sell them professionally.

Posted for #jj_forum_1387.

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kevinkuster As the sun rises I wake safe and rested. Veterans Day also begins and I can't help and think about how many veterans face their biggest 'demons' while sleeping.

One of my former co-workers 'Smoker' who proudly served in Vietnam used to tell me all the time how his greatest fear in life was his walk to his bed to begin the process of sleeping.

At night 'I see all the faces again and relive what I try and forget'. Smoker was a Special Forces 'tunnel rat'. From the few things he shared with me, it was obvious that he had seen and encountered things that no man should ever experience.

To anyone who has ever served in combat, I wish you a peaceful, and uninterrupted sleep tonight.

Thank for providing me and my family the ability to sleep safely in our beds. Our words of gratitude and thanks will never be enough for the price you were willing to pay for the freedoms we enjoy!

I shot this image at WW 2 day event. When I asked this participate his age, he said 18. Just a boy like many of those that served.#thankaveteranforyourfreedom

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kevinkuster Covered in black ash and soot. These Haitian women gather and transport coal in hug plastic tubs on their head from the market to their homes. The cutting down of trees and burning of wood as a source of fuel and light has been a major problem in Haiti. Using coal is very expensive and dangerous. @wattsoflove provides one part of the solution to this problem by providing clean solar energy at night. 2mon
  •   islandika ️ sending love your way🏼 2mon
  •   shineonyoucraydiamond Hugs, thoughts and prayers Kevin 2mon
  •   billsmith2315 Sending all the best Kevin🏼 I know the struggle your going through. My sister @mdaltonart and I have been dealing with our Dad's dementia and finally have him in a great environment and community in central New York. Our Dad is 88. 2mon
  •   instafraner THANK YOU, Kevin. 2mon
  •   mdaltonart How absolutely wonderful the outreach you are providing. I also wanted to say I believe sharing stories of my dad, who has dementia provides a kind of therapeutic reprieve for me personally. My hope is that you too will find solace knowing there are others out here who share your struggle. I'm sending you my very best wishes as my brother Bill, mentioned above @billsmith2315 ...Hang in there Kevin. @kevinkuster #GeorgeTheManInAHat 2mon
  •   lees_eyes So glad @wattsoflove can help brighten these people's lives in a practical way. Do they have any thing in Haiti yet, to provide cleaner water? I recently saw an amazing invention on the News, that turns sewage into clean water. Always great seeing people using their talent for the good of others! Have a blessed weekend, Kevin! @kevinkuster 1mon
  •   s7reetno_7 3w

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kevinkuster The joy that overwhelmed this women the first time she was able to hear the bible played in her native language through her new @wattsoflove solar light and MP3 player was truly amazing to witness! 2mon
  •   lees_eyes How awesome, Kevin! Wonderful to be able to use technology to witness, like this! What an amazing opportunity to see God at work, in this way!! @kevinkuster 1mon
  •   ido8all Wow 1mon
  •   toni_schulte Oh heart be still 🏼 1mon
  •   lexlexie Gave me the chills! Great shot! 1mon
  •   darekm101 This is such an honest photograph, these are truly unique and rare. The depth of the emotion captured in this image is contagious and one looking at this photograph cannot help but share in the joy and feel the heartbeat quicken. Powerful. 1mon
  •   lilmisswhimsypix thats wonderful @kevinkuster what an amazing moment! 1mon

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Normal Kevin Kuster
kevinkuster "To educate a girl is to reduce poverty." Former UN secretary-General Kofi Annan 2mon

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kevinkuster This wonderful Haitian grandma who was blind and very, very sick struggled terribly to get out of bed when we went to check on her. Although she personally would not benefit from light illumination (her children and grand children did) she was so thrilled to be able to listen to the USB audio bible and radio built into her new light. When we asked her how she liked her new light she said it was great, “I have always felt Jesus in my home, now for the first time in my life I can hear him." 3mon

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kevinkuster Are you talking to me? Are YOU, taking to ME?! I didn't THINK you were F***ing taking to me!

These few words famously delivered by Robert Dinero in the movie Taxi Diver perfectly describe the type of looks I get from most of the people when I first approach them to take their photos when traveling abroad.

Trust me I get it! If I had some strange, sweaty, funny looking foreigner, approach me with a camera in front of their face wanting to take my photo, I don't think I would be too receptive either.

Ah, but that is the exact space that I love to live in. I seriously love this moment of tension between me and the person I want to photograph. Normally, I have been draw to the person for some unique reason. Could be their clothes, their eyes, the light, an emotion they are expressing, might be anything but, I saw it and in a flash of an eye, I want to capture it!

Now here is the really hard part... Once someone is observed in their "natural" or "honest present state," it disappears the moment they are made aware of it being recorded. Sometimes if you are fast enough you can capture it. On very rare occasions that person may present me with a gift and keep doing whatever inspired me. Most times, the wall of tension presents it's self immediately between us.

It's in this moment that things shift and becomes 90% psychology, and 10% photography. Although I use a variety of approaches to connect to people, the greatest thing that works for me is showing personal confidence. Some how through my facial epressions, words, sounds or body lanughage, I let that person know that they can feel confident that, their emotions, their moment, their story is safe with me to share.

Now, if only I was confident enough to get Robert DiNero in front of my camera.

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kevinkuster GYENYEN DAN NOU! That was my total go to Haitian line for the past few days.

What's the translation you ask? Show me your teeth. Not smile for me or say cheese but, show me your teeth! Why this particular sentence worked I have no clue but, once I saw the response, I used it quite often.

Next time you're in Haiti and trying to get someone to laugh, loudly toss out a "Gyenyen dan nou" and watch the reactions. I promise you will not be let down!

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kevinkuster The WOL team educates and demonstrates to a group of new light recipients how the money they save not buying "white fuel" or kerosene to light their homes at night can now can be used to buy chickens, pigs farm seed. This poster was a great way to visually educate the Haitian people how their new solar light can help break the cycle of poverty. Light=Opportunity 3mon

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kevinkuster Sometimes if you don't laugh you just might break.

It's late, very late! Plus, it is hot, humid and there is NO movement of air at all in my room. It feels like I have a heavy wet blanket over my face. Plus, I just can't stand laying in my own sweat any more staring at the lifeless mosquito net above me. I just need to face the harsh reality that although I am exhausted, I can not and will not sleep again tonight.

Now what do I do? No TV to watch. No book to read. No internet to surf. No fridge to open to consume a late night snack to sooth my frazzled nerves. Nothing, nada, zip! Now what?

My only option with out waking any of my WOL team members is to write. Ah...the cruel irony of life! The thing I dislike the most is the only option I have to pass my time till the roosters begin to crow and the sun comes up. Speaking of roosters, does anyone know why roosters always crow BEFORE the sun comes up? Dives me crazy.

Beauty can be seen in all things. But seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. —Matt Hardy.

I loved this quote the moment I read it because it gave me a place to put some of my conflicted feelings when photographing the people I do on these trips. I know the people we serve have very difficult lives and they have so little in life, however, what little they do have visually stimulates me.
I love how carefully they place their cups, plates and bowls that may not match. Or how they sweep the dirt area in the front of their doorstep. I love the fashions and clothing they all wear with pride. It all fascinate and stimulates me and I love to capture it all.

I can only hope that my photographs show their dignity and humanity with honor and respect.

And... cue that rooster! Hello morning.
  •   raynnamyers "...dignity and humanity with honor and respect" 🏻 yes, I feel that you do that very well. I enjoy that very much about the images you share, maybe that's what I enjoy the most. 🏻 3mon
  •   scootnoodles My favorite quote... ‘Be Great Today’ fits your life well, from what I see. Thank you for sharing!🏼 @kevinkuster 3mon
  •   billsmith2315 Sio good! 3mon
  •   teca_lopes Olhe q foto massa @mafaldajobs 3mon
  •   jj_editor_sonora44 Lol my roosters crow all day starting @ 3 am😀 folklore talks about how they keep the home & land protected from demons 3mon
  •   jj_editor_nselmo Hi Kevin! (some useless culture) Japanese scientists concluded that roosters recognize the time because their biological clock. In experiments even exposed to constant artificial light they sing before the sunrise. 🐓🐓🐓 3mon
  •   jingweibu 2mon

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kevinkuster I hate writing! Having lived with an undiagnosed case of dyslexia for my entire childhood, I bare may wounds about writing.

I spent so much time and energy making sure I was NEVER required to write or read aloud in front of anyone for my entire life. Even as I write these words now, I know I have probably made several spelling or grammatical errors, however, I can not see them. I know that might sound strange but that's the truth. I can not see the mistakes or misspelled words. My brain "auto corrects" everything that is incorrect when I write. The fact that I now FORCE myself to write as often as I do and as publicly as I do, really baffles me.

I sometimes wish all my photos we just good enough to stand all alone. No words. No grammer. No sentence. I am not word-smith and I seriously hate writing.

It's always my objective when taking photos to create images that require no words or captions.

Did I mention that I seriously, seriously hate writing?
  •   ericka.wallace Really love this photo. 3mon
  •   jana_bot Really great @kevinkuster 3mon
  •   isthatcherrypie But you do write well, i can feel the frustration in your written voice, so keep on writing because your photographs are best complemented by your stories. 3mon
  •   toledo_insta_grammie_carolyn Keep writing what you feel. 3mon
  •   mg12ac3 No worries. I understood what you wrote. Thanks for sharing your travel experiences. 3mon
  •   onabike Your photographs are so good that they can stand alone but I enjoy reading your stories that go with them and think you do a good job at telling them. 3mon
  •   franknocode Thanks for sharing... You rock!!! 3mon
  •   pretty_nifty Nice 2mon

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kevinkuster There is now greater joy in a father's life than to know his child's chance to succeed in life by excelling in school has been greatly increased! This father joy and laughter at his daughters excitement was magnificent to observe. 3mon
  •   billsmith2315 Pure happiness- bet you feel great making a difference 3mon
  •   arashrimus Love the shot... Love the faces... Love the LIGHT... Love the caption!!! Is there something else to love?!!! Yes! That's WattsOfLove to Love :))) all thanks to the utterly amazing @kevinkuster :) ...Kevin you are not only a truly dear friend but you are a mentor to me to look up and learn how to be a great person as you are :) Thank You Man! And i truly miss you these days :) Stay safe and all the best :) 3mon
  •   misseswray Wonderful! So rewarding I'm sure 3mon
  •   nq75 Father's reaction captured is PRRFECT! 3mon
  •   photocaptmoment 3mon
  •   eve.bikram.yogi What a magnifique face expression....he seems to be sooo happy and so proud 3mon
  •   dwazi_2 So sweet , you know how to capture pure joy!!! 3mon
  •   lena_61_k Great portrait 3mon

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kevinkuster This Samuel Sainvil he is 18 years old and was orphaned as a baby.

I can not image how difficult it would be going through life without ever knowing your parents!

Samuel we so reserved when we gave him his solar light, however, once I asked him what he would do with his light his face lite up and he said... "Study more school work!" It was a fantastic moment.

If you didn't notice the words on Samuel shirt please view it again. I personally don't think there could be a more perfect shirt for this moment in Samuel's life!
  •   billsmith2315 Can't imagine wonderful portrait Kevin 3mon
  •   adoredcreation The words on his shirt were the first thing I noticed. His smile says it all. 3mon
  •   danadoverspike Thank you, Kevin for sharing this wonderful journey of spreading light to the world. 3mon
  •   lambenson5 Awesome "daily_inspiration" ?3mon
  •   misseswray So great Kevin 3mon
  •   dwazi_2 Aww...such kind eyes and beautiful smile! 3mon
  •   casia72 Wonderful! 3mon
  •   marinobambinos Tears. This is beautiful 2mon

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kevinkuster Gratitude is like the human muscular system, the more you exercise your feelings of gratitude the stronger it becomes, the quicker it responds and the faster it recovers from being beaten down.

One thing that I have noticed during all my travels with @wattsoflove is that although all the people we serve have very, very little in life, they are always so grateful for even the littlest of things.

Yes, the light brings them great joy, however their gratitude goes beyond anything I have ever experienced in the United States.

Yesterday, as we were packing up, we told a few young girls that they could have the empty boxes and straps that we shipped the lights in and they actually jumped for joy and began clapping.

What we saw as disposal and trash, they saw as a gift, an opportunity, a blessing.

Their amazing display of gratitude and joy made me realize I need to seriously exercises my own personal gratitude muscles substantially more when I return home.

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kevinkuster What baby born into this world deserves less opportunities to succeed in life than another child?

Why should "where" child is born or the social economic structure they are born into have such a profound pre-determination of the quality of their life?

A great friend of mine once said "you can't see a persons heart if you can't see their eyes." I will always remember how true these words are no matter where I travel or whom I photograph.

As this child's mom waited to get her new light, I was totally drawn to her baby's eyes and truly felt I could see her sweet and tender heart as we briefly interacted.

We can only hope that her families' new @wattsoflove light will allow this sweet girl to attain some of her hopes and dreams as she grows.

Light = Opportunity! #WOLHaiti

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kevinkuster This is Otancile. She has been a single mom for 20 years while raising six children. She was very intense and determined to learn everything about her new @wattsoflove solar light during our training session.

When I asked her son Ernso what was the greatest thing about his mom he said "She is my hero! She provide me the financial support and allowed me to get an education. And my education allowed me to become the man I am today. Education is so important. I love her very much." Today's post is in honor of all the mom's in the world that silently work so hard each and every day to raise children, work, cook, clean, bandage physical wounds, sooth emotional wounds, wipe away tears, provide a shoulder to rest on, arms to hug, hands to hold and most importantly, champion and push their children to become the best individuals they can be!

Mom's truly make this world a better place and providing a Otancile a new solar light was our honor!

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kevinkuster This little girl now has a the opportunity to study at night. Because of her new solar light she has a brighter future in more than just one way! 3mon

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kevinkuster It's so nice and rewarding to work and serve others with your family! My sister Nancy Economou, Connor Economou, and me, Kevin Kuster. Oh and that other guy in the back is out newly adopted brother Ernso! 3mon

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kevinkuster The great news is we safely arrived in the town of Seramond and were greeted by 200+ enthusiastic people!

The unfortunate news is we were only scheduled to deliver 90 solar lights today.

I am not gonna sugar coat it... it is REALLY hard to see such need and not have a new light for everyone that shows up. Although we explain as best we can before arriving that we only have a limited number of lights, you can't blame those not on the list for coming and hoping that there will be extras lights some place in the back of our truck.

In this image you can see our assistant Ernso reading the names on the official list. As he was reading I could hear the tension from the room as they ALL hoped and prayed that their name would be read.

I once heard "your gratitude grows your giving and giving grows your gratitude!" So, today I am very grateful!

I am grateful to be in Haiti. I am grateful that I get to serve. I am grateful for our WOL team and I am so grateful for those that support out mission.

Light=Gratitude. #WOLhaiti
  •   bellalaugh This had to be heart-wrenching for you and the team. Thank you for being transparent and letting us know the extent of the need. 3mon
  •   eckphrasis Great work🏻 3mon
  •   arashrimus @kevinkuster thanks for the update :) as @instafraner mentioned, since a few months ago its also my dream to be able to join you one day on such outstanding projects. What you are doing is genuinely embraced by all of us :) Thank You. 3mon
  •   andiriggs Kevin, how can we help? 3mon
  •   andiriggs I mean, is there anything we can do now while you're on the trip? This story really touched me. My heart goes out to your team & to those who are so in need. 3mon
  •   lcreezycreations 🏼🏼🏼 What can I do/give to help? Ur doing great work. 3mon
  •   marinobambinos What amazing work. 3mon
  •   0312maleihkarose Amazing God bless you 3mon

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