School Picture Day Our neighborhood restaurant in Bangkok was in an abandoned lot, underneath a huge tree choked with strangler fig vines. Bamboo picnic tables squatted under a multicolored roof of vinyl and plastic sheeting. It had a TV on a stump of wood, and Thai food so delicious that we’d gladly brave the hordes of geckos and mosquitoes. Serving that food was our soon-to-be lifelong friend, Nong Arm. Strings of agricultural villages lay along the mountain border between Myanmar and Thailand. Scattered between them are public boarding schools where village children come to find their education. In Arm's village school, about one-third of the students live in rural areas. Each semester, the kids walk for two days to reach the school where they’ll both live and study during the semester. Arm was a kind of village Aunty. When students were out of school, they would come and spend afternoons on her porch. My wife and I drew pictures for them, and they shared their school lessons with us. Learning that the students had never had class photos taken, I volunteered to be the school’s first-ever photographer. We decided to trade: I’d give them a picture, and the students would make us a picture in return. A teacher friend came along to facilitate and give drawing lessons while I shot school portraits. Armed with a pair of small canon photo printers, we spent the next day printing and handing out 4x6 portraits to each student. We also replicated the event in one of the more remote villages, whose students couldn’t attend picture day. It’s our hope that, seeing themselves as students, these children will take pride in their education and consider staying in school, even when most children quit young.