Several Weeks ago I went out on my bike, searching for examples of love. I was pulled toward Washington Square Park and rode toward the top of the park where a guy played banjo under the finally renovated Washington Square Arch. The light beautifully bounced off the white marble of the arch and back into the ever darkening park at dusk. I stopped on my bike to listen to the music and found myself distracted by this large group of friends standing and listening on bikes. I watched their body language with each other, their energy was so light and fun, along with the two little babies who were helmeted and seated on their bikes, trying to clap along with the music. The laugher, kindness and joy they expressed with each other was that of a family of friends. I hadn’t photographed a group for this project yet…Group Love… Not quite what it sounds like… They were all in the Peace Corps together for 2 years, well all of them except for 2 new additions to the group.
Everyone gets into the music. ©Katarina Kojic
Name: Tara Age: 28 Profession: Domestic Engineer aka. Stay-at-home mom.
Name: Jerod Age: 28 Profession: Account executive at Adobe
Name: Tyler Age: 1
Name: Nia Age: 27 Profession: Professional Traveller (looking for travel writing job)
Name: James Age: 26 Profession: Medical Student
Name: Alyssa Age: 29 Profession: CEO of the household
Name: Caetano Age: 1 year 9 months
Name: Andrea Age: 27 Profession: Teacher
Relationship to each other: We were all in the Peace Corps together. Peace Corps Family and friends For those who might not be familiar, what is the Peace Corps: It’s a program of the US government where people go as ambassadors of America and help developing countries in a variety of ways. How / where did you meet: In Mozambique- we were all teachers. What were you teaching: English, Biology, other sciences, we did a lot of youth development… Did you know each other before: Tara- “We (Tara & Jerod) were married before. (still married)
Tara, Tyler, Jerod, Nia, Caetano, Andrea, James, Alyssa ©Katarina Kojic
When did you all meet: September 2007 How long have you been together: We were there for 27 months. 2 Years. And at the end of 2009 we all came back and we’ve been like best friends. What is your favorite thing about each other: Tara- I would say sense of humor, and just fun. Certainly the funnest people ever. Nia- Everyone is so like minded and adventurous. What’s been your best adventure? Click to hear The $100 Bill Story Video. I really love it we… Jerod- Get together and have a fun party. James- I really love it when Jerod wears a 1-piece unitard. Jerod- Who doesn’t love that?
Why are you important to each other: Tara- We shared the most amazing experience together . 2 Years together in a foreign country. Where we learned so much about ourselves and each other and a whole new culture. What does love mean to you? Love is… Tara- love is patient, love is kind– laughs (it’s the words commonly heard at weddings) Nia- Love is laughing and having fun. I think that’s the most important thing and there’s lots of that. Andrea- Love is now. Tara- Love is Jerod riding the bike all thru NY city. Jerod- How do you describe love? You just have to experience it. When you have love you know what it is.
Thanks everyone for your time and your beautiful Peace Corps family.