Profiling the Unseen – San Francisco Edition – III

Today, we have three women with very inspiring stories to share.

7. Meet Alty, who runs a cyber cafe and computer repair shop

Alty is from Dominican Republic and is fondly called "The Dominican Lady who helps" by her customers. Starting from a small purse shop, she runs a successful cyber cafe and computer repair business today.  She has even gone through a major fire at her store, and had to rebuild everything from scratch.

Alty is from Dominican Republic and is fondly called “The Dominican Lady who helps” by her customers.
Starting from a small purse shop, she runs a successful cyber cafe and computer repair business today in The Mission. She has even gone through a major fire at her store, and had to rebuild everything from scratch.  She is a true entrepreneur at heart. When customers started asking her to let them use her computer every now and then to check stuff, she thought “why not put more computers in her shop?”. Now it’s a full fledged cyber cafe and more.

Through her cyber cafe, Alty is fulfilling a big need in the area - teaching people how to use the computer, getting them familiar with the internet and helping connect immigrants with their families back home. Alty has been witness to many tender moments - families celebrating birthdays together over Skype,  friends being able to see eachother after many years over video chat. She has been a part of many tears, many smiles, many emotional moments. Alty hopes to start a non-profit that would teach people how to use the internet.

Through her cyber cafe, Alty is fulfilling a big need in the area – teaching people how to use the computer, getting them familiar with the internet and helping connect immigrants with their families back home.
Alty has been witness to many tender moments – families celebrating birthdays together over Skype, friends being able to see eachother after many years over video chat. She has been a part of many tears, many smiles, many emotional moments.
Alty hopes to start a non-profit that would teach people how to use the internet.

8. Meet Metha, who has a started a second career teaching English at 70

Metha used to work in the Parks department of San Jose. When she retired, she was suddenly at a loss about what to do. "One day I was busy, next day I wasn't," she says. So upon the recommendation of a friend, she started teaching English, to students here as well as kids in China and Saudi Arabia, over Skype.

Metha used to work in the Parks department of San Jose. When she retired, she was suddenly at a loss about what to do. “One day I was busy, next day I wasn’t,” she says.
So upon the recommendation of a friend, she started teaching English, to students here as well as kids in China and Saudi Arabia, over Skype.

Today, Metha feels happy that she continues to lead a full and happy life, despite her "age". She has taught English to 3 year old kids in China, and grown up women here in the US, trying to adjust to the new culture after having moved here from a different country. Metha's advice to youngsters - "No matter how old you are, don't let the grass grow under your feet!"

Today, Metha feels happy that she continues to lead a full and happy life, despite her “age”. She has taught English to 3 year old kids in China, and grown up women here in the US, trying to adjust to the new culture after having moved here from a different country.
Metha’s advice to youngsters – “No matter how old you are, don’t let the grass grow under your feet!”

9. Meet Christine, a trained soprano turned ice skater

Christine wears many hats. She started out as a singer, and is in fact a trained soprano. However, she broke her front teeth during a boxing training session and lost her voice. After going through a period of depression, she picked herself up and became a production assistant in movies. She has helped bring costumes to life for movies like Matrix, Fast and Furious and The Avengers!

Christine wears many hats. She started out as a singer, and is in fact a trained soprano.
However, she broke her front teeth during a boxing training session and lost her voice.
After going through a period of depression, she picked herself up and became a production assistant in movies. She has helped bring costumes to life for movies like Matrix, Fast and Furious and The Avengers!

Christine's true passion is ice skating. She practices regularly for two hours, and has been doing so for the last 10 years. When she skates, she feels at peace and happy. Her dream is to compete internationally in ice skating.

Christine’s true passion is ice skating. She practices regularly for two hours, and has been doing so for the last 10 years. When she skates, she feels at peace and happy.
Her dream is to compete internationally in ice skating one day.

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San Francisco Belle

I was walking along the Embarcadero in San Francisco a few days back. With the temperatures soaring close to 80 degrees, it was a rare but welcome warm and sunny day in SF. I spent some time getting coffee and enjoying the rich food aromas in Ferry Building, after which I started walking in the direction of Fisherman’s Wharf.

I think it was the pier right after Ferry Building, or perhaps 2 piers later – I was generally photographing the Bay Bridge and boats, when I noticed this girl in a large sun hat, holding a long stemmed red flower, dancing on the pier, fairly oblivious to everything around her. This wasn’t a performance for the benefit of onlookers. It seemed more as if she was practicing. She would try steps for some time, and then suddenly throw her hands up in frustration if she wasn’t happy with the outcome, sit on a nearby bench for a while, and then try the steps again.

Many people stopped by and watched – she danced beautifully. Yet, she seemed to be in a whole different world of her own.

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Santiago, Chile

Before leaving for Antarctica, I and a few friends spent about five days hiking in Chile (our flight to Antarctica was from a town called Punta Arenas on the southern tip of Chile). En route Punta Arenas, we had a long layover in Santiago, the capital of Chile. Posting some of my photographs from there, although I did not find the city particularly interesting.

Night Market in Philadelphia

It’s been a while since I posted something 😦 Took some pictures at the Night Market in Philly yesterday but they all came out pretty bad! Still posting the best of the lot.

Night Market was held in the Chinatown area. Food was pretty tasty although the lines were huge. There were various stalls selling all kinds of food. I like the photo below as you can see the chef’s hand’s impression through the pizza base 😀