Sharing Stories: illustrating for others

Sharing Stories: illustrating for others

Recently I’ve been sketching and illustrating scenes from Colombia that have been present in my daily life for the past year. I’ve shared several of these images on Facebook and Instagram, and to my surprise, I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. Some Peace Corps friends have even commissioned me to illustrate...
#4, Collaging Colombia, The Street Below

#4, Collaging Colombia, The Street Below

 [Magazine pieces in 7.5″ x 10″ sketchbook] La Boquilla, Bolívar, Colombia. November 2013. Squeaky pedals on a bike, roosters crowing, stray dogs barking, a man rolling his cart down the street and selling a dried corn drink by yelling “PETO!”–these are the sounds of the street below. The sun shines through the...
Maps and Markers: A Fish Vendor in La Boquilla

Maps and Markers: A Fish Vendor in La Boquilla

Mapping a section of La Boquilla A fish vendor down the street from my house Everyday I wake up between 5:30 and 7:30 AM. As part of my morning ritual, I wander over to the balcony and observe Boquilla’s principal street below. I see students meandering along the sidewalk in their...
Mapping Movement: a week on the coast

Mapping Movement: a week on the coast

A few weeks ago, I took my map obsession to the next level by enrolling in a free MOOC on Coursera titled, Maps and the Geospatial Revolution. In the first week, we discussed why we use maps. I personally use maps in several ways, the most obvious being to navigate...
30 shots of Mongolia: from Ulaanbaatar to Lake Kovsgol

30 shots of Mongolia: from Ulaanbaatar to Lake Kovsgol

I’ll remember Mongolia as the land of magnificent skies. During the day, the sky ranged from brilliant shades of cyan to Prussian blue, but after twilight, the Big Dipper pierced through a spattering of stars and the milky way lingered overhead. In addition to being culturally unique, Mongolia’s vast landscape...
Staying with nomadic Mongolian families: part III

Staying with nomadic Mongolian families: part III

Day 3: I arrived at the third family’s home, where I met my host mother and her two grown daughters. One of the daughters and I walked towards the forest to collect kindling for the wood stove. As I piled fallen branches into my arms, I remembered a moment during...
ㄱ through ㅎ: What I'll miss about Korea

ㄱ through ㅎ: What I’ll miss about Korea

It’s been awhile. My semester at GGU ended in June, so I packed my life into two bags and spent two weeks in Mongolia, living in yurts with nomadic families, drinking fermented mare milk, traveling by horse, and eating way too much goat meat. A few days ago, after a...
Secrets of Taroko

Secrets of Taroko

After a few days in Taichung, my Taiwanese friend Olivia and I traveled to Hualien, a naturally-preserved, remote beach town on Taiwan’s east coast. The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and we spent a few days biking, walking along the beach and drinking beers on the rocks, while...
A broken air conditioner and an ajumma in charge

A broken air conditioner and an ajumma in charge

My middle-aged, ajumma Korean landlord has more energy than the girls who promote sales at beauty shops in Myeongdong, bouncing up and down in knee socks and repeatedly shouting the same phrase into a microphone for hours on end. She is never in my building, so she comes to my...
Latest entries
My Hammock

My Hammock

Hello friends! These days I’m challenging myself to draw everyday, whether it be a simple line drawing, a comic, or something more detailed and time-consuming. I’ll be posting here occasionally, but you can follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr. -Comic by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights reserved.
Peace Corps Projects: HIV/AIDS Talks

Peace Corps Projects: HIV/AIDS Talks

Classes have been in session for about a month now. I’ve been busy teaching with a few English teachers, enjoying Barranquilla’s Carnaval, running and doing yoga everyday, and drawing, of course. Additionally, I published an article on our Peace Corps Colombia online magazine (which I helped create and am the current layout editor) about the...
Nine Yoga Collages

Nine Yoga Collages

Lately I’ve been getting back into yoga– either starting my day off with sun salutations, stretching out after a morning run, or spending 10 to 60 minutes focusing on strength, balance and flexibility. This morning, I re-discovered these yoga collages that I made four years ago in my tiny apartment (that I miss so much) in...
A Review of 2014 + Goals for the New Year

A Review of 2014 + Goals for the New Year

I took this photo as I was freezing my butt off on the Brooklyn Bridge a day before New Year’s Eve. I’m grateful for the time I was able to spend with my boyfriend, family and friends in Maine, New York and DC this winter.   I’m a week and a half late, but Happy...
The 52 Book Challenge: a year of reading in review

The 52 Book Challenge: a year of reading in review

I did it! I successfully completed my 52 book challenge–the first reading goal I’ve set since I was a child, when my mother would make my sisters and I set summer reading goals each year. According to Goodreads, I read 14,984 pages this year. (And yes, graphic novels count.) I did not read a Spanish book and...
The Mangroves of La Boquilla

The Mangroves of La Boquilla

[markers, pen and colored pencil on 11″ x 14″ paper] The mangroves are an integral part of La Boquilla; fishermen stand in the knee-deep water and cast their nets, native guides row tourists through the winding tunnels, crabs, pelicans, termites and stray dogs make their homes within the vegetation, and residents live on slivers of...
The Mochila Vendor

The Mochila Vendor

[marker and pen on paper, 11″x 14″] Within La Ciudad Amurallada–Cartagena’s historic walled city–vendors sell an array of colorful, handmade goods. Long beaded necklaces, bracelets, headbands, and prints of Botero’s pudgy nudes are neatly arranged on the brick sidewalks. The wall of mochilas–over-the-shoulder bags handmade by the indigenous Wayuu tribe–catch my eye. The colors have...
A Different Mr. Fox

A Different Mr. Fox

  *If you’re not familiar with Mr. Fox, the one-hit-wonder reggaetonero from Cartagena (I think), check out the video for “USHHH.” You’re going to have to listen to the audio here, because it’s been removed from the video due to copyright laws. You won’t be disappointed.   -Text and illustrations by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights...
Maps and Markers: Manzanillo del Mar

Maps and Markers: Manzanillo del Mar

A map of Manzanillo del Mar, located north of Cartagena Manzanillo del Mar is a small pueblo located on the beach just beyond La Boquilla, the community where I live and work. In La Boquilla, 10,000 residents live on a narrow strip of land, but in Manzanillo, there are only 500. (To draw my map, I...
High School Photography Camps in La Boquilla and Manzanillo del Mar

High School Photography Camps in La Boquilla and Manzanillo del Mar

This past month, my Peace Corps neighbor Francis and I led two photography camps at our sites, encouraging groups of 15 motivated students to reflect on two important themes: family roots and the meaning of hope. Francis and I both live north of Cartagena; she lives in Manzanillo del Mar, a tranquil pueblo of 500 people, and I...
Maps and Markers: Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

Maps and Markers: Castillo San Felipe de Barajas

[This post is the first in a series called, “Maps and Markers,” illustrating a specific place on the coast of Colombia with a hand drawn map, marker and pen sketch, photos, and a short story about my experience or relation to that place.] Exactly a year ago, when I received my Peace Corps site placement in...
I've been a little lost, but here are a few links from the past year

I’ve been a little lost, but here are a few links from the past year

I photographed this man fishing at sunset from Cartagena’s walled city. The first year of my Peace Corps service in Colombia has come and gone without ever having to put on a sweatshirt. (That’s kind of a lie since I did visit Bogotá and Maine in July.) Nevertheless, I’ve (seemingly) attended hundreds of Peace Corps trainings,...