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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...
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...
Front Doors in Cartagena's Downtown

Front Doors in Cartagena’s Downtown

For awhile, I’ve been wanting to photograph some of the homes scattered along the narrow streets in Cartagena’s downtown neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are usually quiet–just beyond the bustling tourist attractions and restaurants. Filled with bright colors, peeling paint, intricate architectural details, overgrown plants and people with somewhere to go…   -Text and photography by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com....
From Korea to Colombia: an illustration of my cell phones

From Korea to Colombia: an illustration of my cell phones

When I was a child, my family had an old fashioned rotary phone connected to the wall by a curly cord. The numbers were arranged in a circle, and in order to call someone, you had to spin each one to a fixed stop position. I can still picture my mother, with her post-eighties perm, hurriedly twisting...
May and June: an assortment of novels

May and June: an assortment of novels

I’ve reached the middle of my 52 book challenge, and at 33 books, I’m well ahead of schedule. (I’ll attribute that to my newfound love of graphic novels.) I’ve exposed myself to a plethora of new authors and subjects, including the assortment of novels below. This collection is somewhat obscure; the only commonality among them is the fact that...
Summer Reading: 5 graphic novels

Summer Reading: 5 graphic novels

Welcome to my latest obsession: the graphic novel. I’ve realized that the combination of illustrations and text to tell a story is not only reserved for superheroes, children and fantasy. Lately I’ve been reading a selection of (mostly) non-fiction graphic novels, intended for adults. Not only are these stories interesting, entertaining and well-rendered, but they’ve inspired...
The House of Animals

The House of Animals

            -Text and illustrations by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights reserved.
Integration vs. Polo Shirts

Integration vs. Polo Shirts

The public high school–where the teachers are always nice and I don’t have to wear a uniform. I hate polo shirts. Polo shirts remind me of soggy french fries floating in dirty dishwater mixed with hamburger grease and crusted hot fudge. They remind me of running around with plastic baskets of chicken fingers, wearing chunky black non-slip shoes...
It rained in La Boquilla.

It rained in La Boquilla.

A couple weekends ago, it poured in La Boquilla. The rain pummeled down in one giant burst that lasted an hour, flooding the main road with a stagnant pool of brown liquid. I had plans to meet my friend at the beach, but instead, I stayed put. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in Colombia,...
a lesson about pants

a lesson about pants

An acceptable outfit: jeans and a see-thru shirt. As I was sitting across from José, devouring a Mediterranean-style crepe, I shifted in my seat and felt a thin layer of sweat underneath my bare thighs. I was wearing a dress, and the air conditioner had stopped functioning in the restaurant. I thought about something that...
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 new places (even though I’m...