Photography
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...
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....
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,...
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...
Camping in the Caribbean: Tayrona National Park

Camping in the Caribbean: Tayrona National Park

Taroko, Terelj, and Tayrona. Is it a coincidence that the last three national parks I’ve explored have started with the letter T? Tayrona, however, is located far from the others–outside of Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. A couple months ago, José and I embarked on a last minute trip to Tayrona, taking advantage of our...
2013 in Photos: Goodbye Korea, Hello Colombia, and some stops in between

2013 in Photos: Goodbye Korea, Hello Colombia, and some stops in between

Maybe it’s the tropical climate, or maybe all the shuffling around, but it’s hard to believe that Christmas is in a few days and we’re nearing the end of 2013. Also, I just realized that I’ve been blogging for two years, and I have published 200 entries. Insane! I spent a couple hours this morning reading...
Christmas in La Boquilla

Christmas in La Boquilla

The weather may be hot, but that hasn’t stopped Boquilleros from creating Christmas decorations that resemble the environment of their northern neighbors. Styrofoam and paper cup snowmen, CD wreaths, and Christmas trees from plastic bags, recycled bottles and old tires line the streets. At night, the dirt roads are illuminated by arches of lights blinking...
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 is visually overwhelming–in a good...
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 my exchange semester at the...
Staying with nomadic Mongolian families: part II

Staying with nomadic Mongolian families: part II

Day 2: The clouds hung heavy in the sky; it was about to rain. The second family greeted me outside and ushered me into their ger–a round felt tent traditionally used by nomads. The mother, Amar, handed me a mug of suutai tsai, hot, salted milk tea. I sat on the couch and tried to formulate some...
A portrait of Sangweol Village

A portrait of Sangweol Village

When I began studying at Geumgang University, a Buddhist university located in a village called Sangweol-myun, I experienced the sharp contrast between city and country life in Korea. As is evident in most countries, country life in Sangweol-myun is slower, many buildings are deteriorating, and the local buses are mostly comprised of elderly folk. (I...
Faces of Geumgang University's Korean language program

Faces of Geumgang University’s Korean language program

My semester at Geumgang University has officially ended. I took my (mock) TOPIK test yesterday, and today was our graduation. We dressed up and filed into a conference room and sat in swivel chairs around a lacquered table. We listened to a short speech from the president and from one person from each country who...