Americas
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: 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 uniforms, a grandmother sweeping her...
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,...
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...
The House of Animals

The House of Animals

            -Text and illustrations by Sarah Shaw @ www.mappingwords.com. All rights reserved.
La Boquilla Tour

La Boquilla Tour

Even though I’ve hit the ten month mark in Colombia, I’ve failed to really show you how wonderful my Peace Corps site is. Now is your chance to glimpse some important places in La Boquilla through the eyes of my 9th grade English conversation club. Last semester, I worked with this group of students to film a...
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,...