1. Mongolia mother tree

    The blind mother of one of my counter parts prays at the base of the sacred mother tree. Buddo-Shamanist Mongolian believers visit the holy tree, tie blue prayer scarves around the tree's branches, sprinkle dairy products on the ground and pray to the tree's spirits.

  2. Mongolia by candle light

    A group of my 8th grade students staring into the flame of a candle during a Haloween party. The students were amazingly resourceful with their constumes and had a very enjoyable time.

  3. Mongolia sacred stones

    The Mongolian skyline is peppered with round piles of stones called owoos, which serve as spiritual pilars. When you encounter an owoo, the respectful thing to do is bring a few pebbles from the bottom of the mountian, walk about the owoo three times, and toss at least one pebble to the top of the stone pile. I took this self portrait in the dead of winter before dawn before walking to school to work as a teacher trainer. The temperatue was nearly 40 below zero outside, but the traditional Mo...

  4. Mongolia Picnic Song

    June, 2009. Darkhan-Uul countryside, Mongolia. Mongolians friends on a picnic, singing and drinking into the evening as they wait for the freshly slaughtered sheep to boil.

  5. Brazil Overland

      My student Overland (pronounced Oh-ver-láwn-dee) was named for the text his father saw on a truck in an American movie. Overland often rode his horse to the family farm in the countryside to fetch fresh milk for his family. Occasionally, he stopped at the home Brunie (another PCV) and I shared. We boiled the milk and added cocoa powder and sugar, then we lingered over Overland's favorite beverage, hot chocolate. Since our only transportation (except for buses to other cities) was our feet, ...

  6. Brazil The Road to Heaven

    In Brazil, I was stationed in Glória, "heaven" in Portuguese. This scene was my very first view of the small city in the distance on the horizon, when the Peace Corps director for the state of Sergipe delivered me, my suitcase, and my footlocker to the town in the Peace Corps jeep.           The countryside was a lush green indicating recent rain. On the dirt road to Glória, we had negotiated many large puddles that hadn't dried yet from the hot tropical sun ten degrees south of the...

  7. Brazil Young Mother

    This young mother was proud to show off her young children and sit for a portrait.

  8. Brazil Toad Soup

    When I arrived in Glória (my Peace Corps site) Brunie had already been there a year. Kindly, she let me share her small house. We soon developed a routine of shopping at the weekly market and performing other household chores. I hated to clean and Brunie was bored with cooking, so Brunie did most of the cleaning while I usually prepared meals, although Brunie cooked occasionally.          When she first told me she was going to make ox tail soup, I was doubtful that I would like it, but it wa...

  9. Brazil An American By Any Other Name

    Note: some of the names in this story have been changed, not to protect the innocent, but because my memory has failed me. ------------------------       At the festa, I studied my neighbors swaying to the rhythm of the Brazilian beat. I heard the music, but I didn’t internalize the samba the way the Brazilians did as they moved fervently around the dance floor. I had been in Brazil only a few weeks. My Portuguese was still flawed and I could comprehend only those who slowed their speech to...

  10. Costa Rica Costa Rican Public School

    Second graders hard at work in the rural mountain community of Sabanillas de Acosta, San Jose, Costa Rica.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.