1. Senegal Running for the Rain, or to Find Love

    As part of the traditional start to the Rainy Season in my area, Thiura Pethie is an enormous festival involving storytelling, throwing millet and yogurt mixtures, traditional Serere wrestling, and running around sacred baobab trees.  A type of fertility ceremony, the youth of the community run around the tree, at least 3 times, in hopes of having good fortune and finding their soul mate over the course of the following year.  There is joy and anticipation in the celebration, praying for a bo...

  2. Senegal Let's Meet Under the Mango Tree

    This picture was taken the day before the naming ceremony of my village namesake, James Diouf, named after my father in the US.  The women of the village are all gathered under one of the largest village mango trees, taking turns pounding millet for the porridge and big meal the next day.  The women are sitting around, making tea, dancing, gossiping, and egging each other on as they pound.  The images from this day will forever be imprinted in my memories.  Thank you, ladies.

  3. Senegal Ndeye

    This is my sister Ndeye right before Tabaski during my second year at site (November 2009).  Everyone else was just sitting around, braiding hair or shelling peanuts.  Ndeye is extra special to me because when her son Ibou was born (her first child), he was extremely malnourished and Ndeye didn't know how to properly breastfeed.  I worked with her on it and coached her about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding and Ibou started gaining weight!  He is now a healthy, active, and precocious...

  4. Jamaica Dream in Progress

    On 7 December 2008, Jordan Frazier interviewed Donald Ellis. Mr. Frazier is twenty-something and Mr. Ellis is 90-something. They exchanged information and opinions for nearly 3 hours. Jordan learned a great deal about the history of Ewarton and Donald had an attentive audience. They exchanged information and laughed at their different experiences. So what? Challenged from birth, Jordan was one of those special children suffering from the low expectations of surrounding adults. Until Step Up ...

  5. Jamaica Miss Thompson and Mrs. Gordon

    Sonia Thompson and Mrs. Gordon are associates. They are similar in that they both shoulder tremendous burdens. They lean on one another in times of need. They are central in a successful, unofficial community support system. This is a long term, mutually beneficial friendship; one of many I observed while working in Ewarton.  

  6. Jamaica Mother's Day in the Bush

    Making cards for Mother’s Day was new for the Sims Lane Children. The project drew a crowd of ten. They shared ideas, materials and a very small work space. Although different in every other way, all of the cards shared this greeting:  “Thank you, Mom, for the nine months you carried me.” This expression of gratitude with a pre-birth rather than a childhood emphasis was new for me.  

  7. Jamaica Impressed with Our President

    My House Mother in Ewarton, Pearl Harrison, surprised me one morning when she knocked on my door wearing her salute to President Obama. She was thrilled with his victory so a friend visiting the US sent her this teeshirt. I know for a fact that she was glued to her internet access on election night.

  8. Jamaica Everyone is Welcome

    Buru's dog PuPup is nursing her brood. Look closely and you'll see that the puppy on the right is a kitten. Buru raised PuPup himself and carefully watched her nutrition while she was pregnant. He did such a good job of caring for her that she found it completely natural to care for the orphaned kitten.

  9. Senegal Lost in the woods

    This photo was taken on my third day at my site. I was terrified of these crazed, machete and stick-wielding tree-men (called gangurans in Mandinka), who run around the village threatening to beat children as they scream and run away. My host family egged me on to get this photo.   

  10. Zambia Seka

    Laughing children were the highlight of my time in the village.

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