The first two photos come from Denise Lee, an incoming MPA in Development Practice student.
These photos were both taken on December 31, 2008 atop Ololokwe mountain, a sacred mountain to the Samburu people in North Eastern Kenya. This is an area where natural resources are being depleted at ever-increasing rates threatening the natural environment and the survival of wildlife in the region. At the same time pastoralist communities are struggling as their economic development continues to be hindered by ethnic rivalries and insecurity. The obstacles are tremendous, but I felt hopeful when learning about innovative new programs including the Northern Rangelands Trust which seeks to address both challenges by facilitating community-led conservation initiatives that improve human livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and rangeland management.
In the first photo our local Samburu guide, John, looks south towards Mount Kenya. John is employed by a community owned and managed safari operation that offers trips up the mountain with local, experienced guides allowing visitors to experience the high altitude mist forest and panoramic vistas.
This photo shows three young Samburu Moran boys that we met with their cattle in the background. It was striking to see tradition colliding with modernity particularly in the form of the automatic weapons they carried. Samburu Moran boys moving from boyhood into manhood go up into Ololokwe for months at a time to live off the ground and prove their manhood. The area is rife with conflict due to the Somalies and the Boran impinging on Samburu grazing ground.
The next two photos come from Karina Nagin, an incoming MPA student.
First Photo: Taken at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The tour guide had just finished explaining to our group how important it was to be respectful and not climb on any of the ruins, we then turned a corner to see this group giggling and laughing while scaling the walls for a group picture. They were having so much fun I had to snap a pic.
Second Photo: Taken in a small town outside Bangalore, India. In 2008 I was working in Bangalore and was invited to a weekend function in my colleague’s village. During the all day ceremony two sisters pulled me away to go play in the neighboring sunflower field. It was one of the highlights of my stay.