New Student Photo Series 2010 – Post #27

We are wrapping up our last week of incoming photos from new students . . . enjoy this last week, hard to believe Orientation is next Monday!

The first set of photos come from Emily Eller, an incoming MIA student.
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These three photos were taken in The Gambia where I live.

I took the first two photos near the Sukuta Mosque on Tobaski day in 2007 and 2006 respectively. Tobaski is a day of prayer and celebration. The little boy is Kaderi Janneh and the other men are his uncles. I think he looks so sweet in his sunglasses! Everyone gets a new outfit for Tobaski but Kaderi gets new sunglasses every year too.
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The last photo is of Awa Bojang, durring her “Kolio” or the naming ceremony for her child. This was Awa’s first child and they had a huge party for her. She wore 9 different dresses during the ceremony. I think this one is particularly striking because of all the gold. The photo was taken inside her home in Gunjur.
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The next set are from Rabayah Akhter, an incoming MIA student.
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I took the first picture in the summer of 2005 on a visit to Pakistan with my family. It is literally the prettiest place I’ve ever been. this is Saiful Muluk lake in Naran, a part of Kaghan valley in northern Pakistan which was particularly hard-hit by a devastating earthquake only a few months later. (also – I’ve never had fresher tasting fish in my life than from this area.)
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The second photo was taken during my favorite part of the day (while I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali) – before sunset when the women would be on their way home from a long day of washing laundry in the bani river. 2 years of watching them, I’m still flabbergasted at the amount of weight they could balance atop their heads without so much as a grimace.
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The third photo is one I had a friend take of me in my patriotic Malian outfit. Malians love expressing themselves through their clothes so i fit right in! The Malian markets were flooded with Obama t-shirts, belt buckles, watches, boxers and even Michelle Obama had was depicted on Malian fabric.
CIMG0836The last photo is one of my favorites . . . though I guess artistically, it isn’t saying much. Malians are, on the whole, devout Muslims. This is a picture of boatmen praying in a makeshift mosque (made on the sand-ish shore of where the Bani River should be, if there were more rain) . . . I like to think, as a Muslim myself, that this is all it takes to make a place of worship: a cleared-out space to pray, nothing fancy.

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