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.

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.
2007 Tobaski Christmas 069___
Tida and more 004
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.
Dad naming ceremony 2007 097
The next set are from Rabayah Akhter, an incoming MIA student.
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.)
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.
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.