Mosebo Village, Ethiopia

The Meaning of Humanity

Today I have the honor of hosting the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. When asked to come up with a theme, without skipping a beat I decided upon Humanity. Here is my own answer to the question and challenge below. To see the official WordPress Photo Challenge: Humanity and to respond, please click here. 

There is so much conflict and heartbreak in the today’s world: Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Gaza, Ukraine and the raw memories of 9/11 to name a few. Sometimes it makes me wonder what on earth has happened to humanity and compassion for others. Has it all disappeared?

The more I see the world, the more I realize that although people are all different, we are also very much the same. We may speak different languages, have different cultures, religions, values and physical traits, yet we all share common hopes and dreams of love, family and survival.

When I travel, I am inspired to take photographs that show the common humanity of us all. I aim to capture images of everyday people around the world hoping to provoke compassion for others and an understanding of their differences. My favorite photos are the rare ones that capture the raw emotions of others and spark a curiosity about their lives. For me, these images reflect the common humanity the human race shares and creates a connection between us.

Some of my favorite photos of humanity are the ones where I feel as if my photograph is touching their souls like these ones below. 


I met these two girls inside an unauthorized slum in the heart of New Delhi. Although their clothing was tattered and torn, their eyes were full of joy, innocence and curiosity about the  outside world and a tall, blond-haired blue-eyed woman asking to take their photo. They reminded me of my own children.


I met this woman in southern Ethiopia at Project Mercy, a not-for-profit relief and development agency working to alleviate human suffering and poverty in Ethiopia. Although she could not read or write or speak the same language, her pride at her handiwork was evident. 


Goodbye Guatemala!

To my friend Lucy, who showed me her world in Antigua and how to love the art of photography.  I will forever be grateful for your kindness and friendship.  May our paths meet again!

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”-  Flavia Weedn

I always find it hard to say goodbye to a place.  I found it especially true with Guatemala.  Over the last week I’d been as immersed as possible with the culture.  I lived with a host family, took intensive spanish courses, climbed a volcano at the crack of dawn, took my first chicken bus and learned to slow everything down and take things as they come.  All in all, you couldn’t ask for a better journey than that.

As Sunday morning came and went, I felt a sadness about leaving so soon.  I could hardly believe how much I’d done and seen in only a week.  Perhaps more than many people ever experience at all.  I honestly believe that immersing oneself as much as possible in the culture you are visiting, is the greatest reward ever when it comes to traveling.  It was no vacation, that is for sure.  Every day I rose exhausted beyond belief and wondering how I’d gather the energy to make it through another long albeit exhilarating day.  But one thing I’ve come to learn and understand about myself over the years is that this is how I like to travel.  I would do it no other way.  A vacation?  No thanks.  Sitting on the beach?  I’d be bored in two minutes.  Running around a country and trying to see and learn as much as possible in only a week with never taking a moment to sit still?  That is what I do.  That is what I crave.  And most importantly, that is what I love.

Sensational, cloudless view of Agua Volcano on Sunday morning, the day of my departure. 

I know that many people find my way of traveling absolutely crazy.  They don’t understand me one bit.

But as I always love to say and quote my parents for reminding me “The world is your oyster”.  With those encouraging, motivating words….there was no time to sit aimlessly in my room checking emails.  I had to take advantage of every moment and opportunity I got to explore, learn and see my surroundings.  For how else would I get a sense of compassion for Guatemala?  It certainly wouldn’t be gained from laying on my bed reading a book.

Adventure Travel Guatemala TRAVEL BY REGION
Antigua, Guatemala

Eating like the locals in Guatemala

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ― Lao Tzu

Lucy and I hit the pavement hard in the morning, walking and taking pictures as if we were on some kind of crazy photography marathon.  Lucy lives in Antigua.  However, I only had one full day to see as much of this amazing city as possible.  And, amazing Antigua was.

I was completely captivated by everything I saw.  Every step was a photographic moment. Every building had a story to tell.  The rooftops were often in a spray of blossoming flowers in hues of purples, pinks and white.  The peeling paints telling the tales of centuries ago.  The missing cobblestones making each street a unique albeit tiring journey.  The mysterious volcanoes.  Threatening and looming off in the distance.  The colorfully dressed indigenous people.  Everything was a Kodak moment.  The problem was there simply wasn’t enough time.

Beautiful typical buildings and homes. There are many streets like this in Antigua. 


Blogging Ban In China

Hello Readers! Greetings from China!

I’ve been here for two full exhilarating days now and am beyond tired. I have more things to write about after 48 hours than I can believe. It is a fascinating place!

Unfortunately, I’ve figured out after the first day that the strong arm of the Republic of China has blocked access to my beloved WordPress site as well as Facebook and Twitter. Unless you have a proxy, it is extremely difficult to get on these banned sites. Thus, to my disappointment I am unable to blog while I’m in China. I also cannot access any other features of the site including the comments. I can read them via email yet cannot reply so please hang tight. I will respond to your comments and continue blogging when I return home on November 6th (that is, of course, after I get over the jet lag…it is 13 hours ahead for me here!).

I am so excited to write about what I’ve seen and experienced here in China. In just two days, I’ve taken over 100 pictures and have written meticulous notes. I will have lots of great, interesting stories to share! I have constantly had to remind myself to use the “third-eye” approach. It has been an extreme culture shock here yet after two days now I’m feeling more myself.

So, please hold on tight. There will not be any posts for at least a week unless for some reason I’m able to get onto WordPress or can bother my husband again to post them for me (I am emailing him my posts and he is entering them on my site yet we are not including any photos since it is too much of a hassle).

In the meantime, if you are interested in hearing more of my stories, I have over 100 posts accumulated so far thus there is plenty to read. Check out my journeys to Morocco, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Iceland, Nepal, India or more.

As always, thanks for reading!


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