Tea plantation in Malaysia

2014 Photo Contest Winners

    Living as A Local

    First Place: "An Arc of Culture"—Arc de Triomf in Barcelona Spain

    Kids play with bubbles in a town squre near arch and palm trees

    At the end of a long stretch one spots Barcelona's Arc de Triomf. I am fortunate enough to walk past this monument daily between classes. Not only does one enjoy some of Barcelona's renown architecture, but the Arc is a common leisure walk by for locals. My aim for this picture was to encompass some of Barcelona's great architecture with it's cultural surrounding.

    Second Place: "Khmer Rice Farmer Traveling By Ox-Cart"—Siem Riep, Cambodia

    Back of a man walking with oxen

    A Khmer farmer and ox-cart craftsman transports rice from the rice-fields back to his village by use of ox-cart. The use of ox-carts has a long history in Khmer culture. However, many ox-cart craftsman have abandoned the craft for other jobs due to diminishing markets. Many fear that the traditional use of ox-carts will pass away along with the older generations. Once we arrived in his village he stated “If our culture dies, so does the roots of our nation.”

    Third Place: "Kabaddi, Kabaddi, Kabaddi..."—Alwar Province, Rajasthan, India

    Kids play game surrounded by crowd

    Students engaged in an intense match of Kabaddi while sideline spectators observed as part of a celebration on the opening day of a new primary school in their village located in Alwar Province of Rajasthan. Kabaddi is known to be an ancient game involving speed, strength, and strategy. Opposing teams try to get as many points as possible by sending in a "raider" who enters the opponents side of the field chanting "kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi..." while trying to tag members of the opposing team and returning to his/her team's side in one breath. As seen in the picture, the role of the "stopper" is to prevent the raider from returning to his side by tackling him to the ground. We had the opportunity to visit this village as part of our internship with an educational organization whose mission was to provide educational opportunities to the urban and rural impoverished communities of the region.


    Traveling as a Tourist

    First Place: "It’s Not the Mountain We Conquer, But Ourselves."—Sólheimajökull Glacier, Iceland

    Silhouette of person with ax on moutain peak at sunset

    We climbed Sólheimajökull Glacier to the summit of Katla, an extremely active volcano in southern Iceland. At the summit we constructed a snow cave and spent the night. The photo was taken on the descent as the sun was setting.

    Second Place: "Wild Kingdom"—Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

    Giraffes and zebra in a natural setting with trees

    While studying in Tanzania, we were able to take a three day adventure out to Ruaha National Park. This picture floods back memories of the beauty and serenity I experienced while in the park. What I like most about this picture are the colors: an earthy red resembles the sandy clay beneath the grass, and the many shades of green reveal the plethora of vegetation available during the wet season. In the distance, the acacia trees blend in with the mountains while the animals enjoy the plants in their luscious kingdom.

    Third Place: "Evening Prayer, Wat Pan Tong"—Chiang Mai, Thailand

    Monks pray in temple

    Chiang Mai is the home to over 300 Buddhist Temples (wat is Thai) and is known for their Lanna-style buildings. This particular wat was located a block from the hotel where we spent two-weeks for a graduate course in public health. We found the modern city of Chiang Mai to be magical. There was a hustle-bustle outside, among the cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists; and a quiet peace found inside the wats. This photo was taken during an evening call to prayer in Wat Pan Tong. We crossed paths with the monks outside and they invited us to join them inside. The room was filled with bright colors, offering, and gold statues. Soon, the wat was filled with their melodic chant.