Macalester students see a lot of the world when they study away. To celebrate their experiences and photographic talents, the college sponsors a Study Award Photo Contest. The contest draws dozens of entrants, which are displayed in Markim Hall, home to the Institute for Global Citizenship.

Last fall’s winners are:

  • Grand Prize: Millie Varley, Hélène Yacine Faye
  • Honorary Mention: Julia Morgan, The Taxi-Brousse
  • Honorary Mention: Celia Heudebourg, Drying Fat During Eid
Grand Prize: Millie Varley,  “Hélène Yacine Faye”

My host aunt Helene Yacine Faye, above, was the first to make me feel truly at home after nine weeks in Senegal. She greeted my shortcomings, mistakes, and difficulties with unconditional love and laughter. A stunning woman inside and out, her ability to put anyone at ease and her confidence in the capabilities of those around her continues to inspire me from thousands of miles away. Here she searches her family’s watermelon field for a ripe one to share with me. The elegance you see in her dress and person were evident at all times. It may sound cheesy, but the brilliant light in this photo perfectly reflects the soft spot I have for Yacine in my heart.

Honorary Mention: Julia Morgan, “The Taxi-Brousse”
Passengers wait for their taxi-brousse to board the ferry as they travel nearly 100 miles from Toliara, the largest city in Southern Madagascar, to Itampolo. They load the outside of the trucks with furniture, luggage, small livestock and jerrycans full of drinking water and gasoline. The insides of most trucks do have seats, though any space underneath is filled, almost exclusively, with rice, the staple food in Madagascar. This prized commodity will be sold in the markets of the deep South for a high price as the arid region has not experienced sufficient rain in nearly two years. Any extra space inside the bus and on the roof is filled in by passengers who may travel over 15 hours to reach their destination. This is the only source of public transportation to this area and costs $5 per passenger, 25% of the national average monthly salary.

Honorary Mention: Celia Heudebourg,  “Drying fat during Eid”

This photo shows my host uncle during my stay in Rabat, Morocco. My host family was a big part of my learning experience. Here, he is waiting for the sheep meat, which was sacrificed for the Eid-Al-Adha celebration, to be barbecued. The fat from the sheep hangs above him, drying, as the smoke envelops him. It will later be used for cooking more meat. Taking part in the sacrifice of the animal and the feasts and festivities of this holy Muslim day was one of my biggest takeaways during my study abroad experience. I gained valuable insight into a culture and faith I had barely been exposed to beforehand and it’s always the first story I share with my friends and family back home when they ask me what I did in Morocco.

March 20 2017

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