What They Saw There

Travel abroad has long been an integral part of a Hamilton education; 172 students from the Hill studied in 38 countries in the spring. And, of course, where students go, cameras go as well. What's more recent, though, is the Worldview Photo ­Contest — less a competition than an opportunity for students to share their images and insights from abroad with the campus community.

Here are the five honored photos from the third annual Worldview ­Contest. To participate, students were required to submit a photo taken on a study abroad program or in an international student's home country. Photos were judged by a panel from the Division of Student Life. To learn more about Hamilton's study abroad and off-campus study programs, go to www.hamilton.edu/offcampusstudy.

First Place: Cecilia Laseter '09, "Mère et meilleur ami," Madagascar

First Place: Cecilia Laseter '09

Cecilia Laseter

Cecilia Laseter '09 with Alice-Pauline, her nieces Peno and Elia (left), her daughter Voahangy and her husband Désiré. "They gave me the handkerchief when I left; it says Fahatsiarovana Belavenona, which basically means a memory from Belavenona."

"Alice-Pauline is pure Betsileo, from the top of her woven straw hat to the bottom of her red lamba-wani. She is powerful; full of beautiful, subtle pride that is borne out on the expression she wears on her face: the strong features, the tight jaw, immediate eye contact and the glimmer in her eyes that belies the hint of a smile all the time. She always seems to be reading your mind — not in a judgmental way, she is the most accepting woman you have ever met — just in that powerful, omniscient, mother sort of way that is all at once comforting and terrifying. The baby turkey was simply a friend. Alice-Pauline was my adopted mother, and I suppose I was the turkey's adopted mother. I think Alice-Pauline made him my responsibility because she knew I needed a friend to speak English to every once in a while. I spent 14 days with Alice-Pauline in Belavenona, a tiny rural village in Madagascar, learning about the way she and her family lived, helping her sweep rice, watching her play soccer with all of the kids and generally being inspired by her unbelievable ability to do everything for everyone. I unfortunately only spent five days with the turkey before he met a tragic and unexpected fate.... If only he had a mother as wonderful as Alice-Pauline."

Second Place: Joseph Dominguez '09
"Rainbow in the forests of Rotorua," New Zealand

"I traveled abroad for the second semester of my junior year through Butler University's program to attend the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. I spent many weekends exploring the outdoors by hiking, camping, climbing, kayaking and other activities. I began to notice how different the weather patterns are in New Zealand from those back at Hamilton; I had previously taken meteorology at Hamilton and became very interested in the subject. One of the most fascinating phenomena that I noticed was the increased occurrence of rainbows. In New Zealand I would sometimes see three rainbows in one day! Rain in New Zealand is intense but passes over rather quickly. I was good at predicting when rainbows would occur based on the angle of the sun and movement of the rainclouds. When I toured the North Island, I spent some time exploring the town of Rotorua. It began to rain, and I realized that conditions were perfect for a rainbow. I watched as a rainbow gradually appeared, and when its colors seemed strongest, I snapped the picture. I had taken photos of previous rainbows, but they never showed up clearly. This rainbow was one of the strongest I had ever seen, and I am lucky to have been in the right place at the right time."

"Rainbow in the forests of Rotorua," New Zealand

Joseph Dominguez '09
Joseph Dominguez '09


Third Place: Mark Fitzsimmons '09, "Calle de las flores," Spain

Mark Fitzsimmons '09
Mark Fitzsimmons '09

"I went for one semester abroad in Spain in the spring semester of my junior year, the bulk of which was spent in Madrid. This photo was taken in the southern city of Cordoba during the orientation program in Andalucia. The street where I took the photo, lined with beautiful bright red flowers, struck me as a potentially pretty photo, and fortunately it came out very nicely."

Third Place Photo by Mark Fitzsimmons '09
"Calle de las flores," Spain

Honorable Mention: Peter Woodruff '09, "Family Gathering," Botswana

"During my third and final homestay while studying in Botswana through the School for International Training, I had the great opportunity to witness a ritual name-passing ceremony at my host family's residence in rural Shorobe — a remote village in north central Botswana, one largely populated by subsistence farmers and cattle-raisers. At the ceremony, the young boy who was ­taking on his deceased grandfather's name underwent a ritualized washing and blessing. The enormous family gathering gave me ample opportunity to exercise my limited Setswana vocabulary and take lots of photos of and with the rambunctious kids. This photo was the most memorable, however, as it highlights a common juxtaposition seen in rural Botswana: that of the traditional Tswana lifestyle, represented by the thatched houses and traditional clothing, against an increasingly present global influence, as seen in the blue jeans, Bangladesh T-shirt and plastic yard chairs."

Honorable Mention - Peter Woodruff '09
"Family Gathering," Botswana

Peter Woodruff '09
Peter Woodruff '09

Honorable Mention: Laura Halvorsen '09, "Lighthouse, Skagen," Denmark

"In January 2008, I went to ­England through Arcadia University's study abroad program and studied as a biomedical and health science student at King's College London. My favorite aspect of living in London was its proximity to other European countries; I was able to travel extensively during weekends and spring break, including all over England and Scotland, Paris, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark. This photo was taken during a weeklong trip in May to Denmark with my mother, grandmother and cousin. Skagen, a town at the northernmost tip of the country, is known for its amber products and beaches. Because of the latitude and the surrounding water, the remarkable light at Skagen became a popular artistic theme captured in paintings around 1900. The photograph is of an abandoned lighthouse at one of the dunes on the Råbjerg Mile, which is a migrating coastal dune between Skagen and Frederikshavn. The Råbjerg Mile is the largest moving dune in Northern Europe; the wind is moving it northeast at 18 meters per year."

Honorable Mention - Laura Halvorsen '09
"Lighthouse, Skagen," Denmark

Laura Halvorsen '09
Laura Halvorsen '09

Contact Information

Stacey Himmelberger

Editor, Hamilton Alumni Review
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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