Posted by: viaprograms | December 9, 2009

VIA Holds Photo Contest for Volunteers

For the first time in recent history, VIA’s Asia Programs staff launched a photo contest this fall. The purpose of the contest was to encourage current volunteers to document their lives through photos, as well as provide them with a fun way of learning a bit more about the experiences of other volunteers from different countries. The photos that made it to the final selection process can be found here: The top twelve photos will be put into a calendar that will be given to all volunteers during their mid-year country conferences.

Below are the top 12 that were chosen (titled by their caption, which can be used to find the photos in the picasa album referenced above)

1. Active Learning–Katie Hallaran, Indonesia

2. Trick or Treat–Jamison Liang, Indonesia

3. Surprisingly Docile–Brendan Selby, China

4. Unimpressed with ceremonies–Molly Sterns, Cambodia

5. Jump across stream–Brendan Selby, China

6. English conversation class–Katie Hallaran, Indonesia

7. Making clay cooking stoves–Gillian Hope, Indonesia

8. English competition–Katie Hallaran, Indonesia

9. Sun setting--Brandon Caesar, Vietnam

10. Brooke and Brendan in Qinghai–Beth Hoover, China

11. Biking brigade–Molly Sterns, Cambodia

12. Boat races–Justin Stevenson, Vietnam

The winning photo came from Katie Hallaran, a volunteer in Indonesia. In this photo, her students engage in a vocab scramble game where girls and boys teams compete to think of the most words under time constraints. The students at this school always enjoy the chance to get out of their seats and show off their skills. The fierce competition is on, as the girls in this photo race to trounce the boys.

Katie teaches at a state junior high school in Tuban, a very Islamic area where most people are Nadhatul Ulama. It is located on the north coast of East Java directly on the ocean and is really more of a large town than a city. Many Tubanese are farmers and fishermen. Sunan Bonang, one of the Walisonggo (nine Islamic leaders), is buried there. Every year in late January people from the surrounding villages come to celebrate Sunan Bonang at a carnival and visit the grave.


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