Kalea Obermeyer, a 3rd year majoring in Youth and Social Innovation, studied this past fall semester on the Semester at Sea program. She went to several countries on various continents, enabling her to learn about different cultures and corners of the world. She took many pictures along the way!
East Side Gallery, Berlin, Germany. I took this photo of one of the more famed paintings on the recreation of the Berlin Wall. The East Side Gallery attempts to model the intense contrast on either side of the Berlin Wall when a divided Germany fought for common ground. The painted side of the wall was a means to communicate liberty and freedom of speech against the east side of communism and oppression.
Tema, Ghana. This photo of a casket was taken to show how differently Ghanaian funerals are conducted compared to the United States. In Ghana, a funeral isn’t so much a mourning ceremony as it is a celebration of someone’s life and an embodiment of the joy the deceased person carried in life. Mourners will often wear black or red to a funeral (white if they’re an elder and revered in the community), and rather than have just the family attend, the entire community will. The more people at someone’s funeral, the more they’re said to have brought positive change and impact to the community.
Nzulezu Stilt Village, Ghana. This is a photo of me (front) and the rest of my tour group kayaking up the Nzulezu River on our way back from the Nzulezu Stilt Village. Steven, our tour guide at the front of the kayak, was able to tell us all about how the village weathers storms, gets fresh water from non-profits and tour groups like ourselves, and makes the most of minimal resources to raise families and educate their children. I had the great fortune of seeing the local village children perform a cultural dance and hear from their head council member about their wonderful community.
Valencia, Spain. This photo was taken while on a tour in Spain, nestled between hidden valleys and hiking trails. My tour guide moved to Spain 20 years ago from Canada to follow his dream of working in hospitality and giving back to the local community. He chose to be a tour guide because after realizing his passion for the outdoors in Canada, he wanted to challenge himself to start a business in a completely different country. His biggest piece of advice? “Find what makes you most happy and turn your passion into a job.”
Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur, India. Monkeys could be found on every corner in Jaipur, even atop fort towers such as this one here at Nahargarh Fort. Nahargarh Fort overlooks the entirety of Jaipur, with bustling streets and homes far beneath the hilltop.
Kathakali Show, Kochi, India. In Kathakali shows, performers use facial expressions and hand movements to communicate different emotions rather than elaborate dance moves. The makeup used during these shows helps elaborate the smiles, frowns, and eye movements of the performance.
Mauritius’s coral reefs are some of the most magnificent in the world. However, they face impending endangerment because of the oxybenzone found in sunscreen. Whether locals or tourists use sunscreen in the ocean, or have it wash off their body in the shower, the chemicals find their way back to the sea and damage existing coral reefs. Now countries are taking a firmer stand to curb reef pollution.
Fairy Glen Game Reserve, South Africa. Fairy Glen is home to the “Big Five” animals (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and African buffalo), all kept on the reservation to evade harms way from poachers. Poachers in South Africa have decimated rhino and African elephant numbers in search of their ivory tusks. The rhino in this picture here is unfortunately a surviving victim.
V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa. Now a bustling waterfront mall and tourist attraction, the V&A Waterfront is partially stationed on land formerly known as District 6. District 6 was a community primarily of people of color forced to relocate during Apartheid.
Jinshanling, Great Wall of China, Beijing, China. We hiked 6 miles of the Great Wall in 4 hours. In the early morning, we were able to see the sun rise in a pink haze above the valleys surrounding the wall. The fog never dissipated as the hours drew on, but the view remained remarkable.
Osaka, Japan. Streets like this can be found throughout cities like Osaka and Tokyo, with advertisement for local foods, barber shops, toy stores, and more nestled in the alleyways of busy district corridors. This photo was taken right outside the hostel of where my group and I stayed for the duration of our time in Osaka.