STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 01/08/2018

Global Education Students Re-Envision "Home"

Each year the Global Education Office hosts a photo contest for those returning from study abroad and SMP experiences. The winning photo is bought by the GEO for framing and STILLPOINT publishes the photo and student explanation. 

The photo contest theme, "Re-envisioning Home," is expressive of GEO’s mission. All global semester programs emphasize community engagement and serious commitment to living IN the host community—to accept hospitality, but also to bring something to the table.


Home for the Children: 1st place
This young girl was dancing on the rooftop of a children’s home in Bapatla, Andhra Pradesh, India. The children, who came to the home from families that could not support them, taught us through their joy that a true home is much more than just a place: it is something felt deeply, a gift from God to be celebrated.

—Danielle Johnson '13

Unlikely Library: 2nd place
While staying on a rural Namibian homestead I encountered this makeshift library in the crumbling cement block home of my host parents. The topics ranged from Anglican theology to the HIV/AIDS crisis to the history of Europe. It was this pile of books that opened the door for deep conversations with my host family and enabled us to focus on our commonalities rather than our differences. Home is based upon our interactions with others as much as it is a physical place; I now find myself having multiple homes and many families.

 —Alison Bitzer ’12, Namibia

Vietnamese Floating Village: 3rd place
There are no people to see in this picture—I couldn’t be so invasive—but they are there and this is their home. Imagine living all of life in boats—swimming, sleeping, eating, and throwing waste; cleaning, playing, fishing, and washing—all on the tan-colored water and under the touchable horizon. That day I watched a mother and son clamber, scramble and swim about their floating house, tying and tugging at something that had come loose, while I sat in my shaded boat and snapped pictures.

—Rachel Bell ’12, Cambodia

A Simple Smile: 4th place
A rural villager sits outside her home, waiting for her shift to watch for forest fires (a job funded by the Communist Party). On a trip to the Chinese countryside, my Rural Economics class passed by this smiling lady. We yelled from afar, "Ni hao ma?" ("How are you"?) She responded, "It’s a beautiful day!" Despite the poor living conditions and the smoggy air that pollutes China’s cities and people’s lungs, she still waved and smiled.

—Donald Andrews ’13, China



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