Weekly Photo Challenge: One Love

During a school screening in one of the villages after only a few days in South Sudan, I tried to soothe the children who waited, some a little uncertainly, as they sat upon benches to receive their wellness exams from the medical doctors. I only had so many words with which I could communicate in Juba Arabic, and I had already used most of those to take their arm and height measurements and get them to their seats; so I tried a universal language – song.

I understood that part of the reason for these children’s fears was because medical exams can be scary, even for adults. But these children also were not used to seeing “Khawaaja” – a word that technically means “foreigner” but they use for “white people” (who are recognizably foreign in the region of the very dark-skinned Southern Sudanese people). These children had displayed a realm of emotions about us being there – from open curiosity to unconcealed fear.

While sitting among these children, I began to sing “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” One of the teachers came up to the children with a big smile and assured them, “This is a good song.” In a world that sometimes acts otherwise, it’s one that has always comforted my heart. I wanted it to comfort theirs too.

This field trip into the bush also emphasized to me how very easy it is to love children, even when they do not/cannot always reciprocate that emotion. And that makes me understand how it must be so easy for Jesus to love us – because even when we are rejecting his love, or not reciprocating it, He still sees us as his children. We are precious in his sight.

Can you imagine the world in which we could live if we could all see one another through that same lens? What if we saw everyone through the lens that showed each person as a broken, hurting, fearful, precious child, in need of comfort and reassurance? Would we be so quick to dismiss others from our presence who weren’t like us, in any number of ways?

Amer, asfar, asuwed, abiyad,
We are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

So those are the thoughts that came to my mind when I read the Weekly Photo Challenge on One Love this week. And it caused me to take a little photo editing liberty to make my own “abiyad” as freakishly obvious in this portrait as it may sometimes appear to those little ones, while still portraying the contrasting oneness of a precious shared moment across the world.

Asuwed + Abiyad = One Love


Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony

Even though I’ve learned a little Juba Arabic for communication purposes in South Sudan, these little ones don’t speak either that or English. They speak Kakwa. Regardless, that didn’t keep us from our own universal communication –

Living, laughing, and loving harmoniously…




(Nor did it keep me from learning to mingle the posho!)


(In response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge on Harmony)

Be a blessing & be blessed!




Weekly Photo Challenge: State of Mind

As I walked through the bush in an unforgiving heat during the end of the dry season in South Sudan this past week, the scorched brush bristled beneath my feet. Yet, I was reminded of how, even in the harshest of environments, beauty will always struggle to come forth and be seen.

Take notice around yourself today and see what hidden beauty can spring forth!


This photo is in response to the DailyPost Weekly Photo Challenge on State of Mind.

Be blessed!



Weekly Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art

Clandestine garden meetings among young lovers has long been the stuff of which art is made – whether in an historical romance, or a drawing or painting throughout various periods in history.


Garden Gate etching found advertised on ebay

My Weekly Photo Challenge response is meant to capture that same enchanted spirit – perhaps not so covert, but with double the fun.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Time

Speaking of time…I’m about to run out of it on this challenge (that was posted last Friday).

My submission for this Weekly Photo Challenge is the Tower of David at the wall of Old Jerusalem. I took this photo a few years ago on a friend’s old borrowed digital camera. I was walking quickly in the rain under my hood around the outer wall (you can see the raindrops refracted in the light in the photo) when I looked up and realized how welcoming the warm yellow light appeared cast against the natural stone and its twilight setting. I couldn’t help but wonder how this same setting would’ve looked centuries ago, with dancing flames providing that same evening light.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Geometry

Geometric Acoustics – Auralization Angles

I can’t help but add some literal interpretation to my geometric capture because I find the subject matter to be so intriguing. (If you don’t, then feel free to skip to the photo.)

Are you being heard?

If you ever feel as if others aren’t listening to you, then maybe you should rethink the angle of your approach!

It’s no surprise that modern-day theaters are designed using geometric auralization algorithms. Yet, careful acoustic design went into ancient theaters, as well (despite the absence of computerized simulations). Greek theaters of the Mediterranean area were designed quite impressively, taking into account the prime transmission of acoustics from the performers to every audience member.

It’s important to consider that these ancient Greek theaters were so well-designed (according to current geometrical simulation algorithms that are run on them), since the word, Geometry, has its roots in the Greek language. The Greek word, Geometrein, means “earth measuring.” (For instance, even if you have sworn off the use of geometry years ago – besides perhaps a good game of billiards or photographing nature’s angles, I’m sure you recognize a well-known Greek geometer’s name by a certain theorem you once learned – that would be…you got it! Pythagoras.)

These theaters were geometrically rounded into a circular shape to assist in equi-distance of the audience attenders to the performers in the center. The seats were designed with minimal step distance to accommodate as many attendees as possible (going upward), while creating the condition for limited movement during the performance. By having the performer or orator standing lower, the sound would more readily project upward in its transmission. Other acoustic properties were geometrically placed (such as a back scene) to capture backscatter of sound.

I took this particular image of the South Theater in Jerash, Jordan, a city of the Decapolis, where this ancient theater still stands. (There is also a North Theater, just to hint at the metropolitan size of this city in its time.)

As you can tell, I was in the “nose-bleed” section in an uppermost theater seat. (I obviously had a general admission seat versus those sitting well below me, who opted for the section reserved for dignitaries and the wealthy – or those having acrophobia.)

X marks the sweet spot of perfected acoustics in this theater, according to geometric auralization; therefore, this would be the preferred area for the performers to stand for ultimate acoustic benefit to the audience.

Jerash is full of geometric delights, from the Hadrianic Arch, the Hippodrome and the Temple of Artemis to the mosaics of the Byzantine churches, the columns surrounding the Oval Forum, and even the rounded ancient manhole covers of the Romanesque streets!


If you’re further interested in this topic of ancient geometric acoustics, here are links to a couple of papers for you to further explore:




For additional geometric photographic representations to view (or if you’d like to submit your own), visit: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/02/weekly-photo-challenge-geometry/