Christine Chang Photography Blog » Recent work, Photo Tips, & Random Rants by Christine Chang.

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Travel Photography: Sierra Leone, Africa with Rosario Dawson

A handful (A LOT, actually) of pictures from my trip to Sierra Leone with Shine on Sierra Leone.

When I tell people I went to Sierra Leone, some ask exactly where it is.  I myself had to look on a map before booking my tickets.  Horrible, considering I started college as a Geography major!  Anyhow, in case you are wondering where it is, it’s right here.

We spent half the trip in the diamond region of Kono.

Shine on Sierra Leone focuses on empowering people through education.

The 11-year long Sierra Leone Civil War resulted in the destruction of 1,270 primary schools.  In 2006, Shine on Sierra Leone built a school with the community and named it Muddy Lotus.  It is now one of the top 10 schools in the country!

First day at arriving at Muddy Lotus.  I’ve never had such a warm welcome by strangers in my life!  I wish I had more pictures from this moment but I was too busy taking it in…and crying.

We all got to teach for a couple days.  My sister taught grammar.  Her teaching style reminded me so much of our mom.  I giggled.

Chad & Fallon taught the kids yoga and they LOVED it.

Stephanie brought shirts for her class to draw on.  Creativity . . . very important!

Rosario did a lot of reading.  She is responsible for starting a fantastic library at the school!

This was my class – Kindergarten.  Aren’t they CUTE?!  I just about died.

Thank you Tiffany, for snapping this. :)

I really connected with Fanta – a beautiful 11 year old.  Eager to learn, sweet as can be, and she took such great care of her little brother.  She was going home from school and I thought this was the last time I was going to see her, but she actually came back with her mom because she really wanted me to meet her.  It was the sweetest thing.

Tara came to visit the school 6 months prior and substituted a class for a teacher who was pregnant.  The teacher was so thankful that she named the baby after her.  This was their first time meeting.

Our visit to the local maternity ward.  Dr. Dan is the man.

Tiffany with Dr. Barry.

Some day time dancing and celebration. :)

Rosario’s mom (“Big Mama”) loving her life.

Road trip.  Heading west to John Obey Beach.

John Obey Beach – a little slice of Paradise.  I’ve already decided that I’m going to shoot a wedding here.  Any takers?

We stayed at TribeWanted‘s eco-friendly village.  These were our rooms!  I felt like an African Smurf. :)

Bucket showers never felt so good.

Can you see the two tiny boats?  There was a fishing village next door.  The fisherman go out everyday before sunset.

He was making fun of me…

Mark, the manager at TribeWanted, hard at work.

More yoga on the beach.

I swear my sister was going to put her in a suitcase and bring her home.

Momo got a boo boo.

Tara is planning to bring Momo to London for a summer to see if he likes it!

Last day – we hiked to Black Johnson Beach.

Besides all the obvious beauty you experience while traveling, nothing compares to the bonding.

Life changing trip.  I see the world with new eyes and am very thankful for the experience.  Thanks to everyone who shared it with me. :)

  • Trinette - April 16, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    Why do I look at your posts at work!?? Tears!! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience with us. I can’t imagine the love and admiration that these children have for you – and you for them. Absolutely beautiful and heartwarming!

  • Bonnie - April 16, 2012 - 3:58 pm

    Best. Post. Ever.

    This made me especially happy and weepy to read about. It’s wonderful to be able to see a glimpse of you (and Crystal’s) journey through your photos.

    You inspire me.

  • teri - April 16, 2012 - 5:31 pm

    OH…MY…Gosh….fabulous and so warm. I esp like the picture of the kindergarten class and the little girl in the background giving two ‘peace’ signs :-)…I dont even know these people and I even got weepy! *hug*

  • Ivy - April 17, 2012 - 10:02 am

    I smiled, giggled and cried reading this post and experiencing the adventure through your eyes. Thank you for sharing your story, your gift, and best of all, yourself. You’re so amazing. <3

  • T - April 17, 2012 - 10:18 am

    Precious, precious, precious…Heartwarming!!!!!

  • Tiffany Persons - April 19, 2012 - 11:59 am

    AMAZING…I am so happy we had this experience together. What an perfect capture of what we experienced…thank you

  • Hassanatu Hawkins - April 19, 2012 - 3:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story to Sierra leone! this is my birth country but have never seen it in this light.it lovely.! thank you xxx

  • Jessica D - April 19, 2012 - 5:13 pm

    I can see the inspiration oozing though your work. Beautiful in every way. I’m so proud of you!

  • [...] More Pictures @ Christine Chang Photography [...]

  • Ibrahim Tunkara - April 29, 2012 - 6:35 pm

    Amzing. May you receive strenghth to cotinue doing what you do best.

  • Robin - May 6, 2012 - 12:24 pm

    I love it auntie Tiffany! I promise I will take a trip with you in the future and get involved in the fundraising!

  • [...] Here are some photos from last week’s fundraiser dinner benefiting Shine On Sierra Leone & WellBody Alliance.  I had the privilege of traveling to Sierra Leone last year with these two organizations.  You can see photos from that trip here.  [...]

  • [...] always thought I was a flexible person, but traveling to Sierra Leone showed me that I can let go of A LOT of things, and be just [...]

  • Peter - May 7, 2013 - 12:22 pm

    I was a teacher in Sierra Leone and was just got sent home due to pneumonia. I am so crushed because that place is unbelievable. I just stumbled across your photos and have to say they are truly amazing. I know a few friends that have worked at Tribe Wanted and I have stayed there myself. That bucket shower on the ocean was probably the best and most memorable shower of my life. Down the beach, I spent my weekends at a place called Bureh. The local surfers and I were building rooms to help bring income to the village. What a special place. Can’t wait to go back. You really were able to capture the essence of Tribe.

  • […] – Traveling to Sierra Leone with Rosario Dawson and Shine On Sierra Leone.  More photos from the incredible experience here. […]

  • […] I went to Sierra Leone with Shine On Sierra Leone a couple years ago and it was life changing.  You can see pics from that trip here. […]

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