Page 1

Winter 2016

Wolf Tracking in Yellowstone Discover a new side of North America’s first national park 34

Polar Opposites 6 Edge of the Ocean 64 Braving the Winter Chill



On the cover: Wolf in the dead of winter Photo by Mark Dumont

90 92


Happenings: Polar Opposites Escapades: Megastatues Staff Essay: Heated Oasis Parting Shot: Eisener Steg, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

2 â–ś winter 2016

15 18 20

Getting Ready to Get X-treme Sienna, Italy: The Race of Life Cherry Blossom Festivals Sleeping in the Sky: Dominican Tree House Village Hotel Heceta Head Lighthouse




Editor’s Note: Meeting Strangers



24 30 34 38

Step into Disney Magic Call to Prayer Wolf Tracking in Yellowstone Baltic Wonders



Photo by Neal Herbert

50 52 54 58

78 79

Bollywood: An Expanding Art Four Corners of the Kitchen: Mint Remembering through Art African Tribal Beauty Healing Soups Talk to the Hand: Proper Gesture Etiquette

60 64 67 69 73 75

80 82

Rising from Ruins Edge of the Ocean Abandoned Cities Human Trafficking Photo Contest Tales from the Trip



Curious Cuisine: Unique Foods from the South

Field Notes


84 86 88

Phone Abroad Add Some Time to Business Travels TSA Trouble Conversation Tips for Travelers Apps on the Go Braving the Winter Chill #Wanderlust

www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 3

Adam McLain

Shanna Clayton

Bethany Hailstone

Sara Bitterman

Sam Lund

Managing Editor

Assistant Managing Editor

Assistant Managing Editor

Associate Editor

Associate Editor

Heather Moon

Ashley Smith

Rachel Rubio

Cherie Stewart

Kaleigh Niemela



Senior Writer

Art Director

Senior Designer

Melissa Stewart

Kate Zeller

Erin Willder

Senior Designer

Senior Designer

Editor in Chief

Web Team: *Sam Lund, Adam McLain, Kaleigh Niemala Social Media Team: *Sara Bitterman, Bethany Hailstone *Team Leader

Publisher: Marvin K. Gardner

© 2015 Marvin K. Gardner 4045 JFSB, Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 84602 Printed by Brigham Young University Press

4 ▶ winter 2016

This issue of Stowaway was produced as a volunteer summer project for members of the BYU club Stet: The Editing Network. All staff ​members contributed to planning, writing, editing, designing, and advertising. The views expressed in this publication are solely the views of the authors and do not represent the views or opinions of BYU. Stowaway takes inspiration from the words of Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

editor’s note

Meeting “What brings you to Salt Lake?” I ask the man sitting next to me on the train. “I was visiting my ill father in Portland, and now I’m here for the night before going back to Spain,” the man replies. “Spain? Are you from there?” “Of sorts,” he replies. “I train Christian ministers all over Europe and Africa.”

Photo by Mark Spearman

“What’s taking you to Dallas?” I ask the woman sitting next to me on the airplane. “I just moved there from California. I’m coming back from visiting my family.” At one point in life, everyone is a stranger. When we first come into the world as infants, we haven’t met the people that we will live with for the next eighteen years. When we move to new towns, travel the world, or even walk around in a grocery store, we are surrounded by strangers. I love the feeling that I get when I’m surrounded by these people I don’t know yet. Who are they? I ask myself. Where did they come from? How did they get to this Wal-Mart at this time? Why are they flying to this city? What’s their story? Are they married? Children? No children? Education?

Where has this life taken them? Strangers excite me because they are new people to connect with, and we can never know where that connection will lead. I met the woman on the flight to Dallas again six weeks after that flight. I was serving a mission for my church, and our paths crossed again. Instead of sitting next to her in a semi-comfortable airplane chair, we were in her living room, her boyfriend sitting next to her, as I shared what I had been asked to share as a missionary. Did I know that would happen the first time I spoke with her? No. I simply wanted to get to know her because our paths had crossed. In the children’s book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter doesn’t have any friends when he boards the train to school. He is surrounded by strangers—strangers with magic, a thing he learned was real only a few weeks previous. As Harry sits alone in a compartment, a redheaded young man asks Harry if the seat across from him is taken. Harry replies it is not. Harry could have replied and said it was taken. He doesn’t, though. He talks to the stranger who would become his strongest friend. If Harry hadn’t spoken with many strangers—Hagrid, Fred, George, Hermione, Draco, and many more—he wouldn’t have been

able to defeat the Dark Lord and bring peace to his life. Strangers can turn out to be the most important people in the world, and all we have to do is speak with them. There is always a huge fear when it comes to speaking with strangers. When we’re younger, we are trained to not speak with strangers. But as we get older, we—myself included—need to open up more. There are people whom we can help and who can help us if we but talk with them. This life becomes very dull and boring if we don’t open our mouths and connect with strangers. How boring would Harry Potter’s life have been if he hadn’t talked to strangers? His would have been the story of a young boy who sits on a train alone going to one of the most amazing places in fiction, never finding any friends and never defeating Dark Lords, a basilisk, and evil wizards and ultimately finding true happiness and peace. As you travel, think about the people around you. Smile at them. But, most importantly, open your mouth and ask, “Where are you going?” Who knows, you might even find a new friend who can help you save the world.

—Adam McLain Managing Editor

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 5

Polar While we shiver in the northern hemisphere during our winter months, much of

the southern hemisphere is a summery paradise. However, there is one temperature both hemispheres have in common: the heat of competition. Snow and sand art competitions are some of the biggest attractions worldwide, but be warned: These aren’t your typical sandbox creations.

Mysore, India

New Brighton, New Zealand The creators of the Annual NZ Sandcastle Competition want a “BIG, FUN, HAPPY DAY” for families. And they certainly create an atmosphere for their wish to come true. With competition categories for families and kids, the sand creations range from classic sandcastles to large, intricate sand sculptures. The competition includes bounce houses and food, drink, and entertainment stalls. Individuals and families are sure to leave the event with cherished memories. ▶▶


This historic Australian beach, located on the Gold Coast among many heritage sites, has become a sand sculpture paradise. A unique trait of the competition here is that some of the massive sand sculptures are set up in cities along the Gold Coast, so the sand art can be enjoyed as visitors travel to other cities in the area, like Robina and Helensvale. sandstormevents.com

6 ▶ winter 2016


Hout Bay, South Africa


Surfers Paradise, Australia


While not a competition, this sand attraction draws thousands of visitors each year. The Sand Museum features the art of Gowri, a talented Indian sand sculptor. These massive sculptures feature thousands of images, but, if closely examined, the detail the artist uses is truly breathtaking.

If looking for a sandcastle competition with a heart, the annual sandcastle competition is a place for fun and service. Money raised from this charity event helps children at Valley Pre-Primary School and Houtbay Educare Centre stay in school, and the money also improves the schools’ facilities. While the competition doesn’t feature giant masterpieces, the sandcastles built have now given Hout Bay Beach a new meaning. ▶▶



Bruges, Belgium A popular event in Europe, this snow and ice festival called “Ice Magic” has drawn approximately two million visitors over the span of two decades. With such a history under its belt, it is no wonder that this festival is highly anticipated, and some of the best sculptors come to work their magic on expansive, detailed exhibits. With family-friendly themes like Frozen and The Lord of the Rings, the show can be enjoyed by everyone. ▶▶


Perm, Russia Few people might think that traveling to Russia in the winter is a good idea, but for temporary art enthusiasts, the Russian Cup in Snow and Ice Sculpture is worth braving the cold. This competition brings some of the best ice and snow sculptors from around the world, and each piece, usually large and imposing, is also exquisitely carved. Because the focus in this competition is more on artistry than on size, visitors can appreciate the artists’ attention to detail. ▶▶


From top: photos by かがみ~, Ram Kumar, Rincewind42, and Ram Kumar

Harbin, China Somewhat ironically, Harbin hosts its international ice and snow sculpting competitions on Sun Island. Rather than a collection of random art pieces, Sun Island transforms into a city made entirely of ice. During the day, the beauty and intricacy of the sculpted ice and snow takes tourists’ breath away; at night, the entire ice city comes alive with brilliant neon colors. The island is an incredible sight for those who love Christmas lights. ▶▶


Sapporo, Japan In its forty-third year, the Sapporo International Snow Sculpture Contest is one that encourages friendships and cultural exchange among its competitors. Many of the large and elaborate sculptures reflect the competitors’ native countries. There are three different locations to enjoy the art and spend time sledding, snow rafting, and enjoying other winter activities with your loved ones. ▶▶


—Sam Lund www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 7

Getaways 10

Getting Ready to Get X-treme


Siena, Italy: The Race of Life


Cherry Blossom Festivals


Sleeping in the Sky: The Dominican Tree House Village Hotel

Wipeouts, big air, and free giveaways at the X-games will make your weekend in Aspen a thrill ride.

It’s not just a horse race, it’s a celebration and a bitter feud, a simultaneously divisive and uniting force.

Grow your knowledge surrounding the symbolism of the cherry blossom in Japanese culture.

Dreams of paradise come to life among the branches of the Dominican Tree House Village Hotel.


Heceta Head Lighthouse

Take a gamble on the weather and head up to Heceta Head for striking views of this historic lighthouse.

Photo by Chris Gladis

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 9

10 â–ś winter 2015



Top right: photo by joshua.G.skoglund; top middle: photo by © Nate Abbott 2009; all other photography by Kate Zeller

Getting Ready to Get

The X Games have been growing in popularity each year by super half-pipe proportions. People from around the globe make the trek to Snowmass ski resort in Aspen, Colorado, to see big air, even bigger wipeouts, and a whole lot of free giveaways from sponsors like Monster energy drinks, Jeep, GoPro, and the US Navy. Some have even made it a yearly pilgrimage. Here are some tips from the pros.

Dress for the Occasion

It can get cold up there—very cold. Temperatures, especially at the evening events, can drop below zero before you even begin to factor in windchill. It may look sunny, but be prepared, or you might end up a frozen no-fun fan before they even start throwing in the big tricks.

Go Early

As the days go on, more people arrive and the atmosphere buzzes with excitement as the big events approach, but more people means less free swag for you. Get there early in the week (and the day) and take advantage of all the giveaways before the crowds show up and the deals disappear. Just as important, find a good spot to watch the events ahead of time. Make sure to get in position at least a half-hour beforehand (an hour is advisable for the really big events like most of the big air and half-pipe competitions).

Prepare Yourself

The athletes do better when they prepare well for the games, and so will you! Look at the schedule beforehand and map out which events you have to see and which

ones you wouldn’t mind missing, then draw up a game plan. If you have a plan, you’re much less likely to miss your favorite event. Be sure to slot out enough time before big events to reserve a good spot!

Whatever you end up doing in Aspen, make the X Games yours by mixing the planned activities with whatever you love to do! The slopes are open during the day for snow bunnies and ski bums. There are free shuttles to downtown Aspen for foodies and shopaholics, and there are nightly concerts for music buffs and anyone that likes to party! ▶▶


—Kate Zeller

Insider Tip

Every year so far the Navy has held a pull-up competition; the daily winner takes home a sick snowboard. If you want to get a jump on the competition, dust off that pull-up bar and get big!

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 11

The Race

12 â–ś winter 2016

The main square, Piazza del Campo, surges with avid race-goers of all ages. Bandanas and flags adorn the anxious Sienese people gathered for this biannual event. Every stone of the square is occupied, and even the surrounding buildings’ balconies overflow with spectators. No one can be found anywhere else in the city today. The restaurants are closed. The shops are empty. But the heart of the city beats with the energy of race day. Palio day. The jockeys come trotting into the piazza one at a time. Cheers and whistles break the air as each horse bears its rider proudly up to the starting rope. Each rider is adorned with the colors of the neighborhood he or she is racing for. The horses jostle—tense, rearing to begin. The crowds hush, waiting for the rope to drop. Each horse settles. The riders take their last inhale. The rope drops, and the race begins. In a few weeks this familiar scene will replay in Siena as the first of two horse races known as the Palio will begin. Each year in Siena, 17 contrade, or neighborhoods, enter a horse into the famous race. The race itself takes mere moments, since the riders complete only three laps around the track. However, the weeks leading up to this historic event are full of parades and celebrations, the commemoration of an age-old culture. The contrade are 17 distinct areas of the city, once originating from guilds. Centuries of competition have created a city of allies and rivals. Starting as family rivalries spurred

Photo by Phillip Capper

Siena, oItaly f Life

Photo by Angelo Amboldi

The city of Siena is broken up into 17 contrades that each have their own color, flag, and symbol which creates many rivalries and allies.

by decades of disputes, the race has become a tradition where allies and enemies come together for three turns of the track. The rivalries in this city run deep, to the point where one would wonder if Siena is a city united by the Palio or divided by it. Luca Bonomi, director of the Dante Alighieri Institute of Siena, says of the rivalries, “I have a colleague who is from Contrada dell’Oca. I did not know [that] when I hired her.” He shakes his head and chuckles. “During the year, we talk, and we are good friends. She often stops by my office to chat. But during the Palio we say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ and that is it.” Because most Sienese live the totality of their lives in the same neighborhood in which they were born, these strong rivalries are as real today as they were decades ago. The rivalries between contrade started when the neighborhoods would offend one another by killing a member of a different one. Similar to gangs in America, the groups held grudges and took revenge.

“We don’t kill each other anymore,” Rebecca Mencaroni of the Onda Contrada explains. But from birth, members of opposing contrade are taught to dislike one another. “They are ugly, they are ugly, they

“During the Palio we say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ and that is it.” are ugly,” Mencaroni chants, as if this were her bedtime lullaby. She even casts a pessimistic light upon the allies: “Yes, we have allies, but not really. Even they are too lowly for our notice.” This view, however, doesn’t stop the contrada members from mingling. Mencaroni, herself

a member of the Wave Contrada, is dating a man from the Tartuca. “Two households both alike in dignity,” Mencaroni and her boyfriend were raised to hate one another. “We’ve been together for seven years. After the first few years we learned to just not talk about the Palio,” Mencaroni shrugs with a smirk. And while most of the contrade dislike one or two other groups and tolerate the rest, there is one neighborhood that is hated above all else: La Nobile Contrada dell’Oca, the Goose Contrada. Within the museum of the Oca Contrada sits a glass case that holds 17 miniature horses with jockeys, each representing one of the contrade of Siena. Each rider is seen looking towards the starter, waiting for the gun, ready for the race . . . except one. The rider from the Torre Contrada, or “Tower Contrada”—blood rivals of the Goose Contrada—gazes off, a dim expression in his eyes. The museum guide, Duccio Amandolini, points our attention to the case, chuckling. Humorously, he tells of the rivalry

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 13

misery like your contrada.” Truly, the bonds of contrada members is similar to kin. Some contrade even get into mischief together like brothers often will. The group of the Chiocciola is known as the Saint Drowners due to an incident involving the local well, the rival’s Patron Saint Anthony, and a strong grudge. Today the well is boarded over, probably to discourage other angsty contrada members from throwing more patron saints into the well. However, there are rules that bind the group on decorum during the Palio. In another

infamous incident, some adventurous individuals decided to steal the flags of the Valdimontone—the “Valley of the Ram” Contrada. When the enemy neighborhood—Contrada del Nicchio, the “Seashell”—saw the flags being stolen, they stopped the thieves and returned the stolen banners to the Valdimontone. So where is the line drawn? At the end of the day, who declares if stealing a flag or “drowning” a saint is the higher offense? For the people of Siena, the Palio is not just a set of do’s and don’ts, rivalries and alliances. “Il Palio è Vita!” Mencaroni beams. “The Palio is life.” Once you understand that, there’s nothing else to know. “During the winter, we are one,” Mencaroni continues. In fact, the contrade spend all winter deciding on possible jockeys. Since each horse is randomly drawn only four days before the race, there must be several jockeys available to train with the cavallo (horse). But when the July Palio crawls ever closer, Siena is no longer one unified city but 17 contrade, out for glory, victory, and the months of celebrating that follow; the winning group parties all night so that their enemies know of their victory. Even now, the flags of the different neighborhoods line the streets, snapping in the breeze—boasting of their power, their strength. Around every corner they sing the songs of tradition and history and a city divided. And yet, something about the way they converge, changing from one contrada to the next without a break, seems to whisper of the unity held within the city walls. After all, without one another, there would be no competition. Without competition, there would be no Palio. Without the Palio, there would be no life. In the words of the Sienese, “Il Palio è Vita!”

—Quinn Robbins Top: In the weeks leading up to the Palio race, the city is filled with parades and celebrations. Bottom: The Palio horse race consists of only three very intense laps around a track and is done in a matter of seconds.

14 ▶ winter 2016

Top: photo by Chiara Marra; Bottom: photo by Giulio Bernardi

with Torre, and how this simple piece of art expresses the Oca’s feelings for the members of the Tower Contrada. The room we stand in is so full of winning banners that the Oca group is running out of room to house all of their victories. “But it’s a good problem to have,” Amandolini grins. With the most wins recorded (66 to date), Oca is not well liked by its competitors. But such is the case with all other rival contrada. To lose the Palio brings disappointment, “but to watch your rival win is misery,” Mencaroni soberly explains. “No one else can understand your joy and your


Photo by Shinya Ichinohe


www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 15

From the 100 yen piece to entertainment to food and clothing, the name and likeness of the sakura blossom, or cherry blossom, permeates Japanese culture. While the average tourist may only admire the beauty of these small pink blossoms, they have become a powerful, varied symbol for the Japanese through the country’s history.

Cherry blossoms represent the Japanese spirit and have also become a symbol for soldiers who have died protecting Japan. Yasukuni Shrine, near Tokyo, has cherry-blossom trees specifically planted to represent the fallen soldiers of Japan since the Meiji Period (1868–1912). During World War II, cherry blossoms were painted on the side of the planes of kamikaze pilots. The Japanese “fighting” spirit of the cherry blossom was supposed to bring out the noble nature of the soldiers and remove the fear of death from them. One of the most significant traditions in Japan revolving around the cherry-blossom trees is hanami, or “flower watching.” While the tradition began in the Nara Period (710–794), it referred to the blooming of the ume, or plum blossoms. By the Heian Period (794–1185), the hanami referred specifically to the blooming of the cherry blossoms. The Japanese still celebrate hanami today. The cherry blossoms begin to bloom anywhere from midMarch to early May, depending on the weather and location. The blossoms bloom earlier in the southern part of the country and later in the north. The trees will stay in bloom from one to two weeks. During this time, the Japanese have picnics and parties underneath the trees. In some cities, like Tokyo, these gatherings will extend into the night when paper lanterns will be hung from the trees. Viewing the cherry blossoms at night is called yozakura, or “night cherry blossoms.” Notable places in Japan to see the cherry blossoms follow.

Goryokaku Fort Park Blooming Season: Late April–early May

This historical site can be found on the northern island Hokkaido in Hakodate City. An aerial view of the

16 ▶ winter 2016

park shows the radial symmetry of the arms around the central core. The design increased the defense of the fort on all sides. Used during the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the fort hid members of the old regime who resisted the new government. They spent six months inside before surrendering. In 1913, it reopened as a park and is now one of the top spots to see the cherry blossoms bloom.

Hirosaki Castle Park Blooming Season: Late April–early May

Built in 1611 by the Tsugaru Clan, Hirosaki Castle in the Aomori Prefecture is another gorgeous spot to view the cherry-blossom trees. The castle is surrounded by a moat, which is in turn surrounded by cherryblossom trees on both sides. Tourists can rent rowing boats to glide on the river and view the blossoms. An annual festival is held from April 23 to May 5 to celebrate the blooming of the trees. The park offers other

interesting sights like Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden and Gokoku Shrine.

Nagoya Castle Blooming Season: Late March–early April

One of the largest castles in Japan, Nagoya Castle is also a famous historical site that is enhanced by the blooming of cherry blossoms. The castle was built to house members of the ruling Tokugawa family at the beginning of the Edo Period (1603– 1867). During World War II, many of the outlying buildings surrounding the castle were destroyed by air raids, including the palace. In 2009, reconstruction began on these buildings. The park surrounding the castle has two moats and several varieties of cherry-blossom trees. While visiting this site to see the trees, tourists can also view the reconstruction process as well as an exhibit about the history of the castle that spans five floors of the building.


Daigo-Ji Temple

From top: photography by Yevgen Pogoryelov and Kimon Berlin

Blooming Season: Early April

Daigo-Ji Temple is a Japanese Buddhist temple located in Kyoto. The temple was designated as a World Heritage site and the pagoda at the temple, built in AD 951, is the oldest building in Kyoto. The temple is located at the base of a mountain, and there are hiking trails that lead to more buildings on the summit. The Reihokan Museum houses artifacts and historic documents. The gardens of the museum house many of the site’s cherry trees. While known as a beautiful place to view cherry blossoms, the spot is also famous for its changing leaves in the fall.

Mount Yoshino Blooming Season: Late March–early April

People have been viewing cherry blossoms at Mount Yoshino for centuries, making it one of Japan’s most famous hanami spots. Visitors can enjoy the view of the cherry

Top: Beautiful temples and castles like the Nagoya Castle are not uncommon among cherry blossom trees. Bottom: Mount Yoshino allows visitors to explore the entire mountainside and view thousands of cherry blossom trees.

blossoms as they hike up the side of the mountain or ride the Yoshino Ropeway aerial tram through the trees. The change in elevation causes the trees to bloom at different points in the season. Visitors can expect the

trees at the top of the mountain to bloom later in the season than the trees at the base.

—Sara Bitterman

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 17


all asleep to soft jungle sounds and wake up to exotic bird songs in a private tree house in the Samana province of the Dominican Republic. At the Dominican Tree House Village Hotel, guests have the chance to experience the jungle from their tree house rooms and to explore the wonders of the Dominican Republic in different adventurous experiences. At this unique resort, guests are provided with mosquito netting around their beds (a particularly handy luxury in the jungle), electric outlets for their devices, and open views of the forest with curtains for privacy. This getaway offers the perfect setting for relaxation and for time away from the stresses of everyday life while providing the modern conveniences needed to stay

18 ▶ winter 2016

in touch with everyday life as needed. While resting and relaxing for the week, guests also have many opportunities to experience the excitement and wonders of staying in the Dominican Republic. Guests can zip-line through the rainforest, go scuba diving, take a shopping trip to the nearby towns of Las Galeras or Las Terrenas, or simply enjoy the jungle sounds, sights, and smells from their tree house. Guests can also go whale watching, hike to the gorgeous waterfall El Limon, go whitewater rafting, and take many other adventurous trips. While enjoying the beautiful surrounding jungle, guests do have the chance to access the Internet at the town just twenty minutes away. There is also cell

phone service—enough for use in emergencies and in everyday life, but spotty enough for an excuse when guests want a complete break from daily stresses. The area is also quite safe; there are no venomous snakes or dangerous animals. Aside from the occasional insect visitor, rooms are kept very safe and very private. Whether you go for a special occasion or just for a getaway from life’s stresses, the Dominican Tree House Village Hotel offers peaceful and beautiful access to the Dominican Republic’s natural wonders as well as exciting excursions for any needed diversions. ▶▶


—Bethany Hailstone

Photo by Churl Han

The Dominican Tree House Village Hotel

From left: photography by Liz SaldaĂąa and Gail Frederick

Above: It is only a ten-minute drive from the resort to El Valle Beach. Top Right: The resort is literally located in the trees to provide the best views of the jungle. Bottom right: Guests can walk through the jungle foliage on pathways connecting resort properties.

www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 19

20 â–ś winter 2016

Photo by Evan Manning

Light house

Heceta Head



we took a chance and turned off at the sign for the Heceta Head Lighthouse. If you don’t turn off the highway here, it continues over a bridge and through a short tunnel, and you might have no idea what you just missed. The bridge itself is worth stopping to admire. It’s a vintage assembly of concrete arches from the art-deco period that stands about one hundred feet above a narrow valley and short stretch of beach. On the north end of the beach is a half-mile trail that winds its way up the headland, a cliff that juts out into the ocean. The lighthouse itself

Photo by Gary Windust

e’d had good weather the previous two days, high clouds with frequent blue sky and sun peaking through, but then we drove south on Highway 101 from Newport, Oregon, that afternoon of the third day. Our luck ran out and we got the normal spring conditions, low clouds blocking our view of everything except rain on the windshield. We were due back in Eugene, fifty miles inland, that evening. It looked like this last part of our trip might be a bit of a bust. Still, our older son told us that he wanted to see at least one lighthouse as long as we were out here by the ocean, so

Left: The Heceta Head Lighthouse was restored by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Above: The vintage Cape Creek Bridge is just one of the beautiful sights on the way to Heceta Head Lighthouse.

is only 56 feet tall here, shorter than many, but it sits about halfway up Heceta Head, allowing the light to be seen for about 24 miles offshore. Just from the parking lot east of the beach, the view of the lighthouse is striking as it sits on the hillside. Fog and rain add just the right mood for the scene. Tired of sitting in the car, we were happy to grab our umbrellas and hike up the trail. It was almost 4:00 pm when we reached the lighthouse, but the park volunteer waiting there was happy to give us the last tour of the day. As tour guides do, he reviewed the history of the place. The lighthouse was finished in 1894, specifically to warn passing ships of the unusually shallow water along this part of the Oregon coastline. The lighthouse was constructed before the road or the bridge. Building materials were brought by wagon, at low tide, along the string of beaches stretching from here to Florence. Electricity didn’t reach Heceta Head until 1940. Before that, a team of lighthouse keepers lived in two nearby houses. A living sermon on dedication, the keepers kept the light constantly burning with kerosene. Every morning, the keepers would wipe black soot off the lighthouse’s focusing lens and the tower windows. Every few hours they would wind the clockwork mechanism that turned the light, like a giant cuckoo clock, or oldstyle grandfather clock. They would hoist a two hundred-pound weight up the center of the lighthouse on a large chain. The weight would

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 21

here until you are eye-level with the lighthouse beam itself. There’s something hypnotic about waiting for the beam to pass by as you count off the seconds. One of the lighthouse keeper’s houses still stands and is now a bed-and-breakfast run by the Forest Service. Presumably if you stayed here long enough, you’d see what the place looks like on a clear day, but even an hour spent here in the rain is well worth the time. It’s a bit of a gamble, driving down Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast. You spin the weather wheel, and you might get stunning views from high cliffs over the sparkling Pacific; moments later you’re driving past another gorgeous stretch of sunny beachfront between the headlands that stretch out into the ocean. Play your schedule cards right, and you might have time to stop at every high overlook and explore

This lighthouse keeper’s home still stands as a reminder of the history at Heceta Head.

22 ▶ winter 2016

every sunny beach, and hike miles of coastal-forest trails connecting those beaches. Unfortunately, cold statistics are never the gambler’s friend: rainy overcast days are far more likely in this part of the country. It may take long enough to drive over to the shore that there is no time to just hang out and wait for the sun to emerge from the clouds again. Cooperative climate is never guaranteed, and most of us can’t wait until we have days of free time. It’s great to get those things: the statistics work in your favor if you travel often enough; you’ll occasionally win a perfect day or week. It’s best to hedge your bets though with places where you can spend either minutes or hours, and where there’s scenery that can remain impressive even under mist and cloudy skies.

—Alan Manning

Photo by Gary Windust

then gradually drop back down, click by click, and this would turn the clockwork that turned the lighthouse beam around. This particular lighthouse is still in operation, now automatically turned by electric motor and lit with a single 1,000-watt bulb. It is a small technological miracle from the nineteenth century, the Fresnel lens, that enables this still relatively tiny light to project a focused beam for all those miles out to sea. It flashes every ten seconds, a frequency unique to this specific light, which tells sailors offshore which lighthouse they are seeing and therefore where exactly they are relative the coast. There are two especially nice features of this lighthouse. First, you can get right underneath the focusing Fresnel lens and get a good look at it, a beautiful piece of layered glass-crystal work. Second, you can hike a little further up the headland

Features 24

Step into Disney Magic


Call to Prayer


Wolf Tracking in Yellowstone


Baltic Wonders

Add a little whimsy and a dash of Disney to your worldwide travel.

Beautiful and permeating, the Islamic call to prayer deserves a new appreciation when traveling to Muslim areas.

Get up close to one of nature’s fiercest creatures in nature’s wildest land in the dead of winter.

Discover the architectual diveristy of the Baltic States—Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

Photo by Neil Howard

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 23

Disney magic

Step into

Photo by Mar Isac

by Rachel Rubio

24 â–ś winter 2016


isney-inspired travel, anyone? Many Disney movies draw inspiration from real-life places and structures. Add a little whimsy and a dash of Disney to your worldwide travel by visiting the sites that inspired locations portrayed in Disney movies.


Feeling whimsical? Tangled is set in Germany, but perhaps the most memorable scene from Tangled is the one with the floating sky lanterns. Luckily for us, the magic does not stop with the movie. There are actually several floating-lantern festivals around the world. The Yi Peng Light Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, inspired the floating lantern scene in Tangled. And it is split into two different events. The first event is free and is held behind the Mae Jo University. The second one is more specifically for tourists and is held about a week after the first. In the United States, the Rise Festival promises to give the most memorable experience from start to finish. They also provide all the materials needed. The event is held in Mojave Desert, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit risefestival.com.

and real-life landmarks into a fantasy world. The elements of Scandinavian architecture in the film include stave churches, which are wooden medieval Christian church buildings. Some of the landmarks they included are the Akershus Fortress, St. Olaf’s Church, and Bryggen. The Akershus Fortress in Oslo was the model for Elsa and Anna’s castle in the movie. In addition, Olaf is not only the name of everybody’s favorite snowman, but is actually also the name of a saint and of a stave

church. St. Olaf’s Church, located in Balestrand, Norway, was the model for the church where Elsa’s coronation took place. Meanwhile, the wharf at Bryggen—a business district in Bergen, Norway—served as the inspiration for the city of Arendelle.

Beauty and the Beast

Perhaps the quaintest village in all the Disney movies is Belle’s village in Beauty and the Beast, which was

Photography by shelmac and Pierre-Arnaud


In the mood for something a bit chilly? Elsa’s mesmerizing ice castle actually has a real-life counterpart— the Hôtel de Glace, located in Quebec City, Canada. The creators used the hotel as visual inspiration, specifically for Elsa’s iconic musical number, “Let it Go.” What’s truly impressive is that the hotel is almost entirely made up of snow and ice. Because of this, it’s only open from January through March of each year. If you’re a Frozen fan, but a winter wonderland doesn’t appeal to you, you can still have your Frozen-inspired getaway by visiting Norway. For Frozen, Disney combined historic architecture

Left: The Château de Chambord is a real version of what Beast’s castle may have looked like in Beauty and the Beast. Top: Participants release a lantern and make a wish at the Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai. Bottom: The Hôtel de Glace takes about a month and a half to build every year.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 25

Sleeping Beauty

As far as castles go, how could one forget Sleeping Beauty’s? Yes, the Sleeping Beauty castle is now

26 ▶ winter 2016

featured in a variety of Disney attractions. But what could be better than the real thing? The Sleeping Beauty castle was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany. This picturesque palace attracts over one million visitors annually and captures everyone’s imagination with its breathtaking grandeur positioned amidst snowcapped mountains.


The sultan’s palace in Aladdin was inspired by the iconic, cherished Taj Mahal, located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India. It was originally built to house the remains of Shah Jahan’s wife and took over 20 years to complete. It’s known for its breathtaking and intricate architecture, which combines Indian, Islamic, and Persian influences. Today, it serves as a symbol of India’s rich history and remains one of the most revered structures in the world. Taj Mahal is open for visitors but has strict photography rules.

The Princess and the Frog

New Orleans—home of jazz, Mardi Gras, and, of course, Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. The beauty about The Princess and the Frog is that it’s not only inspired by New Orleans, but it’s actually set in New Orleans. In fact, in 2014, New Orleans tourism partnered with Disney to design a tour that retraces the places shown in the movie. They even added Tiana as a local celebrity. Some of the places included in the tour were the French Quarter; Cafe du Monde; St. Louis Cathedral; Steamboat Natchez; the riverfront; the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar; the Bywater, Marigny, and Treme neighborhoods; the Garden District; Lafayette Cemetery number one; Audubon Park; the Audubon Zoo; Bayou St. John; and City Park.

Lilo and Stitch

When Stitch (everyone’s favorite alien) arrived from space, he landed in Hawaii. However, Lilo and Stitch was more specifically set in Kaua’i.

Photo by Irfan Ahmed

set in the mid-1700s. Architecture has greatly evolved since then, and very few villages today look like Belle’s. Luckily, a few small towns and villages have remained this way: Riquewhir, Ribeauville, Obernai, and Colmar in Alsace, a region in eastern France bordering Germany. Disney creators drew inspiration from those places for scenes in Belle’s hometown. If you think the Beast’s castle is absolutely fascinating, you will be blown away by its real-life counterpart—Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France. The chateau is easily recognizable because of its unique architecture, which features a combination of classic Renaissance ornaments with more traditional medieval forms. The chateau serves as a major tourist attraction, drawing thousands of people each year.

The creators drew inspiration from a specific town in the island—Hanapepe. Hanapepe is a little-known town that is often passed by tourists on their way to the resorts in Poipu or to Waimea Canyon. Today, the town still has its pre–World War II look: houses still have tin roofs, old storefronts have wooden sidewalks, and dogs and roosters roam freely. “Home of Lilo & Stitch” is painted on the side of the Aloha Theater. Another tourist landmark is the Kilauea Lighthouse on the North Shore, which can often be seen in the movie and the TV series. You can also see the Keiki Hula Group—much like the one Lilo belongs to—at the Hyatt Kauai in Poipu.


From top: photos by Jamie and William

For Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Disney looked at ancient architecture around the world. David Goetz, the art director, said, “We looked at Mayan architecture, styles of ancient, unusual architecture from around the world, and the directors really liked the look of Southeast Asian architecture.” Disney ultimately decided to loosely base Atlantis on Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a temple complex

Left: The story of Disney’s Princess and the Frog surrounds all aspects of New Orleans culture in the 1920s. Top: Although Angkor Wat has no relation to the myths of Atlantis, the architecture similarity is very apparent in the Disney film. Bottom: Cadillac Ranch caught the attention of Disney’s animators and inspired many scenes in Cars.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 27

located in Angkor, Cambodia. Even though it was constructed in the twelfth century, it still remains the largest religious monument in the world today. The temple is surrounded with an outer wall with about 30 meters of land in between. Once inside the walls, the temple stands on a terrace raised higher than the city and has three chambers. Some of the writings etched into the sandstone walls look similar to those of the lost language in the movie. This architectural masterpiece has long served as the symbol of strength for Cambodia. It also draws many thousands of travelers each year.

The Emperor’s New Groove


Some dream of castles, while others dream of road trips. Perhaps the most Disney-inspired road trip one can take the historic Route 66. This highway stretches for more than 1,000 miles—from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Kingman, Arizona—and served as a major path for those who moved west out of the “dust bowl” region. Towns along it provided inspiration for Radiator Springs from the movie Cars. The creators paid particular attention to other sites along the road, including the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucamcari, New Mexico; and the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas. First stop, the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. The Cadillac, an art

installation made by Stanley Marsh III, features a row of Cadillacs that are covered in graffiti and are halfway buried in the ground. In Cars, the installation is made into the “Cadillac Mountain Range.” Second stop, the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas. The U-Drop Inn is actually a gas station and restaurant. It was built in 1939 and is located along the Route 66 highway. What makes the inn truly unique is its Art Deco architecture. The creators recreated the U-Drop Inn into Ramone’s House of Body Art retail shop. Third stop, the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucamcari, New Mexico. The 1939 motel is family-owned and was the inspiration for Sally the Porsche’s Crazy Cone Office. So why not put a little magic in your next vacation? While castles remain favorite tourist magnets, many other inspiring sites attract thousands of Disney-loving travelers. Whether it’s a palace or beach town or a floating-lantern festival or Route 66, there’s a destination out there for every Disney fan.

Photo by Pete Lambert

Feeling adventurous? If so, the sites of The Emperor’s New Groove are for you. Pacha’s village in The Emperor’s New Groove was set in Machu Picchu—a citadel that rests on the Andes Mountains, roughly 8,000 feet above sea level. Machu Picchu—made up of stone structures and giant walls, located in the middle of a mountain forest—was built in the 1400s, but was abandoned just 100 years later, during the Spanish conquest. It was

unknown to the rest of the world until 1911. Reconstruction began then and still continues today. Its unique location, marvelous architecture, and rich history offer a glimpse of what life in the Incan Empire would have been like. To experience the magnificence of Machu Picchu, most tourists opt to take the train. However, moreadventurous tourists opt to hike the four-day trek along the Incan trail.

28 ▶ winter 2016

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 29

PRAYER by Kate Zeller

30 ▶ winter 2016

destinations, from Israel to Indonesia. Learning about the beautiful symbolism involved as well as learning what to expect and how to respectfully participate can be an amazing cultural experience and the highlight of any trip. The call to prayer involves the adhan, or azan, an ancient chant sung in the Muslim culture to invite all to come and worship. It is comparable to the ringing of a Christian church bell. In countries with significant Islamic populations, this call is often broadcast throughout the entire city, and sometimes it is broadcast only in predominately Muslim neighborhoods. Here are some important aspects you need to understand to appreciate this ancient custom. “The Muslim call to prayer is a reminder to all Muslims, five times a

Photo by Jorge Láscar

Call to

As twilight covers the warm stone walls, an otherworldy green light appears on a minaret amidst the rooftops. Soon another light appears. And another. Before long the cityscape is dotted with green, and the Islamic call to prayer begins to echo through the streets, inviting all to remember the ancient prophet Mohammed and the law that God sent him to declare. Learning about and appreciating the Islamic call to prayer can enrich travel experiences in many

Photo by seier+seier

day, to stop what they are doing and take a few moments out of their lives to worship God Almighty,” says Shariq Akhan, a practicing Muslim living in Utah. “During the time of the Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, there was a debate that took place as to how to inform the people about the timings of the prayers. After much consensus, it was agreed that the best of voices is the human voice and as such the best of voices amongst us should call the worshipers for prayers. Thus started the tradition of calling people five times a day for prayers. The words are very simple and it states that God is great and that we bear witness that there is only one God and that Prophet Mohammad is the messenger of God. It further asks the believers to attend to prayers to achieve salvation.” Islamic law calls for five daily prayers. Mohammad, last and greatest prophet according to Islamic belief, was called up into heaven during a night vision. During his interview with Allah (God), he was given a law

Once before sunrise, once at noon, once in the midafteroon, once while the sun is setting, and last after the sun goes down.

Left: Green lights signal the call to prayer at sunset in Jerusalem. Above: The Imam Mosque is famous for its intricate ceilings.

to command all of his followers to pray fifty times each day. As he left the highest heaven, he passed Moses, who asked Mohammed what Allah had told him. After hearing of the fifty prayers, Moses convinced Mohammad to go back to Allah and ask for the number to be reduced. Mohammed did as Moses suggested and Allah reduced the number of prayers by half. When Mohammad returned, Moses asked him the same thing

and again convinced him to ask for a reduction. This continued until the number of prayers was reduced to five, and Mohammad told Moses that he could not ask Allah for more. Each prayer counts for ten prayers, making the original fifty prayers commanded by Allah. The prayers are said at various points throughout the day: once before the sunrise, once at noon, once in the midafternoon, once while the sun is setting, and last after the sun has gone down.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 31

If you are going to tour a mosque, try to plan your tour for just shortly before the call to prayer. You may be invitied to listen as the muezzin perfeorms the call or even allowed to go up in the tower with the muezzin! While visiting a muslim country, women should stay covered, even if it’s hot. Sleeves that cover to the elbows, no cleavage, and a head scarf are generally appreciated and will improve how those women are received by the mosque goers and the imam, or spiritual leader of that Islamic community.

governments—and others with large or particularly concentrated Islamic communities—it may be called out into the street over a loudspeaker attached to the mosques’s tower. The call generally lasts two to three minutes. It is performed by a single male with no accompaniment. An interesting thing about the call is that there is no fixed melody. Each muezzin sings the adhan differently, in the way to make it most beautiful in his own voice. There are several popular traditions, but there is no wrong way to sing the adhan. Even if one’s voice is thought to be unattractive, it is still acceptable before God. Islam reverences the color green as a holy color, explaining the green lights that often accompany the evening adhan in cities like Jerusalem. It casts an incredible coloring throughout the city, changing its whole character in

Every day, worshippers set time aside to pray, whether they are at a mosque, at work, or at home.

32 ▶ winter 2016

Photo by Arian Zwegers

Plan Your Visit

Prayers are preceded by ritual washing for orthodox Muslim traditions and generally take five to ten minutes to be said. The call to prayer is sung by a muezzin, or mu’adhdin, most often from the minaret of a mosque. The words of the adhan are a recitation of the basic beliefs of Islam. In a way, the adhan is a Muslim form of missionary work. They broadcast their basic beliefs to all within earshot in this trilling, unearthly melody. It begins with a statement about the greatness of Allah, then proclaims that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is his prophet. After that hearers are invited to prayer and salvation, followed by repeating phrases about the greatness and singleness of God. In most places, the call to prayer is played within a mosque, but in countries with Islamic

Photos by Dennis Jarvis and Jorge Láscar

Muslims perform a wudu, or a washing, in preparation for prayer.

an instant. In cities like Jakarta, Indonesia, there are mosques every mile, so the call and the lights fill the entire city. Locals grow accustomed to the adhan and can sleep through the pre-dawn call if they choose, but that is not often the case with travelers. For some, especially Muslims, this can bring a sense of excitement and wonder to hear the familiar words out in the open for all to hear. For others, it can be an unwelcome interruption of a REM cycle. Kyle Durfee, who recently visited Jerusalem, advised tourists to resist the urge to reach for their earplugs. “Sure, it might wake you up, but that’s an essential part of the experience in going there. Also, if you can get the chance to hear one of the reciters do it live, take that opportunity! It sounds way better when it’s not over a loudspeaker.”

The Abu Bakr mosque stands as a religious beacon in Egypt.

“We immediately stop talking and wait for the adhan (call to prayer) to end.” A good rule of thumb is to watch the locals for cues on how to behave when the prayers are called. In each country, and even in each individual city, the norms can vary. Many Muslims will pull over if driving or halt their other activities while the call rings through the city. Whatever you do, try to show respect for the symbol of devotion you are experiencing. “When we, as Muslims, hear the call for prayers, we immediately stop talking or at least lower our voices and wait for the adhan (call for prayer) to end. Non-Muslims should at least lower their voices

and not be rambunctious. It certainly is not a singing session and naturally one should not dance to the call,” said Akhan. Meghan Johnson, who visited Turkey for a month last year, said that the experience helped remind her of her own religious beliefs and encouraged her to pray in her own way. The ritual call to prayer is a beautiful tradition that steeps any environment in color, sound, and spirit. The next time you have the opportunity to participate in a call to prayer, take a moment to reflect on the world you’re being allowed to witness.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 33

in Yellowstone

Yellowstone may show visitors a beautiful landscape of green meadows and gorgeous geysers in the summer, but the oldest national park in America turns hostile in the winter. The landscape completely changes until some of the attractions are not even viewable. Most tourists deem it wise to stay clear of Yellowstone during this time. But the cold actually brings a different adventure for travelers to enjoy. In the dead of winter, groups join together in Yellowstone for one purpose: wolf tracking. 34 â–ś winter 2016

Photo by Michael McCarthy

by Cherie Stewart

Yellowstone National Park has been a popular tourist attraction for centuries. In 1872, it was declared the first American national park to protect the beautiful collection of geysers and to provide a sanctuary for many different animals. The creation of the park did not immediately provide legal protection for wildlife. Hunters and tourists were free to come to Yellowstone and kill any game or predator they came across, including the wolves.

The Hunted

At the time Yellowstone was created, wolf numbers were already in decline throughout the United States. Hunters often targeted these wild ancestors of dogs to reduce attacks on livestock. Exterminating the wolves seemed essential. Even when hunting regulations in Yellowstone were established in 1883, wolves were among the many predators not protected by law. By the early 1900s, not a single wolf was left in Yellowstone.

Photography courtesy of Yellowstone National Park

Waterfall Effect

Soon after the eradication of Yellowstone wolves, park managers and biologists recognized the devastating blow to the ecosystem. Deer populations exploded and vegetation became largely overgrazed. This waterfall effect caused the entire park to suffer from the absence of wolves. Seventy years later, the gray wolf was finally reintroduced into the park and the results were astounding. The wolves reduced deer overpopulation, which reduced overgrazing and allowed more tree growth in the valleys. The number of beavers increased because of the plentiful trees, and the dams they created attracted plenty of other animals. Carrion left by the wolves provided a needed food source for grizzly bears and eagles, and

Top: Wolves like this male alpha wolf can weigh up to 110 pounds. Middle: The Lamar Canyon wolf pack is unique because it is the only pack known to be lead by a female. Bottom: Despite their menacing reputation, wolves are naturally afraid of humans, which is why they are so hard to spot in the wild.

www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 35

the vegetation brought more birds into the park. After many years of ecosystem failure, Yellowstone was finally restored to its former glory.

Track the Wolves

Wolves continue to dramatically change the landscape of Yellowstone National Park. Now visitors can hunt wolves again, but instead of using guns, intrepid hunters arm themselves with cameras. Yellowstone wolf guides take small groups of sightseers on excursions that last several days to track the wolf packs of Yellowstone and to observe these powerful hunters in their natural habitat. These expeditions offer the best wolf-viewing experience, but wolves aren’t the only animals to be

spotted on these trips. Visitors also see grizzly bears, moose, pronghorn antelope, coyotes, elk, bison, and other rare wildlife. Each wolf-tracking trip is customized to the season, the size of group, and the location of the base point. For those hoping to catch the best look at the elusive wolf packs, winter is the time to go. The guides that organize these trips are experienced with winter tracking and are familiar with the habits of the Yellowstone wolves. Novice wolf trackers are given the finest opportunity to see the wolves and to witness firsthand how these predators function as a key species to preserving the landscape of Yellowstone National Park.

Winter Wolf Retreat I January 17–22, 2016

Winter Wolf Retreat II February 7–12, 2016

Yellowstone Wolf Adventure with Jan Fennell, the Dog Listening February 15–20, 2016

Winter Wolf Watch March March 4–9, 2016

Spring Wolf Watch April

Photo by Cathy Haglund

March 31–April 5, 2016

36 ▶ winter 2016


s a ra h s o re n s o n p h o to .wo rd p re s s . co m sarahpsorenson@gmail.com 801.386.1527

Baltic Wonders

by Sara Bitterman

38 ▶ winter 2016

medieval castles, Russian Revival churches, and Soviet Union–era complexes, these countries are hodgepodges of architectural history. New architecture demonstrates that all three countries are becoming leaders in modern architectural design. However, blending the new and old poses challenges, and each country has met those challenges in different ways as they

try to simultaneously preserve their architectural history and create a new style for the future.


Looking out over Latvia’s capital city, Riga, is like watching two worlds collide. In the old-town area of the city, many homes, shops, and cathedrals stand as evidence of just

Photo by Santa Felkere

Through countless centuries, Europe has been ravaged by war as various groups have tried to conquer as much land as possible and claim territory. The evidence of this history is manifest not just in history books but also in architecture. The Baltic States—Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania—showcase great examples of architectural diversity resulting from war. With baroque cathedrals,

Photo by Stephen Downes. Color adjustment made.

“You walk through these really pretty paths and they take you into the old city.”

how long people have lived in the city, while just to the east, the new city glistens with more modern buildings. Chris Holdaway, who spent a few months in Riga, said the city has done a good job separating different building styles. “They have downtown, which is very urban and very modern with lots of glass with cool architecture, and then it blends in really well with Old Riga.”

Holdaway said the city has parks that create a visual buffer between the newer part of the city and older parts of town. “You kind of hit these parks and you walk through these really pretty paths and they take you into the old city,” Holdaway said. One of Holdaway’s favorite buildings is the Dome Cathedral (also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral) in the old town. Built in 1211, the

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 39

Top: The Vilnius Cathedral is a mixture of old and new. Bottom: Old Riga’s Dome Cathedral is the largest medieval cathedral in the Baltic States.

40 â–ś winter 2016

From top: photography by Heroix. and Tobias Gaulke

Dome Cathedral was built following the Livonian Crusade, when German and Danish soldiers invaded medieval Livonia (which makes up parts of modern Latvia and Estonia) to convert the pagan Livonians to Christianity. The crusade was an effort to secure the safety of German trade and commerce. Holdaway said he and his friend love the gold rooster on top of the building. The rooster is supposed to defend against evil. The cathedral is considered one of the most recognizable landmarks in the country and is featured in most aerial shots of the city. Another feature in many Riga aerial shots is the central office for Hansa Bank (now Swedbank) on the west side of the Daugava River. Finished in 2004, the building is made of steel and has a glass façade, giving it a sleek appearance. At night, the building is lit up with color-changing lights, which reflect off the side of the building. Also known as Saules akmens (sun stone), the building was the first high-rise to be built in Latvia following the fall of the Soviet Union and was the tallest building in the country when it was completed.

From top left to far right: photo by Byronv2, Kristupas Jarmulka, and Lars Plougmann.

Top left: Cathedrals like St. Mary’s remain beautiful reflections of the past even with modern architecture’s growing popularity. Bottom left: St. Anne’s Church in Vilnius was built using thirty-three kinds of clay bricks. Right: The Kumu Kustimuuseum sports a modern interior.

According to Holdaway, the west side of the river is where most of the Russian architecture is in the city, with many large buildings that hold hundreds of apartments. Holdaway described the setup as a “labyrinth of Tetris blocks” and said that the Soviet Union–era buildings were eyesores. However, he said that, like the modern buildings, many of these buildings are separate from those in the old town, which he credits as being the most Latvian of all the styles.


In neighboring Estonia, the architecture is even more diverse. In the city of Tallinn, buildings contain influences from Western Europe and Russia, as well as modern architecture. In 1561, northern Estonia came under the control of Sweden after the Livonian War, while the southern

part of the country was held by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. By 1625, all of Estonia came under the control of the Swedes. During the early eighteenth century, Sweden lost the Great Northern War to Russia, and Estonia became part of the Russian Empire. Russia remained in control of the country until the end of the Soviet Union in 1991. Unlike Riga, the Russian presence in Estonia for nearly three centuries is reflected more in the Russian Revival– style churches (like Alexander Nevsky’s Cathedral in Tallinn) than in Soviet-era apartment complexes. The cathedral is topped with five onion domes, an architectural feature common in many Russian Orthodox churches. The church was built during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century and is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city.

Holdaway, whose friends spent some time in Tallinn, said that, unlike Riga, many of the old and modern buildings stand side by side, rather than being kept separate. Visitors can find this very diversity embodied in Tallinn’s Kadriorg Park, which was built by the order of Peter the Great of Russia in 1718. The park houses many different museums as well as different styles of architecture, including the baroque palace of Peter the Great and the seventeenthcentury cottage he stayed in while the palace was under construction. The Kumu Kunstimuuseum, located at the edge of the park, is a branch of the Art Museum of Estonia and is a modern building that has received many accolades for its beautiful design. The design for the building was chosen from an international design competition in

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 41


In contrast with Latvia and Estonia, Lithuania held its own against invaders and was its own sovereign nation or part of a joint commonwealth with Poland until it was overtaken by Imperial Russia in the late 1700s. As a result, the architecture shows less evidence of invasion, but more of popular Lithuanian styles throughout the ages. Vilnius’ Old Town contains many older churches, including St. Anne’s

Church, which is made of bricks in the Gothic style. The brick building was built in the late fifteenth century to replace the former wooden church that was destroyed in a fire. The church was built for visiting German Catholics to worship in. Also in Old Town is Vilnius Cathedral, built in the neoclassical style, which replicates the ancient style of the buildings in ancient Greece and Rome, like the Parthenon. The building is considered the heart of the Catholic Church in Lithuania and is where the coronations of the grand dukes of Lithuania took place. The interior of the cathedral contains many painted frescoes in the Renaissance style. On the modern front, there are many ongoing architectural projects in the works in the capital city of Vilnius. One project that has since been finished is the Litexpo Exhibition Pavilion. The building is triangular with concrete

walls and large glass windows, allowing natural light to flood the interior. The sharp angles and lines give the building its distinctly modern feel. Thomas Graham, who spent two years in Lithuania, said he was impressed by how well kept the older buildings were. “I feel like Lithuanians are very proud of their history, maybe more so than the people of the other Baltic States, and because of that, they typically spend more time restoring older buildings than building new structures,” Graham said. While most architecture in Europe exhibits a rich mixture of old and new, the diverse histories of invasion and inclusion in the Baltic States amplify this effect. To see uncommon juxtaposition of old and new architecture, visit the Baltic States and see the marks of hundreds of years of history in a single glance.

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn Estonia reflects the artchitectual history of the Roman Empire.

42 ▶ winter 2016

Photo by Neil Howard

1994. Designed by Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori, the building has an atrium that extends to all seven floors of the building and is constructed in a circle. The location of the building is significant because it is at the old border of the city. The design and location are symbols of connecting the past with the future in an eternal round.

Cultures 44

Curious Cuisine


Bollywood: An Expanding Art


Four Corners of the Kitchen: Mint


Remembering Through Art


African Tribal Beauty


Healing Soups


Talk to the Hand

Experience unique foods from the South.

Sweeping across the world, Bollywood has become an artistic phenomenon.

Learn about new ways to enjoy the unique flavor of mint.

Artists memoralize and recognize victims of genocide.

Take a trip to Africa and appreciate the beauty found there.

Feeling sick? We’ve got some soups to help you on your way to recovery.

Photo by Rod Waddington

Know the proper gesture etiquette for countries around the world.

www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 43

Curious cuisine unique foods from the south Alligator

The idea of eating a scaly creature with many sharp teeth may seem unusual, but alligator is a fairly popular dish in the South. Alligator meat can be cooked a variety of ways, from grilled to stewed, but the most popular way to cook it is to fry it. The taste can be described as mild, similar to chicken, with a slight seafood aspect.

Fried/Pickled Okra

Okra can be considered an unusual vegetable since it’s not used in the

44 ▶ winter 2016

regular diets of most Americans. But it’s a huge part of Southern cuisine. Okra originally came from Africa and possibly came to the US through the slave trade. This unique vegetable can be cooked in many ways, including boiled, steamed, or even added to soups, but in the South, their specialty is fried okra and pickled okra. Pickled okra continues to grow in popularity, and you can find this specialty in many stores in America. Okra’s texture ranges from slimy when boiled to crunchy when fried. As for the taste, most Southerners agree that okra

tastes like okra and that you just have to try it yourself!

Oxtail Soup

Oxtail meat is just as it sounds: meat directly from the tail of an ox. It may seem a little odd, but oxtail meat is quite tender, and, when stewed, it practically falls off the bone. This dish originally came from the Caribbean and is very common in Southern households. This dish can be prepared in a variety of ways, including Jamaican style and Caribbean style. Oxtail practically

From left: photography by Arnold Gatilao and Nancy White

When you think of strange food, your first thoughts may gravitate toward foreign foods such as fried scorpions in China or escargot from France. You may think you need to travel halfway around the world to taste peculiar cuisine. But unique foods can be found right here in the United States, specifically in the South.

From left: photography by Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau and Beck

You don’t have to travel far to try new and unique foods. tastes like beef, but because it has extra fat and gelatin, the stewed meat often has a better texture than beef.

Fried Green Tomatoes

This side dish is a staple in many Southern restaurants. It’s made with unripe (green) tomatoes, sliced, seasoned in pepper and salt, covered in cornmeal, and fried in bacon fat. The taste has been described as tart with a unique texture. Fried green tomatoes are used in a variety of ways including in sandwiches, as a side dish, or just by themselves.

Fried Rabbit Livers

They may sound a little unappetizing, but fried rabbit livers are a big deal in the South. There are many ways to prepare them, from cooking them with pepper jelly to simply sautéing the livers in butter and serving them on toast. They taste similar to chicken liver, and are very nutrient-rich.

Thanks to the South, you don’t have to travel far to try new and unique foods. The next time you are traveling through the beautiful southern states, be sure to stop by local restaurants and sample some Southern cuisine.

—Heather Moon

urants Popular Resta in the South Walland, TN kberry Farm, ac Bl at rn Ba ▶▶ The snails ine, Burgundy Famous for w , Hot Fish Club ▶▶ Hot and AL Birmingham, h fish es fr r fo s ou Fam State South, ▶▶ Empire ade bacon marmal Atlanta GA bouillabaisse, sh tfi Ca r fo s Famou ▶▶


Proof on Main, catfish dip Louisville KY nes, Kentucky Bo d te as Ro r Famous fo Que, Scott’s Bar-Be SC barbeque sauc Hemingway, rk rinds, spicy po ed fri sh fre Famous for

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 45

An Expanding Art of the places fostering a Bollywood culture might surprise you.


Bollywood’s “emotions and freedom” have appealed particularly to large groups of women in Germany. There, Bollywood films are in surprisingly high demand, as well as Bollywood dance performances and classes. The Bollywood culture has also spread to other countries in Europe, such as England and the Netherlands. There, those from India who have immigrated to such places find vibrant visits to their culture through these popular films.

Traveling to countries of the former Soviet Union, you will find that Bollywood films are especially popular with those of the Soviet Union generations. When the USSR banned Hollywood films and its people sought family-oriented entertainment, Bollywood became hugely popular, and its films began to draw people to theaters all over the USSR.

North America

Bollywood continues to expand into North America, where both the United States and Canada have felt the influence of this film industry. In the United States in particular, Bollywood films earn millions each year and are more popular than any other non-US films. Bollywood and

Photo by Larry Lamsa, some changes made

The movie reaches its emotional climax. Almost effortlessly, the actors begin singing. Large groups of dancers join in, and suddenly, a bright, colorful dance number transitions the scene from one location to the next, sweeping across the screen in grandeur and excitement. And where are you watching this film? You could be comfortably watching on the television in your living room. Or you could be at a popular Bollywood film night in Nigeria. Bollywood, also known as Hindi Film cinema, is a globally popular and performance-oriented genre of films that began in India in the early 1900s and has since affected film culture all over the world. If you want to find a fellow fan of these films, just take a look around the globe. Some


You can even celebrate Bollywood with people in Oceania and South America.

Hollywood have even started working together, creating such films as Bride and Prejudice to reach wider American audiences. You won’t be hard pressed to find a fellow fan of Bollywood in American culture.

From top: photography by Haags Uitburo and Ana Raquel S. Hernandes


more about the culture. And if the most popular centers of Bollywood entertainment don’t interest you, you can celebrate this lively culture with fans throughout many other countries in Asia, from Japan to Uzbekistan to Jordan and even Pakistan.

This popular film industry continues to grow, and you can see and feel Bollywood’s reach in many different countries. You can even celebrate Bollywood with people in Oceania and South America, though the industry is not as commonly popular in those areas of the world. Still, Bollywood, with its large dance numbers and musical appeal, continues to expand its influence and reach people all over the globe. Where will you see a Bollywood film next?

—Bethany Hailstone

Head over to Africa, and you will still find friends of the Hindi film industry. The culture and excitement of Bollywood can be found thriving in Morocco, and such films even reach into Nigeria, where their popularity has been growing for more than 40 years. From Egypt to South Africa, you can find these talent-driven films throughout many places in the African continent.


When you visit southern Asia, you will experience Bollywood’s center of popularity. But you don’t have to stay there to experience the culture. Bollywood is also reaching larger markets. Just a little farther north, Bollywood’s song, dance, and culture are starting to gain popularity in China. The combination of influences in India and China reaches millions of people, providing plenty of opportunity to experience and learn

Left: “Dances of India” has become an annual event in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Top: Bollywood dancers even perform at the International Holland Dance Festival, a large festival that lasts nearly an entire month. Bottom: Bollywood-influenced art expands in Mumbai, India, and across the globe.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 47

FOUR CORNERS OF THE KITCHEN Used in everything from delicious treats to medicinal cures, mint has been a popular herb for centuries. Originally, mint was most commonly found in Middle Eastern culture, but it soon spread across the globe. Different varieties have since emerged, and there is nothing quite like this simple, perennial herb. The following are some recipes— both sweet and savory—from around the world that use mint as a key ingredient.

Bavarian Mint Fudge

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls



¾ pound milk chocolate 3 squares unsweetened chocolate 1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 teaspoon butter ½ teaspoon vanilla 5–10 drops oil of mint extract


Heat milk and chocolate until melted. Add butter, vanilla, and mint and mix well. Pour into an 8 x 8 pan, lined with plastic wrap. Keep cool until ready to serve. ▶▶

Adapted from Jeanne Dalton’s recipe

48 ▶ winter 2016

14 sheets rice paper 11 small cooked shrimp 50 grams dried vermicelli noodles 7 lettuce leaves 14 mint leaves


Place vermicelli noodles in a bowl and cover with warm water for 2 minutes, then drain. Slice shrimp in half lengthwise. Fill a large bowl with warm water. Place two rice papers together. Submerge the rice papers into the water (both of them at the same time, together) for two seconds. If your bowl isn’t large enough to fit the whole rice paper in one go, that’s fine, just rotate it and count 2 seconds for each section you submerge into the water. Place both the rice papers (one on top of the other) on a board or the counter with the smooth side down. On the top part of the rice paper, place 3 prawns with a mint leaf in between, as per the photo below.


Place some vermicelli noodles and bean sprouts in a lettuce leaf, and scrunch together lightly in your hand to make a bundle that holds together. Place the lettuce bundle with the seam side down onto the middle of the rice paper. Fold the left and right edges of the rice paper in. Starting from the bottom, roll up. Serve immediately. ▶▶

Adapted from recipetineats.com

Turkish Lemonana Ingredients

6 tablespoons sugar ½ cup and 6 tablespoons water, divided ½ cup fresh lemon juice 45 mint leaves 18–20 ice cubes


Add sugar and 6 tablespoons of water to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Add the cooled sugar syrup, remaining ½ cup water, lemon juice, 40 mint leaves and ice cubes into a blender. Pulse a few times to break up the ice, then process until slushy. Pour into two tall glasses, garnish with extra mint leaves.

Photo graphy by Cherie Stewart


Adapted from anediblemosaic.com

Brazilian Kibe Ingredients

1 cup whole cracked wheat 1½ cups water 2 pounds ground turkey 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped 1½ tablespoons minced garlic ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ¼ cup chopped parsley ½ cup chopped mint leaves Salt and pepper to taste Vegetable oil for frying


Place wheat in a bowl. Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat, and pour over the bulgur wheat. Let wheat rest for ½ hour. Make the filling: Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and sauté half of the chopped onions, the minced garlic, and the cinnamon and nutmeg. When onions are soft, add 1/3 of the ground turkey. Cook until the ground beef is well browned. Stir in the parsley and cook 1–2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Drain the wheat and place in a food processor with the remaining uncooked ground turkey, remaining raw onions, and mint leaves. Add ¾ teaspoon salt and sprinkle generously with pepper. Process until smooth like dough. Chill for 15 minutes. Take golf ball–sized balls of the uncooked turkey mixture and press them flat into the palm of your hand. Place 1 Tbsp of the cooked beef mixture in the middle, then close the dough around the filling. Place on a baking sheet until ready to fry. Heat several inches of oil in a deep pot to 350° F. Put kibes into the oil and cook until dark brown and crispy. Drain kibes on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and lime wedges. ▶▶

Adapted from southamericanfood.about.com

—Cherie Stewart

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 49

Remembering through The Holocaust claimed the lives of over 11 million people, including Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, Roma (also known as gypsies), Poles, and the disabled. While it was the deadliest period of genocide in recent history, it is far from the most recent. Artists are working to remind people that other genocides continue to occur. participants create the art themselves. While Demnig’s work focuses on remembrance, The Art of Revolution focuses on education and activism.


Demnig laid his first Stolpersteine on December 16, 1992, commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the decree

These Stolpersteine, or “stumbling blocks,” are made of concrete and stamped as memorials.

50 ▶ winter 2016

that sent the Sinti and gypsy people to extermination camps. The stone was laid in front of the historic town hall in Cologne, Germany. When an individual commented that they didn’t believe any gypsy people lived near that area of Cologne, Demnig decided to show people where victims and survivors lived. The “stumbling blocks” are made of concrete, which is then covered in a sheet of brass, and then stamped with information about the person it represents. Demnig gets the information for his project from a variety of sources, including family members and public records. As of August 2014, more than 48,000 blocks have been

More than 48,000 blocks have been placed in 18 countries.

Photo by Thomas Quine

German artist Gunter Demnig is creating small but significant monuments to commemorate victims and survivors of the Holocaust who were forced from their homes. He calls his art project Stolpersteine or “stumbling blocks.” In America, an organization called The Art of Revolution uses art to educate people about genocides that are happening now by having


One Million Bones was an exhibit where bones made of a variety of materials were placed to honor victims and survivors of genocide.

placed in 18 countries. The blocks are permanently installed in front of the last home of the victims in the cobblestones. While traveling through Europe, be sure to look down every once in a while to see these small memorials.

Photo by Ron Cogswell

One Million Bones

The Art of Revolution works to raise awareness about current genocides in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Burma, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2013, they displayed one million bones, made by volunteers, on the National Mall in Washington, DC, to honor victims and survivors. The bones were made from a variety of materials, including papier-mâché, glass, clay, wood, etc. Their most recent installation honored victims of the Bosnian genocide, marking its twentieth anniversary with a three-day exhibit during July 2015. The United Nations has described the genocide as the worst crime on European soil since World War II and has said that the

organization’s lack of action will haunt its history. The Bosnian and Serbian armies, as well as a Serbian paramilitary group, carried out the genocide during the Bosnian War. The genocide occurred from July 11 to 13, 1995, near the town of Srebrenica. Most of the victims were men and boys. In the end, 8,372 people were killed. Many refugees sought refuge at the UN base in Potocari. However, the refugees received little to no help from those at the base. Many women were raped and sexually abused, and many mothers watched their young children be raped or murdered right in front of them. Many UN soldiers stood by and did nothing, while witnessing many of the atrocities themselves. In a statement made by Mark Malloch Brown, the chef de cabinet to the secretary general of the United Nations, on the tenth anniversary of the genocide, acknowledged that the United Nations did not respond how it should have. “We can say—and it is true—that great nations failed to respond

adequately. We can say—and it is also true—that there should have been stronger military forces in place and a stronger will to use them. We can say—and it is undeniable—that blame lies first and foremost with those who planned and carried out the massacre, or who assisted them, or who harboured and are harbouring them still. But we cannot evade our own share of responsibility,” Brown said. While Demnig’s work and the work of The Art of Revolution bring to light some of the darkest events in the history of the world, there is hope in it. Each bone and Stolperstein is a reminder of the darkness that humans are capable of but also an appeal to its viewers to not stand idly by, but to take a stand against an issue that still plagues countries around the world today. ▶▶




—Written by Sara Bitterman Designed by Melissa Stewart www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 51



Would you ever choose to insert a metal plate in your lower lip to express yourself? Or cut patterns into your cheeks? People all around the world use body modifications as cultural self-beautification for reasons that seem foreign to outsiders. Nowhere are these practices more deeply ingrained than in Africa, where multiple tribes’ unique cultures, traditions, and body modifications symbolize this rich history. Just in Ethiopia, the Surma tribes use body modifications to define themselves as an individualistic group of people. Surma is a name given by the Ethiopian government to identify three different tribes: the Suri, the Mursi, and

the Me’en. Body modification styles and types define and identify members of these distinct groups, although some modifications overlap between tribes.

One distinctive body decoration used by the Surma tribes is body painting. The people of the different Surma tribes use clay and other natural minerals to paint their bodies for various purposes. For example, the chief’s children paint their faces white in order to distinguish themselves from other children in the tribe, particularly if there are outsiders visiting the tribe’s village. Also, Surma warriors paint each other’s bodies during hunting season to appear intimidating. They also use body paint for tribal ceremonies and celebrations. Some members of these tribes even believe that the paint helps to protect against harm.


Surma tribes in Omo, Ethiopia, use scarification to create beauty marks. Scarification is the process of creating permanent marks (scars) on one’s skin, usually by cutting or burning. The Suri tribe uses scarification on the face

52 ▶ winter 2016

Photography by Dietmar Temps

Body Paint


as well as the body, creating lasting patterns and lines. A scarification ceremony involves using thorns and a razor to create the designs, and tourists can even witness a scarification ritual for a cost. The cuts made in the skin are treated so that they will heal as raised bumps. Those who participate in scarification are usually seen by other cultures as less civilized, and many tribal members who venture out more or receive extended education sometimes try to hide scars. Regardless, many tribes see scarification as a mark of beauty. Men, women, and even children participate in ceremonies to permanently decorate their skin and demonstrate adherence to tribal customs.

Lip Plate

Mursi women are often seen with a lip plate in either their upper or lower lip. Several months before marriage, a Mursi girl chooses whether or not she would like a lip plate. The procedure starts as a small piercing in the lip held open by a wooden peg. Larger pegs are inserted gradually until the piercing is big enough for the first plate to be inserted. Every woman creates her own lip plate; she decorates it how she likes and chooses how big the final lip plate will be. Though this unique tradition may seem strange to other cultures, Mursi women practice this ornamentation with pride and a sense of self-esteem.


Nearly every culture practices and encourages ear piercing, including the Surma tribes. In these tribes, piercings are typically enlarged. Much like the lip plates used in the Mursi tribes, a flat disk made of wood or clay is used to stretch out the ear lobe, each disk larger than the first, similar to the common gauges used in other areas of the world. However, these plugs are not limited to round disc-like shapes. Thorns, stones, bones, and even film canisters can be used to stretch the ear and serve as a fashionable piece of jewelry. This is one African tradition that has caught fire in many countries and continues to grow in popularity, but some of the most incredible ear stretching modifications are still found in the heart of the Surma tribes. African peoples certainly vary in their approaches to beauty, and each tribe has something unique to contribute. While some approaches are painful, all of these traditions serve a purpose: to enhance the unique appearance of each people and culture.

—Shanna Clayton and Cherie Stewart

www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 53

Chilly weather often brings colds, sniffles, shivers, and coughs, making winter miserable. While you might turn to Grandma’s chicken soup first, consider some of these soups from around the world with special healing benefits.

Gingko Nut Porridge

Fennel Fish Soup



Several ginkgo nuts, shelled and skins removed 3 or 4 beancurd sheets, rinsed and torn into smaller pieces ½ cup rice 7 cups water 1 teaspoon chicken granules Salt to taste


Wash rice, put into the rice pot and add in 7 cups water. Switch onto “Porridge” mode of the rice cooker. Once the rice grains have started to soften, add in the gingko nuts and cover. Once the porridge is soft, check for desired consistency, add in the limp beancurd sheets, salt, and the chicken granules, and stir. ▶▶

Adapted from nofrillsrecipes.com


1 finely chopped yellow onion 3 sliced garlic cloves ¼ of a finely chopped fennel root 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 20 ounces vegetable bullion 10 ounces white wine 3 peeled and diced tomatoes 7 ounces heavy cream 30 mussels 1 pound shrimp 1 filet of white fish milk flour salt and pepper


Sauté the onion, garlic, and fennel root until tender. Add fennel seeds, vegetable bouillon, and white wine. Let boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cream, shellfish, and fish until cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste. ▶▶

54 ▶ winter 2016

Adapted from epicurious.com

Photography by Sam Lund



www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 55

Mushrooms are known for many health benefits, including their abilities to increase metabolism, fight diabetes, and inhibit cancer.

If you can’t get rid of that pesky cough and you’re not feeling too seasick, this fennel fish soup will warm you right up.

An old classic with the added benefits of rosemary, this soup will get you feeling ready to head out into the snow.

A whole, young chicken and the bittersweet taste of ginseng will fill you up, relieve stress, and stregthen your beleaguered immune system.

56 ▶ winter 2016

The gingko nut is the star of this simple dish and is also said to provide asthma relief.


Ginseng Chicken Soup Korea


1 Cornish hen 1 fresh ginseng root 3 tablespoons sweet rice, soaked for 1 hour (yields about 4 tablespoons soaked) 4 garlic cloves 1 thin ginger slice (about 1 inch) 1 scallion white part 5 to 6 cups of water 2 scallions, finely chopped, to garnish salt and pepper to taste


Clean the chicken, especially the inside of the cavity. Stuff the cavity with the sweet rice and a couple of the garlic cloves. Tightly close the cavity with a toothpick. Or you can make a cut on the bottom part of one thigh and insert the other thigh through to keep the legs crossed together. Place the chicken in a medium-sized pot and add enough water to cover the chicken. Add the garlic, ginger, and ginseng. Bring it to a boil over medium heat. Skim off the foam on top. Cover and boil for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and boil, covered, for about 20 to 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. ▶▶

Adapted from Korean Bapsang

Mushroom Soup France


2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1½ large onions, coarsely chopped 3 tablespoons minced garlic Salt and freshly ground white pepper 1½ pounds white mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed, and diced ¹/₃ cup orange juice 2 parsley sprigs 1 teaspoon rosemary 6 cups chicken broth


Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Sauté onions and garlic, season

with salt and white pepper. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the butter, raise the heat to medium, and cook, continuing to stir until the mushrooms release their liquid. Increase the heat to high and cook until almost all of the liquid evaporates. Pour in the orange juice and let it boil until it, too, almost evaporates. Put the herbs into the pot, add the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot almost completely, and simmer for 20 minutes. Purée the soup in a blender in small batches until it is very smooth. Add salt and white pepper to taste. ▶▶

Adapted from the American Philosophical Society Museum

Rosemary Chicken Noodle Soup USA


1 tablespoon olive oil, divided 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces 1 teaspoon salt 6 cups water 4 cups chicken broth 2 cups chopped onion 1 cup chopped celery 1 tablespoon rosemary 1 shredded carrot 10–12 sliced mushrooms ¹/₃ cup parsley ¼ cup lemon juice ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 4 cups cooked egg noodles


Combine noodles, oil, and salt. Combine water, chicken, broth, onion, celery, rosemary in a large Dutch oven; add ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; cool slightly. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Add carrot and mushrooms to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until carrot is tender. Add shredded chicken, parsley, salt; cook till hot. Stir in noodle mixture, lemon juice, and pepper. Cook 1 minute. ▶▶

Adapted from myrecipes.com

—Sam Lund

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 57

Talk to the Hand

Proper Gesture Etiquette Many innocent hand signs and other gestures in America can offend residents of another country or even give the complete opposite meaning from what was intended. Here is a quick guide of gestures, where they are okay to use and where they are not, to help you in your travels.

This particular hand gesture is not offensive when used correctly, but in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, giving someone the peace sign with the back of your hand facing them instead of the front is similar to showing them the middle finger in America.

Brushing Your Chin Using the back of your hand to flick underneath your chin is rude in Belgium, Italy, and Tunisia, and it’s very offensive in France. To put it lightly, this sign means you are uninterested in having another person around or in hearing that person’s opinion.

Thumbs Up

Usually meant to show approval or happy feelings in the United States, the thumbs up means the rude

58 ▶ winter 2016

expression “up yours” in Australia, Russia, Latin America, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan, and should be avoided.

The “OK” Sign

This particular gesture in the United States means that things are good. In France, however, it suggests someone or something is worthless, and in Turkey, Greece, Spain, Venezuela, and Brazil, it has vulgar connotations and should be completely avoided.

Palm Out

This signal, with your palm toward another person and all five fingers stretched out, can mean “stop” or even the more rude “talk to the hand” in the United States. In Greece, Mexico, and the Middle East, it has ancient offensive origins from rubbing dirt and other filth onto convicts’ faces and is considered confrontational.

Nodding or Shaking Your Head In the United States, people nod for agreement and shake their heads to say no. In Bulgaria, Albania, and Greece, the meanings are switched, so watch out for unintended confusion with this signal.


Crossing your legs in America is a common and even natural occurrence, but in India and other countries in South Asia, it can be very rude. In these countries, showing the bottom of your foot to someone, even while wearing shoes, is taboo because that is an unclean part of the body, so sitting with both feet on the floor is the safest option.

—Bethany Hailstone

Vectors designed by Freepik

The Peace Sign

Field Notes 60

Rising from Ruins


Edge of the Ocean


Abandoned Cities


Human Trafficking


Photo Contest


Tales from the Trip

Learn how poetry has helped earthquake survivors in Nepal.

Travelers in Norway love to experience the captivating beauty of the Atlantic Ocean Road.

Fascinating abandoned cities can be found around the world, and some can even be visited.

Ever seen the movie Taken? The abduction nightmare is a reality for millions worldwide, and many organizations aim to help them.

Photo by Jumborois

www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 59

In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, ripples from the tragedy shook Nepali citizens living outside of Nepal. Samyak Shertok felt the weight of the tragedy fall heavy on his shoulders, and turned to poetry for solace. Studying for his master’s degree in creative writing at Arizona State University, Samyak had used poetry for the purpose of healing as a visiting poet at the nearby Mayo Clinic. He decided to turn his gift for poetry into a project that would help his fellow countrymen heal from the trauma caused by the horrific quake. Samyak’s project, entitled “Healing Through Poetry: Nepal Earthquake Relief” was funded through Kickstarter, a popular online crowdsourcing site. Samyak’s belief in the power of words, coupled with his passion for his country, inspires many.

Tell me the basics of your project. What inspired you to create it? Healing Through Poetry: Nepal Earthquake Relief strives to help Nepal heal and rebuild through poetry that at once embraces, documents, and transcends this historic tragedy as it is happening. I will go from house to house and talk to the earthquake survivors and write poems for them. I’ll also run several poetry workshops for the young people in the hope that it will help them confront the tremors that will be felt for years to come.

On your Kickstarter page, you talk about the people you helped at the Mayo Clinic as a Visiting Poet. How did you get that position? How did that experience change you? It was an internship. It’s a collaborative effort of the ASU Creative Writing

60 ▶ winter 2016

Program and the Mayo Clinic called Poesia del Sol. The project is led by Alberto Rios, the inaugural Arizona Poet Laureate and a professor of creative writing at ASU. It was meant to be for a semester, but I feel very fortunate to be doing this for almost a year and a half now, thanks to Alberto Rios, Corey Campbell, and Katherine Kough. Just like with any other job, there are difficult times when you don’t find a willing patient or the patient you’re working with turns out not to be a good fit for the project. But most of the time, I receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from the patients. One woman, who was waiting for a new heart, after reading the poem, told me, “You bring back so many memories.” A veteran who hadn’t eaten all day concluded, “You were my medicine today.” There have been experiences of this nature, and it’s incredible to see how one poem can help people feel so much peace and comfort.

How do you think this project will help your people? What change will it bring about that otherwise wouldn’t have happened? The first goal of this project is to simply listen to the stories of the people who have been affected by the earthquakes. To listen to them as a friend. To listen to them wholeheartedly without any purpose or reward attached to it. Not as a counselor. Not as a journalist who is interested only in the story. This act alone can bring great relief and comfort to many people as I have witnessed it firsthand at the Mayo Clinic. After that comes the time to look at the story I have just heard and see if I can create a poem out of it. Some poems can focus on one specific moment or image while others can

Photo by Syamsul Ardiansyah



span one’s lifetime. Either way, the objective here is to create something that is true to the story, that maintains the voice of the interview, and that, at the same time, speaks to something much larger about life, about all people. Then I will print out the poem, frame it, and hand it to the participant. We will read the poem out loud. Sometimes the participant reads the poem, sometimes I do. Other times we take turns in reading it. This performance of the poem, I have discovered, can be extremely crucial to the experience of the participant, because this is where his or her story comes alive and in a way that he or she had never imagined. Suddenly they see their story is not only their story but many other people’s—they notice something in it that touches them deeply, and I believe this is when the most important task of healing occurs. This moment of becoming a part of something universal. Also, no matter how sad or heartbreaking their story is, the poem cannot risk to be sentimental, so they can see that there is some universal value and theme in the narrative of their lives. (Of course, all this is coming from my experiences at the Mayo Clinic, but I’m certain that it’ll be very similar to this.) Then, finally, we will share the poem, pictures, and hopefully a video on the blog so that people around the world can read their story. And, if anyone is moved by the story and wants to help the person or family, they will be more than welcome to do so. That way, hopefully, at least some of the families I meet will get some tangible support as well.

What about poetry do you think can create healing? Poetry is deeply intimate and cosmic at once. Poetry is the synergy of the personal and the universe. Also, poetry is very close to music—not just in terms of rhyme and meter—but in terms of cadence and lines. All of this makes poetry an art form that is our story but also everyone else’s. There are only words on the page, but we can’t help but feel the music as we read it. All of this, in my opinion, facilitates the healing effect in poetry.

What has poetry meant to you in your life? Poetry for me is like a friend who is extremely difficult to please but who loves you more than anything else. It’s a meditation on the self, the everyday, and the cosmos. Above all though, poetry is prayer.

Do you have any stories about when poetry has helped you heal? I wouldn’t necessarily say that poetry has helped me heal, but there have been times when the only way I could express my feelings was through poetry. For example, when the first quake struck Nepal on April 25, I couldn’t express in any other way but through words.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 61

The district of Sindhupalchok, my birthplace, was one of the worst-hit areas. This means the house I was born and grew up in is now gone. And so is about ninety percent of the houses in that district. People have described many villages as war zones or ghost towns. My niece lost her daughter, and my sister lost both her houses. Yet these losses are nothing compared to some other parts of the country.

What were your feelings hearing about the earthquake and not being in your home country? Mostly helplessness. Some of my friends were saying that they felt sad that they were not in Nepal at this difficult time, but I’m not entirely sure what I could have done if I was there. What I was really worried about though was the safety of, first, my mother and other family members. But soon it was very clear that it was a national tragedy, and I prayed for the whole country in my own way—which was through poetry. Once people couldn’t go back to the house and started living in tents, it occurred to me that it was in some ways a metaphor for many Nepalis that are living abroad. Of course, some of them are in America or Europe because they want to be here, but the vast of majority of us have been, in a way, forced to leave the country, whether temporarily or permanently, because of the political, educational, employment, and environmental situation in the country. While it’s not fair to point the finger just at the government, they must take the majority of the blame, for they have ruined the country with corruption and inaction.

62 ▶ winter 2016

Why will you be focusing on a specific age group for your poetry workshops?

The age group is tentative, but I wanted to focus on the young people in part because I think they are the ones that are most affected by this disaster, and, in part, because they are likely be more open to constructive criticism that is indispensable to any writing workshop. Of course, everyone has been greatly affected, but these are the people whose schools have been closed down for over a month. These are the people starting to worry about their future, and I’m sure there are some who might be considering going abroad to study, and they might never come back, partly because of this horrible experience of not just the disaster but of how incompetent the Nepali government has been with rescue and relief efforts. And, of course, the future of any country is its youth. I’m not saying these workshops will make them not leave the country, but it will help them to share their frustration, grief, and fears in a creative way that will not only help them share their feelings but also encourage the others to do so.

Do you have any plans for continuing this project once the first tour is completed? If the project receives enough funding, I plan to make it a long-term project. Every summer, I want to take a team of writers and run workshops for one to three months throughout the country. And I could collaborate with the local writers to have the workshops running even when I’m abroad. But, of course, that really depends on how much funding we have and how the first summer goes.

What made you turn to Kickstarter to fund your project? Deadline and a funding goal—both of which are absolutely crucial for the success of this project.

Photo by Syamsul Ardiansyah

How did the earthquake affect you?

What suggestions do you have for people trying to fund humanitarian projects through Kickstarter? It’s a really big commitment, so don’t do it until you’re absolutely sure about it. But once you do, give it your all. It can be a humbling, rewarding, frustrating, and exhilarating experience all at once.

Domatophobia All day we sit in the field by the lotus monastery and wait,

What suggestions do you have for people trying to help people, but don’t really know where to start? Help with what you know best. Not everyone can donate a hundred dollars to every cause, but we will have something we are really good at. You may be a musician, a teacher, or a businessman, and if you really want to help, you can always find a way to help through what you have doing already. Above all, all of us can pray. Sometimes a prayer can be the most important thing in order to overcome the dark times. Sometimes a prayer is all we need.

—Sam Lund

my niece says. Sometimes they take so long you forget why you are not inside your house. Alone, the ground shakes all the time, so you sit close by someone, even in the bathroom. Some kids haven’t eaten in days from the fear of having to go to the restroom. But walking, you hardly feel them. So my niece goes from one end of the field to the other, and then back until she cannot tell whether the earth is shaking, or her body. A German shepherd that was on the third floor when the second quake struck, my niece says, has refused to go back into the house ever since. The man offered him goat curry, the dog’s favorite. At nightfall, he tried dragging him up with the leash, but the dog wouldn’t climb those stairs. In the morning, when the man came down with the dog’s breakfast, he was gone. The man and the dog lived alone. Two days later when he heard that his dog had been seen amongst the strays by the dumpster, he grabbed a leash and went after him. He called him by his name. The dog looked at him for a good minute, then went back to eating the garbage. When the man reached for the collar that was still in place, the dog bared his teeth and barked. The man dropped to the ground. A small crowd had gathered around him. They’re here! They’re here! A deranged woman rolled and writhed in dust. Some of us laughed. The man got to his feet, looked up at the sky and muttered, I f***ing hate this earth. Then dragging the weightless leash behind him, he walked into his house.

—Samyak Shertok

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 63

North of everywhere in Europe lies a winding, wet road that has been considered the best road trip in the entire world. The road stretches across churning waters, whose waves crash over the asphalt and smash into passing cars. The drive inspires awe in all who face it. This exciting drive is known simply as the Atlantic Ocean Road. Located in Norway, the Atlantic Ocean Road, known in Norwegian as the Atlanterhavsveien, crosses an archipelago connecting the coastal towns of Kristiansund and Molde. Architecturally stunning and inspiring bridges connect more than five miles of asphalt to tame the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Of the eight bridges that make up the highway, the Storseisundet

64 â–ś winter 2016

Bridge is the most striking. As you drive, the bridge arches into the sky, and seems to cut off as if it leads straight into the heavens. In addition to impressive architecture, the highway provides wonderful attractions to enhance the experience for daring adventurers. Some of these locations reside along the highway, while others are great

From left: photos by Paula Funnell and Johan Bichel Lindegaard

field notes

additions to a longer visit to the area of Fjord, Norway.

communities to rightfully portray the rich history of the region.

Kvernes Stave Church and Rural Museum

Bremsnes Cave

If religion excites you, the Kvernes Stave Church and local museum is the place to visit. A beautifully rendered church, built in the same site as an ancient stave church, has been built near the Atlantic Ocean Road. This structure has gorgeous, intricate carvings of dragons, ivy, and vines. The local museum provides detailed history of the area, allowing patrons to travel back in time and feel what an eighteenth-century village would have felt like. The museum is built in an open-area style, combining eleven buildings gathered from Averøy and the neighboring

For the true adventurer who wants to feel the spray of the ocean and listen to the silence of the earth in the same day, the Bremsnes cave is nestled just a short drive north of the Atlantic Ocean Road. Considered one of the largest caves in Norway, the Bremsnes cave is great for any avid cave hiker or amateur traveler. Remember to take a flashlight, since the cave does not offer any electric lighting.

Adventures on the Edge Ocean waves crash against the rocks beneath the Atlantic Ocean Road. Amid this chaos of surf and water, different levels of adventurists have many opportunities to do different activities. Some of these opportunities are as follows: ▶▶ ▶▶ ▶▶

Derinngarden Cheese Farm

▶▶ ▶▶ ▶▶

Fishing Bird watching Diving Biking Wind surfing Whale and seal spotting

On the mainland before reaching the Atlantic Ocean Road sits the

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 65

Håholmen Island

Along the Atlantic Ocean Road sits Håholmen Island, a restored fishing village that gives visitors a glimpse into Viking history. With a hotel, pub, and fish restaurant, guests of the island are well tended. Aside from its simple tourist accommodations, the island village also boasts rebuilt Viking ships that allow tourists to travel back in time. Along the rough sea spray, tourists feel as if they have truly become Vikings themselves.

The fearsome drive of the Atlantic Ocean Road lies waiting for the adventurer in us all. Offering a variety of activities and sites to explore, the road provides an arterial route for discovering the mysteries of Norway. Visit the Atlantic Ocean Road and enjoy a magnificent driving, exploring, and traveling experience at the edge of the ocean, at the top of the world.

—Adam McLain

Top: Though the scenery is peaceful here, this solitary road has been punished by no less than twelve hurricanes. Bottom: Architectural wonder Storseisundet Bridge is a cantilever bridge, one that is supported only on one end, earning it the nickname “The Bridge to Nowhere.”

66 ▶ winter 2016

Photosgraphy by Jumborois

Derinngarden farm. Most famous for its cheese, the farm also provides organic dairy products for purchase. In the upper rooms of the main farm building, visitors can eat at an authentic restaurant that provides food made right at the farm. If you’re travelling for a while in this area of Norway, you can camp at the farm for a modest price. Lose yourself in the serenity of the landscape as you eat cheese and camp in one of the most comfortable camping spots in Norway.



Fascinating and mysterious, abandoned settlements offer a glimpse at how people lived in the past. See how time similarly stands still in five haunting—and visitable— abandoned cities in a variety of countries.

Photo by Basilicata Turistica

Kadykchan, Russia

Kadykchan—located near the AvanYurvakh River, 40 miles northwest of Susuman, Russia—used to be a work settlement built by gulag prisoners in World War II for coal extraction purposes. The coal mining in the area grew less lucrative throughout the years, and people eventually had to move out in order to access basic services like school and medical care. People left in a hurry—leaving a lot of their belongings behind. By 2010, the city that once housed over 10,000 people had been completely abandoned. Now you can find crumbling relics such as old toys

and other belongings scattered throughout this silent city.

Craco, Italy

Craco is a commune that sits atop a hillside, overlooking a valley of hills. The ghost town is located in the region of Basilicata and the province of Matera about 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Taranto at the instep of the “boot” of Italy. Around ad 540, the town was first inhabited by the Greeks who called it “Montedoro.” Its residents slowly started leaving in 1892 because of harsh environmental issues. It was eventually completely

abandoned in 1980. However, because of its beautiful medieval architecture, it remains a tourist attraction as well as a popular filming location.

Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island, nicknamed “Battleship Island,” is located nine miles outside of Nagasaki. It served as a coal mining facility from 1887 to 1974. It featured concrete apartment buildings and a sea wall that surrounded the island. Coal helped fuel the Japanese colonies during Japan’s industrialization

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 67

age. In 1890, Mitsubishi bought the island, intending to tap the underwater coal mines. However, as petroleum replaced coal, coal mines in Japan started to close down. Hashima Island was officially closed by Mitsubishi in 1974. The island has been open to the public for tours since April 2009.

guided tours are now offered in and around the city.

Pyramiden, Norway Pyramiden, Norway, was a Russian settlement once occupied by over 1,000 people. Perhaps what is most interesting about Pyramiden is its low-rate decay—which can be

attributed to the frigid local climate. Buildings and other relics have remained almost exactly as when they were still in use. Today tourists can access Pyramiden by boat or by snowmobile, either independently or as part of a guided tour.

—Rachel Rubio

Pripyat, Ukraine

Previous page: The citizens of Craco, Italy, deserted the ancient city after years of landslides and poor agriculture. Top: “Battleship Island” got its nickname simply because the island’s shape is similar to a Japanese battleship. Bottom: After the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, inhabitants of Pripyat, Ukraine, had only 36 hours to evacuate the city.

68 ▶ winter 2016

From top: photography by inefekt69 and Jennifer Boyer

Pripyat, Ukraine—a ghost city that suffered from a nuclear disaster—was the ninth nuclear city of the Soviet Union that helped serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. The city, unlike cities of military importance in the Soviet Union, was not restricted before the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. The city had a population of 49,400 people with an average age of 26. It was declared an official city in 1979 but was abandoned shortly thereafter, with the Chernobyl disaster on April 26, 1986. Radiation levels have dropped since then, and

field notes


TRAFFICKING Many people are unfamiliar with the term “human trafficking” or associate it with the storyline of the popular 2008 Luc Besson film Taken. Solo travelers, especially women, are often advised against traveling alone because family members don’t have that “very particular set of skills” Liam Neeson’s character had developed. Human trafficking is a major societal problem, a condition that affects an estimated 35.8 million people, according to the International Labour Organization. Here are some of the basics you should know about human trafficking, both as a traveler and as a citizen of the world.

What is human trafficking? In a nutshell, human trafficking is modern slavery. Many Americans think that slavery ended with the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, but according to even the most conservative estimates, there are more individuals living in slavery today than there have ever been in the history of the world. Slavery is generally defined as being forced to work, without pay, under the threat of violence, and being unable to walk away. There are many different kinds of slavery throughout the world—everything from labor

camps in the Florida tomato fields to child sex slavery in the infamous Cambodian karaoke brothel and restavek slavery, or child domestic servitude in the Dominican Republic.  

What is likelihood I will be trafficked while traveling? Because of the underground and illegal nature of trafficking, statistics are hard to come by, but experts agree that the chances a tourist will end up being trafficked are minimal. Traffickers generally prey on poor, vulnerable populations through deception and false promises. Often they will tell a poor family of a job opportunity for one of their children in the city, where the child will be well taken care of and able to send money back home, but after the child has left, the family never hears from the trafficker or child again. In order to traffick adults, traffickers often offer jobs in a foreign country, and then take away the individual’s passport and documents once the victim reaches the destination, so the victim is even more vulnerable to their threats and manipulation. Another common deception, mostly used against women, is what is known as “boyfriending.” In this case, a trafficker will begin a romantic relationship with his (or her) intended

victim and slowly isolate the victim from family and other sources of support. Emotional and physical abuse are also used to manipulate the intended victim into some form of exploitative labor (most often commercial sex), from which the trafficker gets all of the proceeds. You are more likely to be trafficked from your home country than to be abducted while traveling, although this, of course, also happens.

Where is trafficking the worst? The country thought to have the most slavery in the world is India. In India many families have been slaves for generations, stretching back further than those trapped in slavery can remember. The most common type is debt-bondage slavery. Debt-bondage slavery is when an individual or group on the brink of disaster (perhaps a poor family that has just lost its means of income through a flood or storm) is offered an illegal loan. This family has few options and accepts the loan, which has an exorbitant interest rate. When the family is not able to pay this money back, they are forced to “work off the debt,” but the rate which they are paid prohibits them from ever being able to pay back what they owe, and so they and their children are

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 69

The average age of trafficked children is 11 to 14.

What can I do to be aware and protect myself? The most important step that you can take to keep yourself safe while traveling is to be aware. If you are aware of the people around you, you are more likely to notice suspicious behavior and be able to protect yourself from dangerous situations. If you feel that someone is watching you, especially if you are alone, move to an area where there are other people and even consider

70 ▶ winter 2016

starting a conversation with a stranger.Traffickers and criminals in general prefer easy targets, and even the possibility that you are friends with the group of Japanese tourists you just started a conversation with will probably be enough to scare them off (for tips on starting a conversation with a stranger, see page 82). Another important way to keep yourself safe is to display good posture and assertive body language. If you act like you know what you are doing and are confident that you can handle yourself, traffickers are less likely to target you. Looking people in the eye, standing up straight, and walking with purpose will make anyone think twice about trying something against you. Again, traffickers and criminals are looking for vulnerable people, and even though you might feel vulnerable in a new country or city, if you refuse to let that show, you’ll be safer for it.

If I suspect someone is being trafficked, what should I do? There are different protocols in different countries for reporting suspected human-trafficking cases. In the United States, the hotline for National Human Trafficking Resource Center is 888-373-7888 and is available 24/7. They have volunteers that speak over 200 languages and help individuals know what they should do about their specific situation and the resources in their area. You can also text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733. Reporting suspicious behavior can save someone’s life. This is another instance where being aware of what is going on around you can be critical, not only for your well-being but the well-being of others. Shyima Hall

From left: photography by Jef King and https://ourrescue.org/

forced to work for generations. But don’t be fooled. Human trafficking is an issue in every country in the world, even the United States. An estimated 17,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year. Often, impoverished individuals from Mexico will be offered a job like waitressing in the United States, but when they arrive, they are forced into prostitution or unpaid argicultural work.

field notes

was brought to the United States as a slave to work for a family from Egypt. She believes a neighbor noticed her washing dishes several different nights at around 1:00 am and called child protective services, who came and rescued her. Individuals that seem to be unnaturally afraid of the people that they are with, children who do not know the name of the person they are traveling with (especially in airports), individuals with bruises in various stages of healing, and children who are shabbily dressed and seem isolated from the other children, especially the children of the family they are staying with, might be victims of human trafficking.

What is being done to stop human trafficking? Sadly, many national governments do little to address the problem. In some countries where corruption is rampant, like Cambodia, police often support brothel owners and

traffickers by accepting bribes in exchange for their cooperation or even their help controlling victims. Many nonprofit organizations are now working to end human trafficking—some local, some national, and some international. Rockstarr Ministries is a nonprofit organization located in Utah that offers housing to victims, trains local law enforcement and other civic groups, and lobbies for helpful legistlation to provide support for victims both in their state and nationally. The founder, Laurin Crosson, was trafficked herself for over twenty years before finally being able to escape. Survivor-run organizations are a recent and encouraging trend in the fight against human trafficking, particularly in the United States.

How can I help? One simple way to help would be to donate to an organization like Rockstarr Ministries or Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.).

O.U.R. focuses specifically on child trafficking, mostly working to take down sex-trafficking rings that exploit children. Many nonprofits have difficulty maintaining a steady source of income, so O.U.R. offers the option of donating a small amount monthly to fund their rescue missions. Another way to help is to spread awareness. While many look down on awareness campaigns, they can actually make a major difference. The recent wave of awareness has been instrumental in passing the 2015 Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which provided greater funding and resources for victims and stricter penalties for traffickers. Following organizations like O.U.R. and Rockstarr on Facebook and Twitter can also increase their visibility, which will help them expand their influence and be able to help more victims become survivors.

—Kate Zeller

OPERATION UNDERGROUND RAILROAD Operation Underground Railroad is non-profit started by ex-CIA and Homeland Security officer Tim Ballard. Ballard worked for years fighting child crimes but was frustrated how, in many cases, opportunities to rescue children from the terrible fate of sex slavery could not be taken because of red tape and inability to violate international law. He left his job and started the nonprofit Operation

Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), which stages undercover sting operations in cooperation with local governments all over the world to rescue children, primarily from sex slavery. There are an estimated two million children currently living as sex slaves according to O.U.R.’s webpage ourrescue.org.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 71

Ever traveled to Utah?

Or curious about what Mormons

Learn more:


vectors: freepik.com & Heydon


First Place The Medina of Tunis Truly an oasis in the desert, brimming with all the mystery of ancient empires and African cultures.

—Anthon Johnson Provo, UT

Second Place

Peace Amidst Conflict • Western Wall, Jerusalem The Western Wall is a place that offers people the chance to not only petition God with prayers, but to consider the fact that people of all faiths are born into this world innocent and harmless as a dove.

— Rachel Prestwich Orem, UT

Third Place Man O’War Bay, Tobago My parents and I happened upon this place when we turned onto a secluded road. We were in awe of the enchanting view.

—Jessica Charters Chandler, AZ

74 ▶ winter 2016

field notes

Tales from the Convinced

Photo by David Merrigan

My twin sister, three roommates, and I had the opportunity to go to the Philippines for a month to do some humanitarian work that we had planned and executed ourselves. We raised money to go, then we helped there with some organized medical and health clinics as we saw needs. Just a few days before we came home, we had extra donation money left over. On Sunday after church, we had planned to take out small increments of money, in this case 500 pesos bills, to carry with us in case we were impressed by the Spirit to give them to those we saw. We didn’t like to just give out money knowing that it might be put into inappropriate uses. We thought we’d rather help “teach a man to fish.” However, we

felt impressed to carry money with us anyway that particular day. As we walked in one particular area, the five of us passed a sweet woman and her husband sitting behind her in their small doorway. We smiled, greeted them, and kept walking. When we had passed them, we all turned to each other thinking the same thing. We all felt like we needed to go back to them and give them a 500 pesos bill. My sister and another roommate spoke the language fluently because they had served church missions where they had learned the language. They approached the woman, who was closer and seemed more open to conversation. Her husband sat back and seemed a little indifferent to

us. If I had to guess, I would say he was probably just thinking, “Typical Americans.” We talked with the woman a little, then Becca, one of my roommates, took the 500 pesos bill in her hand, walked up to the man, and just quietly took his hand in hers and transferred the bill from her hand to his. She gave his hand a squeeze and smiled, and another friend told him in his language that this was just a small contribution for them. She told him to know that we love them but, more importantly, that God loves them and is very aware of them and their needs. She told them to consider this a blessing from God today for them. His countenance changed and he said somthing like, “My wife and I came to sit on our patio today not expecting to be blessed so richly. Thank you so much.” This photo was taken about two minutes after they thanked us and we stepped away. It was the smile on his face and the appreciation in her eyes that I loved. He was finally convinced. I don’t know if it was that he was convinced of us and of our kindness as good people and not just “foreigners” or convinced of God and His goodness and love and awareness of him and his family. But he was “convinced”.

—Sarah Katherine Westover Cornville, AZ

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 75

A Ticky Situation Have you ever been so tired from a trip that when you say “thank you” in Spanish, you realize you’re actually in France? Or get yelled at by Patrick Stewart when he’s on stage? Traveling through Europe, my mom and I found that too many things went wrong, but I learned only one thing that has stuck with me ever since. My mom and I were completely exhausted when we got to our room. Earlier, we had a panic when one of the girls in our group found a tick in her belly button! Mass terror unleashed as we checked ourselves! Apparently, I didn’t get the memo. I didn’t even think to check—I was completely covered from head to foot by my rain gear. Why should I have one? “Hey mom, how do you find ticks?” I was presumptuous. “They like to nestle in the crook of your arm, behind the knees . . . ” She trailed off from the bathroom.

I looked at my left arm, staying rather calm. In the clear. I slowly looked at my right. “Ha! Looks like I’m tick fre—MOM!!!!!!!” Tickling my vein was the most unholy creature of all the unholiest. I swear it squirmed. Oh gosh, I thought, I’d rather get kissed by the Irish drunk again. The image of this heathen being gutted out by a tweezer made me scream. Running to the bathroom, I stopped short. “Oh man, you too?” “I have two. One is . . .” she looked at me in horror and whispered, “on my butt.” My first reaction was pity . . . before I laughed. She kept staring at me, and suddenly I realized why. I was going to play doctor. We had alcohol and a bottle cap to hold against the skin to suffocate the ticks. Mine wasn’t so bad. But holding

a cap against my mother’s gluteus maximus while trying to fish for a tick changed my view to . . . higher sights. My face wasn’t so far from the moon, and I’m pretty sure I overflowed the alcohol and put extra over the tick. After all the diaper changes she performed on me, I guess this was long overdue. When all was said and done, we stood over the toilet together, ceremoniously, our noses burning of alcohol. I couldn’t smell anything for a couple of days. The one thing I learned on this trip was not to avoid dark alleyways, looming edges of cliffs, or even obnoxious pubs. No, it’s that you should NOT lay on the grass at Dun Aengus because you can get ticks.

—Ashlee Stephenson Sandy, OR

This spring, my mom and I went to Italy. I have always loved the Italian culture and language, and I couldn’t believe we were actually going. We landed in Milan with two weeks of traveling around northern Italy ahead of us. I couldn’t wait to start, but I was nervous. On the second day, we woke up early and caught a train from Lake Como into downtown Milan. After doing some sightseeing and

76 ▶ winter 2016

enjoying our delicious meals, we wanted gelato, so we went in search of a gelato shop. While we were wandering the picturesque streets of Milan, we found a small courtyard with a kind old man setting up his flowers and bouquets to sell. They were absolutely beautiful. In my halting Italian I told him how lovely his flowers were. I explained that we wished we could buy some, but we were traveling on trains with

backpacks, so the flowers wouldn’t survive. He just smiled and said, “I know, I know,” and picked a lily and handed it to me. He told me that now I had a grandpa in Italy. I felt like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. I couldn’t believe amazing things like that could happen to me. That was when I felt like Italy was already my home.

—Emily Ricks Heber, UT

Photo by Ashlee Stephenson

My Grandpa in Italy

Insider 78

Phone Abroad


Add Some Time to Business Travels


TSA Trouble


Conversation Tips for Travelers


Apps on the Go


Braving the Winter Chill






Heated Oasis

Parting Shot

Learn how to protect your phone and your personal information while traveling the world.

Save time and effort in your travels with the Apple Watch.

Track some of the most surprising finds from the TSA as you wait for your flight.

Read advice from fellow travelers about how to strike up a conversation with strangers.

Find WiFi and hotels on the go with these handy apps.

Adventures in the cold require proper gear to face the winter weather.

Seek and share simple beauties from your travel experiences.

Discover the majesty of the world’s largest statues.

Find beauty in even the hottest deserts with this story from one of our own staff members’ travels.

Eisener Steg, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 77


 Keep your Phone Safe while Traveling

With the rise of smartphones and more phone networks becoming available overseas, most travelers are bringing their devices with them abroad. Unfortunately, this has increased opportunities for thieves to steal phones and information from tourists. Here are some tips to keep your phone safe while you travel abroad.

Invest in a Phone Case

This may seem like a no-brainer, but having a good-quality phone case really helps prevent broken phones. There are also businesses that provide screen shields to prevent cracked screens. When you’re traveling, your phone will go through extra wear and tear, so added protection is a wise idea.

Don’t Put Your Phone in Obvious Pockets

Don’t Put Your Phone on the Table

A common thief strategy is to place a newspaper on the table over your phone and then pick it up, taking your phone as well. In general, don’t leave your phone unattended anywhere.

Use a VPN

With the rise in smartphones, another valuable thieves target is

information in your phone. Often, networks are not secure, leaving your phone vulnerable to attack. To combat this, get a VPN, a virtual private network. This sets up an encrypted network, which helps keep your data safe. NEVER access your bank account through your phone on an unprotected network.

Get Insurance

No matter how much you prepare, the unthinkable can still happen. In this case, backing up the files on your phone and getting insurance is a good preventative measure. That way, if your phone does end up lost or stolen, your files will still be safe.

—Heather Moon

Photo by Stefan Klauke

Your pants pockets and backpacks are the first places that pickpockets might target, so make sure you keep your phone in a place that’s hard to access.

Treat your phone as currency; in many places, your phone is considered very valuable. Also, don’t flash your phone around, especially if it’s an expensive one. If you make it obvious you have expensive electronics, you will be more likely to have it stolen.

78 ▶ winter 2016

Add Some Time to

Business Travels quickly down the terminal because you’re running late to catch your flight and your pocket starts to vibrate because of a phone call? Don’t stop and pull out your phone. Instead, see who is calling on your wrist, and then deftly stop the call so you can focus on the most important matter: catching that plane.

April 10, 2015, 12:40 a.m. Parks and Recreation plays on my computer. My roommate and I sit on his bed, watching— waiting. The episode ends and we both open our computers to www.apple.com. The website is slow, but, finally, at 1:10 AM we have both spent $400 on brand new Apple Watches. The Apple Watch has been on the market for a while now, and it is one of the best fashion items to have on hand when traveling for business. Not only does the Apple Watch help the wearer look professional and technologically savvy, the apps on it facilitate easier work travel.


Text Messages Your hands are full, and you are frustrated by the need to dig into your pocket, pull out your phone, read a message, and reply to it. Quickly check and reply to text messages without that frustration. The Apple Watch uses voice-to-text technology so you can just quickly speak your reply.

If you have an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus, you can use the Wallet app on the Apple Watch to check in for your flight or to use your credi/debit cards with Apple Pay. Just scan your watch and you’re good to go.

Worried about your money being too readily accessible to others? If your Apple Watch happens to get stolen, there’s still no need to worry! You can install a fourdigit password on the watch. Along with that, Apple Wallet can’t be used unless you’ve recently used the thumb print reader on your iPhone.

Phone Calls

The phone rings. It’s your boss. You answer and he asks you about your schedule. Instead of having to open your computer or use your phone while talking on it, you can look at your calendar right on your wrist. Even when you’re not taking a phone call, you can still have your calendar at a glance. Look at your wrist to see your next appointment. The Apple Watch is great for travel. It simplifies life and lets you relax more. Hundreds of great apps in the App Store allow you to personalize the watch to best fit your needs—and new apps appear frequently. To learn more about the Apple Watch, visit www.apple.com/watch. ­ —Adam McLain

Ever have one of those moments when you’re pulling your luggage

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 79

Bored while waiting to board? Pull out a smartphone or laptop and be ready for a healthy dose of “what?!” and “no way!” The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has its very own mind-blowing blog and Instagram, full of illegal items that were discovered as passengers went through security to board their flights. Gain a new respect for the people who pat people down everyday and who x-ray everyone’s belongings. Weapons, smuggled animals, cute TSA dogs, and good traveling reminders abound on these unrealized gems. Here are some of the highlights.

Seeing Stars

A Wild Ride

Ever seen throwing stars in movies? Jackie Chan isn’t the only one trying to dodge these bad boys. Everything from classic ninja shurikens to decorated folded throwing stars are found in passengers’ luggage. For comic book fans, batarangs are also popular items that are regularly confiscated, so next convention, consider flying home with a softer, fuzzier souvenir.

Turtles, snakes, and birds together usually equal the inhabitants of a neighborhood wetland. However, these animals have been found by TSA officers, hidden within the confines of pantyhose, socks, and pants. The animals were taken care of by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers and the individuals smuggling them were arrested. Talk about a wild ride.

Looking Sharp Introducing the lipstick knife, the belt buckle knife, the comb or brush knife, the key knife, the phone case knife, and the gun knife. Normal household objects are too often transformed into mini weapons, and earn the groans of hundreds of fellow passengers whose travel plans were accidentally interrupted.

80 ▶ winter 2016

Vector courtesy of BSGStudio; From left: photography by TSA/Instagram, blog.tsa.gov, and Daniel Finkelstein

TSA Trouble


Held Up History

Check out the “Can I bring my” tool on tsa.gov. Type in an item, and find out whether that item is carry-on only, permitted in checked baggage, or not safe to fly. They also provide the instructions for those items, like weight or amount limits. Give it a look before boarding your next flight and breeze through security.

Age doesn’t even give passengers a pass in the security line. One of the most unique TSA stops was for an unloaded cannon barrel, nestled within a passenger’s checked baggage. There have also been a few cannonballs, old inert grenades, a sickle, and a mace and chain. Who knew history was so dangerous?

—Sam Lund

Remember, these things are all illegal to carry on a plane, and traveling smart is always the best way to go. Check out the things you can take on a plane and refresh your memory on good traveling practices on the TSA blog, blog.tsa.gov.


Beverages: “Wine, liquor, beer, and all of your favorite

beverages are permitted in your checked baggage. You can also bring beverages packaged in 3.4 oz. or less bottles in your carry-on bags in the baggie.” ▶▶

Gel Inserts for shoes: They are now permitted! People with aching feet can breathe a sigh of relief.


Dry ice: Can be carried on or put in checked luggage,

From left: photography by blog.tsa.gov and TSAInstagram

but it must be under five pounds.

Did you know? ▶▶


Travel without an ID: It is possible to travel without an ID, but it is not recommended. The process involves showing whatever identification you have on you: credit and debit cards; filling out a form; and answering

Live fish: The TSA states that live fish should be carried onto a flight

questions drawn from a public database to

and “Live fish must be transported in a clear, plastic, spill proof container. In this case, the container may be larger than 3.4 ounces. A Transportation Security Officer will visually inspect your live fish at the checkpoint.” ▶▶

affirm your identity. ▶▶

Bicycle tools: Can be carried on, but they must be seven inches or under.

Fingernail and toenail clippers and nail files: There are rumors that such things aren’t allowed, but it is only if these items have a knife attached that they are taken away.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 81

CONVERSATION tips for travelers

Get out of your Comfort Zone

“Approach people and ask about local places to go. People won’t bite; they are nicer than you think.” —Taylor Ottesen (India and Europe) “If someone looks lost or confused, offer assistance. It can lead you both on a fun adventure.” —Kate Herrod (Italy, Austria, and Spain) “Be bold. There’s not much to lose, so initiate conversation! I felt lucky to speak English while traveling because

82 ▶ winter 2016

most other travelers I met knew English to some workable degree.” —Carly Landgrave (India) “Don’t let language barriers prevent you from interacting with others. It’s amazing how much you can communicate with charades.” —Gene Tessier (Europe and Jerusalem) “Strike up a conversation [with others] in line, on a train, or even at a tourist attraction. People are people no matter where you are.” —Jessie Comoletti (Dominican Republic)

“Most people are pretty friendly but wouldn’t take the initiative on their own. . . . Most people I’ve encountered in traveling (especially if they’re traveling too) are very open to conversation.” —Taylor Madsen (Senegal, England, Belgium, Luxembourg, Fiji, France, and New Caledonia)

Start Basic

“Weather, family, and local history are usually pretty safe [topics]. Try to be sensitive to politics,

Photo by Roey Ahram

Traveling can sometimes feel uncomfortable and lonely. But using these firsthand conversation tips from experienced travelers can help you feel comfortable talking to almost anyone.


“Never cut someone off early. You may miss the opportunity to learn about the coolest touristy tips ever.” “Learn basic phrases in the native language—the locals love it, even if you butcher the pronunciation. . . . My favorite question to ask is, ‘What do you love about this country/city/ place?’” —Elise Berrett (Ghana)

Show Interest

“A smile and genuine curiosity in another’s life experiences do not only create opportunities for scintillating conversation, they plant seeds of mutual understanding, respect, and friendship.” —Matt Kirkpatrick (Mexico, Brazil, Canada, and Iceland) “Never cut someone off early. You may miss the opportunity to learn

about the coolest touristy tips ever.” —Madeleine Lewis (Egypt, England, Greece, Italy, France, and Spain) “People are always very proud of their culture, so it is helpful to start conversations by humbly giving a sincere compliment specific to their culture, like admiration of an artist from their country. Then they will immediately love you for it and have an open, positive attitude toward talking with you.” —Ashley LeBaron (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales)

—Kaleigh Niemela

Photo by Sergio Pani

religion, finances, or anything too controversial. . . . Unless that’s the local norm, they are people, not your travel entertainment.” —Kristina Southam (Europe and South America) “Asking questions is a great way to spur a conversation—whether it be about something cultural, like what a particular symbol or gesture means, or how to get from place to place.”—Haleigh Cole (South America and Europe) “I notice what people are wearing and give them a compliment or ask where they got it from. Usually this leads into other conversations.” —Marilee Ashby (Canada, Ukraine, and Dominican Republic) “People might be less inclined to talk about themselves, but happy to talk about their family. These conversations can lead you to deeper things like values, regrets, and aspirations.”—Vance Bryce (China, Mexico, Ukraine, Canada, Iceland, Scotland, England, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Israel)

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 83


HotelTonight promotes flexibility and spontaneity because the app’s focus is last-minute travel. In seconds, users are updated on the best deals at leading hotels. Users simply enter a city or zip code and receive instant notifications on HotelTonight’s hand-picked hotels for that area. The app includes hotels in the Americas and Europe. Each hotel includes its own profile, check-in/check-out info, the weather forecast, its address, and a map of its location. A category is also

given to each hotel that reflects its overall vibe: luxe, hip, solid, basic, charming, crashpad, and high roller. The Rate Drop feature on HotelTonight allows users to track over time the prices of a given hotel. Hotels often add new rooms and drop their rates as check-in days approach. Rate Drop notifies users of these price changes, showing them the best overall rate for the hotel at that time. With 24/7 support, this free app is a necessity for all travelers. It is available on iOS, Android, and Windows.

apps on the

GO WiFi Map

Traveling is a sure way to drain phone batteries and eat up data plans. WiFi Map allows travelers to search for nearby hotspots where they can plug in and connect to the Internet. All Wi-Fi hotspots are added by users. This creates a social community where users add Wi-Fi locations, document passwords, rate connection speeds, and leave other useful comments. With over two million Wi-Fi hotspot locations, iOS and Android users can travel anywhere in the

84 ▶ winter 2016

world and still find free, accessible Internet. Users simply allow the WiFi Map app to access their current location. The app then informs them of places with either open access or password protected Wi-Fi. While most of WiFi Map’s features are free, travelers may consider upgrading to the Pro version of the app for $4.99. This version allows travelers to have offline access to WiFi Map.

—Kaleigh Niemela

Photos by Kaleigh Niemela; Phone vectors by Alberto Ziveri

Want to save time and money on your next adventure? HotelTonight and WiFi Map are two apps brilliantly designed to aid you in your travels.

Disabled ≠Evil

In Ghana, children with mental or physical disabilities are considered a bad omen or curse.

Disabled children and their families are shunned

by their communities. Due to lack of education and resources, most live a life of desperate poverty. To avoid such hardship, many of these children are

hidden, abandoned in ill-equipped orphanages, left to die in the wilderness, or killed.

Help Us Make a Difference

Acacia Shade operates a home in Accra, Ghana, where abandoned disabled children receive care and education otherwise unavailable to them. We also work with Ghanaian organizations and government agencies to help educate communities and build long-term solutions for integrating these children back into families, schools and society. Please donate today! Every little bit helps us keep these children healthy, happy and safe.



BRAVING the winter chill

Snow is falling, midwinter blues have set in; time to make haste to sunny beaches, right? Guess again! You don’t need to head south in the winter to have a vacation. Be courageous and camp in the snow! There are plenty of fun activities to do in a white winter. All you need is the right equipment to keep you safe and cozy. Here is a list of the five essentials that many forget to bring on a winter vacation.

Snow shovel

While it may seem annoying to carry a shovel around while you are camping; this gadget is something no winter adventurer should go without. Snow shovels can dig your buddy out of a lifethreatening avalanche, help you collect snow to melt for drinking water, or help you set up a camp area. Many companies make compact snow shovels so having your snow shovel close at hand won’t be a hassle.

86 ▶ winter 2016

Security cord

Also known as a “dummy cord,” these clip-on cords will help you keep track of your gear. Attach mittens, hats, or almost any valuable with your security cord. You’ll never lose track of your small camping items with this gadget.



Yep, you read correctly. While most people associate wearing sunglasses with summertime, shade from the sun is important all year round. The reflection of the sun on the snow can cause sunburns just like in the summer, and even cause the surface of the eyes to get sunburned. If you are planning to spend long periods of time under a winter sun, don’t forget to protect your eyes.

Tent heater

There’s no denying it—winter nights are bitter cold, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Invest in a tent heater to keep the cold at bay. Just follow the guidelines of tent heater use; you will be able to stay safe and warm all night long.

—Cherie Stewart

Wool socks

Illustrations by Cherie Stewart

These are a must for any winter campout. While cotton socks lose insulating properties in wet weather, wool socks are up for the challenge. They can absorb more water than cotton socks and will keep your feet dry and toasty even when you are tromping through the snow.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 87


After a much-needed nap, I woke up to my husband’s voice saying, “You’re going to wanna see this.” And with heavy eyes, I begrudgingly peeked out my window. To my surprise, outside were vibrant, blissful, cotton-candy skies as the sun rose over Tokyo. As I watched the sun slowly and gracefully illuminate the city, I thought, “This is exactly where I need to be.” I’ve always loved to travel and have always longed to be somewhere I’ve never been before. But, as I braved adulthood, that feeling slowly wilted away. Finally, after seeing countless travel photos on my Pinterest feed, I had an epiphany. Why not travel? After all, nothing can substitute for experience.

88 ▶ winter 2016

only thing I had with me, as we rode a glass-bottom boat to the middle of the ocean, was my iPod Touch. Even though the views were more spectacular than I ever imagined, I decided to leave all my gear on the shore. And what I found was that instead of being busy taking photos, I was able to fully savor each and every moment with my family on that boat. Having less allowed me to experience so much more. The art of letting go has allowed me to see the beauty in simplicity. Letting go of the extra “luggage” has taught me how to appreciate the beauty of what’s actually there instead of longing for what’s missing. As we rode to the middle of the sea, all we had were our life jackets and each other. Freed from stuff, I saw the beauty of simply being together. We didn’t need anything fancy—just the sea, the view, and each other’s company. That’s when I realized that travel has taught me to see the beauty in life’s simplest moments. It’s taught me that

making memories greatly outweighs acquiring material possessions. To me, letting things go and appreciating life’s simplest moments have paved the way for contentment. Prior to traveling extensively, I searched for contentment in the wrong places. “When I have this and that, or do this and that—then, I’ll be content.” But I never was. However, while on that boat—for the very first time in my life— without anything weighing me down, I was content. I had everything I ever needed. And that was enough for me.

Letting go has allowed me to see the beauty in simplicity.

Photography by Rachel Rubio


t first, the sole purpose of my travels was to make memories. But little did I know, I was going to gain much more than that. Through travel I’ve learned three valuable lessons—the art of letting go, the beauty of simplicity, and most of all, the power of contentment. The art of letting go is a lesson I’ve already learned, but also keep relearning each time I leave the comforts of my apartment in Salt Lake City. And the learning starts as soon as I lock the door. Travel teaches us how to let go by forcing us to leave most of our possessions behind. But I’ve learned not only to let go of possessions but also to let go of pain, worries, and other distractions so that I can fully enjoy each and every moment. One particular memory that has come to mind was when my family and I were in the southern Philippines. I vividly remember that day—the gentle ocean breeze, the azure sky, the white fluffy clouds, and the soothing sounds of the sea. And the


my adventures. And I hope it does the same for you. Without further ado, below are some tips to help you succeed on the platform.

How I’ve shared it

Though I’ve enjoyed all my destinations, perhaps my favorite part of travel is still the very act of traveling—the journey. I’m particularly fond of using different modes of transportation to do so— from airplanes, boats, and trains to segways, cable cars, aerial trams, and subways. And most of my photos reflect this fondness. Inevitably, the more adventures I went on and the more lessons I learned, the more I wanted to share my photos with the world. That’s when I started using Instagram. It has helped me document and share



3. 4. 5.

Post only your best photos. Quality trumps quantity every time. Always keep lighting and composition in mind. (Rule of thirds, anyone?) Post only two or three times a day. With travel comes a whole lot of excitement, and it’s tempting to post every single photo you take. But try your hardest to fight that feeling and post only a few times a day. You can even use an app called latergramme to queue your posts. Be consistent—in how often you post and in what you post. Use relevant hashtags. Engage by liking and leaving comments on other people’s



profiles. After all, Instagram is a social media platform. Participate in a photo challenge or two—or a few! This is a great way to get creative and also gain exposure. Most importantly, learn to see ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

No matter what your reasons for travel are and no matter what you’ve learned, I sure hope that you share it all with the world.

—Rachel Rubio

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 89

Let’s be honest; we love large statues. Whether they represent famous historical figures, religious idols, or even great events, they show our creative human potential. Are you familiar with how many giant statues around the world tourists flock to every year? Check out some of the world’s most famous megastatues! —Heather Moon

Statue of Liberty, New York City, United States

151 ft (46 m). This statue is likely the most iconic statue in the United States and was a welcome sign to immigrants coming into New York by ship in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Statue of Liberty was a gift to America from France and was designed by Frederic Auguste Barthodli. Work on the statue commenced in 1870, but the statue wasn’t finished until 1886. It is made of copper, which, due to the oxygen in the air, eventually turned the statue to its now-famous blue-green patina. This statue has become America’s symbol for liberty.

African Renaissance Monument, Dakar, Senegal Virgin Mary, Trujillo, Venezuela

153 ft (46.7 m). This piece was sculpted by Manuel de la Fuente in 1983. It depicts the mother of Christ, Mary, who is regarded as a saint in Christianity. The statue is made of painted concrete, weighing 1,200 tons. It is the largest statue of the Virgin Mary in the world. You can go inside this statue and climb up to four viewing points, where you can catch a great view of Trujillo.

90 ▶ winter 2016

160 ft (49 m). Designed by Pierre Goudiaby, it was constructed by the North Korea–based Mansudae Overseas Projects between 2008 and 2010. It is made of three-centimeter-thick metal sheets and depicts a family group emerging from a mountaintop. This monument was part of a project to bring in the new era of African Renaissance.

From Top: photography by Ingfbruno, Ricardo Castillo, and Sbreitinger



From Top: photography by Rob Atherton, Dan McElroy, and Marcel Lingg

Motherland Calls, Volgograd, Russia

279 ft (87 m). It was designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich and Nikolai Nikitin. Built in 1967, this statue commemorates the Battle of Stalingrad. It is considered the world’s tallest nonreligious statue of a woman. What makes this statue unique is the 108 ft (33m) sword that is a part of the sculpture. The design is made of a combination of pre-stressed concrete with wire ropes structure, which makes the balance of the statue with the sword possible.

Spring Temple Buddha, Zhaocun, China

420 ft (128 m). This statue is, to record, the largest statue in the world. It was built from 1997 to 2008. Constructed from bronze, this statue depicts the Vairocana Buddha, which is seen as the embodiment of the Buddhist concept of emptiness. Near the statue is the Tianrui hot spring, whose 60-degree water is said to have healing properties.

Kailashnath Mahadev, Sanga, Nepal

144 ft (44 m). This megastatue was completed 2010. It depicts the Hindu god Shiva and is the largest statue of Shiva in the world. It was designed and sponsored by Kamal Jain, a Nepali Madhesi entrepreneur. The statue is made of steel bars, concrete, zinc, and copper. Over 5,000 people visit this statue on typical weekdays, and many more visit on weekends, holidays, and for Hindu festivals. The statue brings in a lot of business and has greatly impacted the development of nearby villages.

www.stowawaymag.com â—€ 91

staff essay


I stared at the thermometer in horror from my air-conditioned car. It was early evening, about 5:00 p.m., when my family rolled into the visitor’s center at Death Valley National Park. We were hungry and aching to stretch our cramped legs, but none of us dared to leave the safe climate of the Suburban. Finally, with the promise of fresh water and plumbing, I opened my door. A choking wave of heat hit me like a forest fire. It wasn’t the wet heat I was used to, but a dry heat that cracked my lips and sent me running for shade. Inside the visitor’s center, cooled air blasted every corner, and impressive exhibits told stories about Death Valley, the largest national park in the United States. I remained unimpressed.

92 ▶ winter 2016

“Unlike most deserts,” the ranger explained, “Death Valley doesn’t get much cooler at night because of the low sea level. Temperatures only drop to the low eighties when the sun goes down.” Why would anyone want to endure such heat? Two minutes under the sun and I couldn’t stand it. The ranger recommended we check out Scotty’s Castle while we were in the area, so my family piled back into the old Suburban to venture deeper into the heart of the desert. Sand and rocks went on for miles. If our car broke down under the pressure of the sun, I thought for sure we would be goners. But we kept slogging down the rippled mirage of a road until we reached a large wooden gate.

I gawked. In an instant, the desert had transformed from a sandy wasteland to an oasis. Greenery exploded from all edges of a trickling stream and palm trees tilted under a dry breeze. Scotty’s Castle stood in the distance, looking like a palace made for a king. More than eighty years ago, Walter Scotty fell in love with Death Valley and built a permanent residence in the desert. With a record temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit, I couldn’t image anyone wanting to stay long in this death trap. But standing at the wooden gate, looking at the enchanting oasis, I finally understood how people can find beauty in any place. Even at 104° F.

—Cherie Stewart

Photo by Cherie Stewart


Parting Shot Eisener Steg

Sara Bitterman Frankfurt am Main, Germany

explore. dream. discover.

Profile for Brigham Young University Editing Students

Stowaway Winter 2016  

Winter is here, but adventure awaits! Strike up a conversation, spark a new interest, or slip into something familiar in this issue of Stowa...

Stowaway Winter 2016  

Winter is here, but adventure awaits! Strike up a conversation, spark a new interest, or slip into something familiar in this issue of Stowa...

Profile for byu.zines