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Tuesday, November 08 2011 @ 01:42 AM EST
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Kolkata to Phoenix on 80 Rupees

© Bob Miller
© Bob Miller

Yep, 8000 air miles on less than two dollars.

It was the morning I was to leave Kolkata, West Bengal, after 3½ weeks in North-east India. I took a rickshaw a few blocks to a bank for cash to pay hotel expenses and have a little for the taxi to the airport. I didn’t want to return with foreign currency, so I withdrew the minimum necessary. 

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Sri Lanka 2011

© Avi Hirschfield
© Avi Hirschfield
© Avi Hirschfield
© Avi Hirschfield
Smiling faces are what greeted us in Sri Lanka from the moment we arrived until we left. The people were so warm and curious, and there inquisitiveness made for some interesting interactions as you can see by the photos of the kids at the central bus station in Colombo.

We met with Lucy and Lipton and spent hours wandering and talking photography which was great. The diversity of people, places, views and the whole country is a photographer's paradise. We, of course, being there for the first time, took a driver and did the basic tourist run because of a lack of time. Definitely the next time I travel, it will be like the locals, on the trains (buses).

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White Sands National Monument

© Hank Pennington
© Hank Pennington
White Sands National Monument is a gem. And like a gem it’s small and easy to overlook in a remote area of New Mexico far from better-known photo locations and major transportation hubs. Even as you pass through its gates White Sands won’t yield its beauty to the casual photographer.  You have to look closely to discover its many facets. But photographers will be enchanted if they overcome the travel challenges, allow time for exploration, and enjoy a little sand in their shoes.  So much so in fact, they will be reluctant to leave when the gates close each night, and will strive to be on hand each morning when they reopen.

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2010 Soccer World Cup Carnival

© Bettie Coetzee-Lambrecht
Colour, laughter, dance and joy.  That wonderful sense of being happy to be human are the lasting memories that a game of football brought to South Africa. For the first time ever the FIFA Soccer Worldcup was hosted on African soil. Who cares that masses of overseas expertise, money and effort, not to mention the FIFA-bosses insistence on keeping deadlines assured this success. The entire Africa claims the resounding success for itself!

The accolades to South Africa, the host, that managed to rise to the occasion in such a grand sweep of style and energy, are still rolling in. Indeed to be wallowed in. Especially because the amazing success, some say, “the best in history” was so contrary to all expectation! Didn’t many friends and family plan to escape the cities with newly built soccer stadiums? Who wanted to be close when the hooligans took over, foreigners get mugged, traffic congestions and more road rage hit us?

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A Gentle Man and His Habitat

© Lucy Llewellyn-Byard
Text and photographs by Lucy Llewellyn Byard. Additional photographs by Lipton Jayawickrama. All rights reserved.

Writer and photographer Lucy Llewellyn Byard turned a three-day trip to central Sri Lanka into a paying photo/editorial assignment.

Diyabubula – it sounds like a child's made-up word, but it's the name of Laki Senanayake's jungle forest home and means a bubbling 'water spring' - an onomatopoeic word that sounds like what it describes. I had been invited to Diyabubula a dozen or more times by it’s owner, Sri Lanka’s premier artist, Laki Senanayake, and finally made my way there. I had heard many stories about Diyabubula, and had seen photos, but nothing matched the magic of ‘being’ there.