Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Red Hot Peppers

I discovered that I am never going to get all my stories and pictures posted if I keep waiting to get them all edited and corrected. With our timeline of leaving Macedonia next Sunday for our OFA (Off-Field Assignment until the first part of January) I have been so busy getting everything completed so that all the work will continue while we are gone that I have gotten further behind in my Blog postings.

So I decided to just begin with current happenings and try to insert past stories and pictures as I complete them. I am going to try to make at least a weekly posting to this site. (Call it an early New Year's resolution!)

Box of Peppers Ready For the Fire


Peppers Roasting over the Open Stove Fire

Last week was a busy week for women in Macedonia (Albanians and Macedonians alike). They put up peppers, cauliflower, carrots, etc. and made Ajvar (pepper sauce) to last until next winter. I went over to Habibe's and made photos one of the days she was working. Jehona was helping her mother -- and it was a good thing -- because the next day as she finished and put the oven away for the year, it began to rain. If Habibe had not had help, she would have finished her work in the wet and the cold because the temperature dropped rapidly the next day -- winter has arrived.

Here are more photos from the day's event:


Thursday, October 01, 2009


This past week I received a big surprise. Each month BetterPhoto.com has a photography contest. I entered during the month of August and the photo was picked as an "Editor's Pick". Then I got a message in September that the photo had made it to the "Finalist" category.

I have been taking photography and creative writing classes on-line as part of my "Continued Learning" that CBF encourages in Field Personnel. This seems to be a very inovative concept - to develop the skills of personnel in a way that will enhance ministry opportunities. I cannot tell you how many people I have met and become friends with in Macedonia because of this one interest. It is amazing!


Anyway, I never thought much more about the contest. I look at it as having an opportunity to learn from other photographers - more than anything else. But this past week - this announcement came in my mailbox. So I am showing you what I received:

"Trust" SEarl Photography

Hi Shelia,

Congratulations! You have won Second Place in the Monthly Theme category of this month's BetterPhoto photo contest! Way to go!

With over 22200 entries in the contest, it is a big honor to be selected among the winners.To see your winning image - Trust - and the other excellent winning photos, visit:

News Press Release:


Photographer Shelia Earl of Skopje, Macedonia has won Second Place for August in the prestigious photography contest sponsored by BetterPhoto.com, the site's founder, Jim Miotke, announced Wednesday.

More than 22200 entries were submitted to the online photography contest, which attracted contestants from around the world and featured 10 separate categories.

Earl's stunning image, "Trust", garnered top honors after being submitted in the Monthly Theme category.

All of the winning images can be viewed at BetterPhoto.com's contest page: http://www.betterphoto.com/contest/winners/0908.asp

The contest is conducted each month. Categories include Nature and Landscapes, Animals, People, Elements of Design, Digital Darkroom, Travel and Place, Flowers, Details and Macro, Catch-All, and Monthly Theme.


Judging is performed by a panel of professional photographers. The contest are sponsored by