Students in the Destination: Africa international travel course recently returned to the US, to relax after the physically and mentally challenging summer.  Two documentary students chose to briefly share their take on the class, as well as some photos from the adventure.


The people of Mozambique are the warmest and most hospital individuals I have ever encountered. Working everyday with our NGO and seeing the amazing and life saving work they do in their community has had a lasting impact on impact on me. After this experience I know without a doubt that my dream as a filmmaker will continue to be one that focuses and making films about human issues that promote a better world for all.

Ryan Westra one of our DP's for the film, Salvador our subject, Ashley Lovell a Wilkinson student and David Thompson

Here’s a picture taken on location;  from left to right you will see Ryan Westra, one of our DP’s [Directors of Photography -ed.] for the film; Salvador, our subject; Ashley Lovell, a Wilkinson student; and myself.

Thank you so much for promoting this worthwhile program, looking forward to showing you all the finished product!

– David Thompson, Film Production ’13


Here are some of my photos from the trip:

Destination Africa Documentary Program

The first is of a lion that we saw literally the first day that we arrived.  Within twenty minutes of our arrival at the Park, we were greeted by two of the higher-ups there, including Greg Carr (founder of the Carr Foundation) and we were taken out on a breathtaking safari where we saw this magnificent beast laying out in the shade.  They told us that it is extremely rare for tourists to see lions, especially on their very first safari drive!

Destination Africa Documentary Program
The second is of a gorgeous sunset over the floodplain, which we also witnessed the first night we spent in Gorongosa.  Truly breathtaking.

Destination Africa Documentary Program
The third is a group picture of the whole team.  From left to right: Ariel Fisher, Jason Armbruster, Mauri Zingarelli, Greg Carr, Fernandhino (our main subject), Jeff Swimmer, Bob Poole, Gina Poole (Bob’s Wife), Michael Kowalski, Drew Heskett, and Max Miller

Destination Africa Documentary Program
The fourth is a picture of some young kids at an elementary school in Vinho (the small town where our film’s main subject was born and raised.) We shot here one day as a way to show the progress that the school has made in terms of being able to serve more children.  Much of this progress has been a result of assistance from the Carr Foundation.  Jeff’s there in the background on the right hand side.

Destination Africa Documentary Program
Finally, the last photo here is of Mauri conducting an on-the-fly interview with our subject Fernandhino on the day that we shot in Vinho, and there I am getting the shot.  We were trying to get him to open up a bit about some of the difficulties he encountered growing up.

The time I spent in Mozambique served to open my eyes to several realities of the world.  The first – human beings are inherently good; our wrongdoings arise first out of need and not greed.  People pushed to the brink of starvation will do a lot against their conscience to provide for those they love.  The second – there exists an extraordinary world of natural wonder beyond America’s pollution and waste, a place where eternity echoes in the absence of man’s destructive power.  I have never felt more at home than I did there.

– Drew Heskett, Television and Broadcast Journalism ’13


Here are some additional photos of the trip, also provided by students Jason Armbruster and Laura Moss.