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Would you like to share any photos from your travels in countries where the official language is not English? Contact Christine to discuss a possible candidate for the Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest. See PRIZES available for our winners!!

Meet our Contest Winners

June 2011, Michael G. Hydak
April/May 2011, Joanne Amador
March 2011, Steven Berbeco
February 2011, Rhonda von Werder
January 2011, Felisa Guillén
December 2010 Deborah Monroe
November 2010 , Nancy Marmion

September 2010 , Hannah Covert
July Contest , Heather Martens
June Contest Deborah McGee Mifflin
May Contest John Donaldson
March Contest Shannon Townsend

Please go to the Photo Gallery Collection for earlier contests.

July 2011 Mystery Photo Contest


Do you recognize this statue? Do you know where it is located? If so, send your response to Christine with "July 2011 Photo Contest" as the subject of your email. The first person to send in the correct response will have a choice of the prizes listed below. Many thanks to Rebecca Pawel for this amusing photo.

June 2011 Mystery Photo Contest

Photos by Kimerly Miller
Bologna - Italy


Michael G. Hydak was the first person to identify the city as Bologna, Italy.  He writes that, although he has never been to Bologna, he knew it was famous for its arcades, its cuisine (spaghetti alla Bolognese), and the fact that the Communist Party ran the city for many years.  He said that he noticed the sign with some lettering in the picture, but, even after enlarging it, he could not make it clear enough  to distinguish the language.  It looked to him like Spanish, but since, as he said, Italian and Spanish are “kissing cousins,” he took a chance, based on those famous arcades.

Bologna has almost 40 kilometers of arcades, perhaps more than any other city in the world. These architecturally diverse arcades were built to protect the citizens of Bologna from the sun in the summer and the rain in the winter as well as to protect the pedestrians from the street traffic.


Michael is currently the Director of Languages Other Than English at the Texas Education Agency. Previously, he served as the foreign language coordinator for the Austin Independent School District for more than 25 years. He also taught all levels of French and Spanish at Austin Community College,  was an Associate Professor at the University of Alabama, and served as a French teacher in both private and public high schools in Connecticut. He has been awarded Fulbrights to both Mexico and Morocco and a National Endowment for the Arts grant for a summer seminar in France.

April/May 2011 Mystery Photo Contest
La Moneda, Presidential Palace in Santiago, Chile

AmadorMany of you sent in the correct response but Joanne Amador was the first to correctly identify La Moneda, the Presidential Palace in Santiago, Chile. She was able to solve the mystery by identifying the flag of Chile in the background. (Yes, sometimes there are clues in the photos but not always!)

Joanne has been teaching Spanish for the past 10 years at Wheeling High School. She teaches AP Spanish & Spanish 4, and she helped develop a native speakers program for heritage learners. She is the sponsor of the National Spanish Honor Society and the Multicultural Club at school.
She has an M.Ed in Bilingual and Bicultural Education and a recent MA in school counseling.  In her spare time, she enjoys  volunteering in her community. She also enjoys traveling with her family abroad. She is especially proud about having taken her students abroad to Spain and showing them the wonders that the Spanish and Latino cultures have to offer. One of her other pleasures is to watch travel videos and shows so that she can learn about different places. She loves geography and history and thinks in her next life will be a travel agent or tour guide. 

Congratulations to Joanne and many thanks again to Hannah Covert for the photo.

Hannah Covert
March 2011 Mystery Photo Contest



Steven Berbeco was our winner. This bridge, designed by Leonardo da Vinci, is located in Norway, not too far from Oslo. Many of you sent in the correct answer after doing rather clever and elaborate google searches. But Steven found a clue in the photo before going to google.

He writes, “I used to live in Norway and so the gas station logo in the corner of the picture looked familiar. From there it was a quick search for "Da Vinci" and the Norwegian word for "bridge!"

Steven has been teaching Arabic for six years at Charlestown High School where he also directs the Arabic Summer Academy. He is completing a doctorate in education and is the author of Marhaba, a curriculum for first-year high school Arabic. Outside of teaching and studying, he enjoys traveling with his fiancée Raquel, a recently minted doctor who is training in internal medicine and pediatrics. They live with their cat, Francis, in Boston's historic North End neighborhood.
Many thanks to Michael Mclean for this photo.

February 2011 Mystery Photo Contest

church       detail

Rhonda Congratulations to Rhonda von Werder for identifying the cathedral in these photos, San Isidro de General in Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica. She was the first of only two persons to send in the correct answer.
How did Rhonda recognize the cathedral? She writes, “Something just reminded me of a scene I saw in a tourist-type segment I had shown my students two years ago when we had Costa Rica as a theme for our unit.  I went back to my files and spotted the cathedral.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was right!” 

Rhonda has been teaching Spanish for almost 20 years now. She has also taught French and Exploratory German and Japanese. This year, she is teaching Heritage Spanish 1 and Spanish 1 Academic (for non-heritage students).  Her undergraduate degrees are in Secondary Education and Spanish.  Her M.A. is in Spanish Literature and her Ph.D. will be :) in Latin American Literature. She is the Second Vice-President for Indiana's world languages teachers association and a Board Member on Central States' Executive Board.  This summer, she will be in Uruguay with Fulbright Educational Seminars. 
Again many thanks to Elizabeth Rehlinger for these interesting photos.

January 2011 Mystery Photo Contest



Congratulations to Felisa Guillén who was the first person to identify Telc in the Czech Republic. Although she has been to the Czech Republic, she had never visited Telc. She did, however, recognize the style of the buildings and did a little research online. Telc is a town in southern Moravia, founded in the 13th century. The town square with its beautiful Renaissance and Baroque buildings was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.

Felisa is a professor of Spanish at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Her areas of interest are Golden Age Spanish Literature, Teaching and Technology, and Spanish for Native Speakers. Last year she was the grateful recipient of an NEH Teaching Development Grant. She had learned about this opportunity through the NCLRC.

Many thanks again to Kimerly Miller for the beautiful photos.

December 2010 Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest

This photo shows one of the wooden ascensores or funiculars that take you up the hills or cerros in Valparaiso, Chile. This particular one is the Ascensor Artilleria. It is painted in the colors of the Chilean flag because 2010 is the country's bicentennial.

We received an avalanche of responses for this photo, probably more than for any of our previous photo contests and almost all of them were correct. Six correct responses were received within an hour of posting!

The first person to respond was Deborah Monroe, the World Languages Department Chair and a Spanish teacher at Viewpoint School in Calabasas, California. She has been teaching Spanish and coordinating study abroad trips for 19 years.

Deborah says that, when she saw the photo, she immediately felt as if she were riding this funicular again. While she was on a Fulbright Administrator Exchange program in Mendoza, Argentina, her fiancé had come to visit her and they took a quick weekend escape to Chile to explore Valparaíso. They fell in love with the funiculars there because of the amazing views of the city that they offered.
Here below is a picture of Deborah and her classroom.


Congratulations, Deborah! And again many thanks to Hannah Covert for this interesting and timely photo.

November 2010 Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest



Congratulations to Nancy G. Marmion, who was the first person to identify the Basilica of Saint Anthony (La Basilica di Sant'Antonio di Padova) in Padua, Italy.

Nancy in the Forbidden City

Nancy is chair of the Language Department at St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas, where she teaches Spanish. In addition, she is the sponsor of the Spanish Club and co-sponsor of the Spanish Honor Society. Nancy is currently working under the auspices of the International Boys' School Coalition on an action research project on boys and foreign language. In her free time, she enjoys books, travel and flamenco dance.

Again many thanks to Risa Sodi for this challenging photo.

September 2010 Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest

Mystery Photo Contest

HCovertWinner: Hannah Covert correctly identified this beautiful building in Rome, the renowned Galleria Borghese, which houses such outstanding statues as Bernini’s David and Canova’s Paolina Borghese as well as several Caravaggio paintings.

Hannah Covert is Executive Director of the University of Florida Center for Latin American Studies. She has worked in higher education administration and international education for 12 years and is especially interested in the development of intercultural competence in US study abroad students. Hannah was an undergraduate Spanish major and has traveled throughout Latin America for work and tourism. She spent two weeks in Rome on a study tour a few years ago, thus she recognized the Galleria Borghese.

Again many thanks to Aldo Vellenich for this beautiful photo.

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July 2010 Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest

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Winner: Heather Martens was the first of many to correctly identify La Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru. This famous plaza is considered the birthplace and the core of the city.


Heather, who has taught Spanish for 13 years, is currently teaching at Blue Valley Northwest in Overland Park, Kansas. She is also the sponsor for the Spanish Honor Society and co-chair for the World Languages Department at Northwest.

Again many thanks to Elizabeth Rehlinger for these beautiful photos.



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June 2010 Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest

june pic

Deborah on a ferry on the Elbe
near the port in Hamburg

I was flooded with correct (and incorrect) responses to the June Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest. I would like to thank everyone for participating.

Winner: Deborah McGee Mifflin was the first person to identify the city as Lucerne, Switzerland, and the river as the Reuss. She said that, when she clicked on the photo, she immediately recognized it. She had gone on a trip to Switzerland, sponsored by the Swiss Embassy and Präsenz Schweiz, and their first stop was Lucerne. She considers Lucerne one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, “so serenely set on the water.” She admits naming the river was quite tricky because normally one thinks of the lake.

Deborah is the Director of the German Language Program at John Hopkins University and has been teaching German there for 10 years. She is also the past president of the Maryland chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German.

Many thanks to Margarete Froelicher-Grundmann, Professor of German at Armstrong Atlantic State University, for this beautiful photo.


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May 2010 Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest

May 10

Winner: John (Jack) Donaldson correctly identified this building as the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Jack is Associate Professor Emeritus of English as a Foreign Language at George Washington University, where he continues to teach courses in both Linguistics and Native American cultures in the capacity of Professorial Lecturer in Anthropology.  His most recent research has been in Native American dance in the Southwest of the United States and Taino Indian cave paintings in the Dominican Republic. 

He was the only person to submit the correct answer. When asked how he was able to identify the Center, he gave this intriguing explanation:

I've actually been there and seen it in person, but I also remember when it was being constructed in the late 60's and early 70's because it is a modernistic, large scale reproduction of a type of dwelling built by one of the tribes of Kenya, and it received a lot of press coverage at the time.  When I was in Kenya four years ago, during an in-country flight we happened to fly at quite a low altitude over a village of that particular tribe, and there, indeed, were clusters of huts with just the same shape, but on a much smaller scale, of course.

Congratulations, Jack! And again many thanks to Roberta Njoroge for this challenging photo.

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April 2010 Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest

April 1April 2

Many thanks to Jennifer Weir for this month’s photos. Jennifer teaches French at Hattiesburg High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Merci beaucoup!
Jennifer took these photos from the exotic village of Mont Richard in the Loire Valley. The first photo is of the Troglodyte caves that pepper the region. The second photo is taken from atop the hillside of those caves looking out over the valley. The bridge and its accompanying 'ferry man's home' in the photo crosses the Cher River, which was a boundary point between Occupied and Unoccupied France during WWII.

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March 2010 Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest



Many thanks to the NCLRC's own Michael Greer for his beautiful photo.

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Winner: Shannon Townsend was the first person to correctly identify the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Shannon is an elementary Spanish teacher for Asheville City Schools in North Carolina. She started teaching in 1988 and hasn’t tired of teaching the little ones yet.


We had a very large number of correct responses for this contest. Many thanks to all of you who participated.


The following is a list of the prizes available for the winners of the Culture Club's Where in the World? Mystery Photo Contest. We gratefully acknowledge the donations by author E.S. Aardvark, the Organization of the Sons of Italy in America, and the Embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, and China.

• Any publication of the National Capital Language Resource Center

From Presence Switzerland
Folk from Switzerland CD including Kuhglocken, Alphorn, and Dr Kienbächler

From the Goethe-Institut
Making a Case for German: A Presentation for School Counselors on CD (Power Point) and accompanying brochure

From the Deutsche Welle
German to Go sample language course CD

Children’s Books from the author:
Jake Der Gärtner von E.S. Aardvark, illustriert von Dirk Zimmer

From the Embassy of Brazil
• Brazil in Brief, 5th edition (publication of the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC)

From the Embassy of Ecuador:
Life at Its Purest (Promotional brochures about regions of Ecuador)
Life at Its Purest (Promotional booklets about regions of Ecuador)

From the Embassy of China
Discover China baseball cap

Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA)
The Marchesa by Simonetta Agnello Hornby (a novel set in the aristocratic world of Sicily at the end of the 19th century)

Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende (in English)

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If you wish to send your comments, feedback, suggestions or opinions about this column / section, please do so by sending an email to Christine.
Make sure you specify which section or column you are referring to!!! We appreciate your feedback!!!

®2009 National Capital Language Resource Center

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