Around the world in seven Years: Lake Oswego resident John Colby reflects on his 42,000-mile journey and the remarkable people he met along the way

John Colby remembers sitting on a log inside a common building on a South Pacific island, the guest of a tribal chief who had invited the Lake Oswego resident to a 40-day celebration of his son's death.

Colby and his wife Janet had just anchored their boat in front of the small village in the island nation of Vanuatu, their latest stop on a seven-year journey that took them around the world.

"I entered the men-only side of the building, which was made of palm fronds and had a dirt floor," Colby recalls. "A local intoxicating drink called kava was ladled out of a container with half a coconut shell.  Light came through openings between the leaves; otherwise, it was dark after being in the bright sunlight. After drinking the liquid that looked like dirty dish water, a young man asked me, 'Sir, would you like another?'

"I only had one more," Colby says.

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Flowers on the Water

 Lauren Clark of Portland, Oregon is featured in this photo series.  At the time of this photo shoot she was six years old and has now matured into “Seven, people.  I’m SEVEN.” While Lauren had been in a raft before, she had never been in a canoe and viewed the entire shoot as the best day ever.  Having to balance a crown of flowers on her head while facing towards the camera took practice.  Lauren’s mom was in the water while the shoot was going on.  Her mom would steer the canoe into the shooting location and then swim out of camera range while the photographer took the photo. Lauren occasionally asked why her mom got to swim while she had to stay “dry and neat!”

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Creating a business, one baby step at a time

Stephanie Sperring uses her twins as inspiration to craft a popular line of cards, books and clothing

After giving birth to twins, most parents are usually content with finding time for the occasional shower and surviving night feedings. But for Lake Oswego resident Stephanie Sperring, it seemed like the right time to start a business.

“My partner and I decided that I would stay home with my kids when they were born,” Sperring says. “But six months after my twins arrived, I felt a need to do something that represented me and gave me an outlet.” 

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Live, Love and Remember with Pauline Zonneveld

Imagine a job in which your client couldn’t speak a language you understood, had motivations you couldn’t decode and where the objectives of you and the client were often at odds.

That’s the task often facing photographer Pauline Zonneveld, whose canine customers would rather be just about anywhere else than in front of her camera lens. Fortunately, Zonneveld not only understands what dogs want, but she can also capture that emotion in a once-in-a-lifetime photograph.

“What you need as an animal photographer,” she says, “is endless patience, the mind- set to go with the flow and the willingness to expect the unexpected.”

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Rough roads ahead? Not for Crystal Shum

Nothing makes Crystal Shum happier than smooth pavement.  "But getting there can be quite a bumpy road," the Lake Oswego resident says.  

Shum’s pun is definitely intended, but the reality s that being responsible for street-related capital improvement projects as an associate engineer for the City of Lake Oswego often requires navigating through a series of physical and political potholes. 

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Sweat, Spandex and something to prove

Think back to an embarrassing moment in your life. Did it include wearing a skin-tight Spandex wetsuit — backwards? Or falling over, in front of other athletes, while trying to put that wetsuit on for the first time?

That’s what happened to Randy Leach as he prepared for a triathlon in 2010.

“It’s critical that you take note of the fact,” he says, “that I had NEVER worn a wetsuit in my life prior to this event.”

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Going Where the Action Is

For action photographers like Lake Oswego resident Jason Murray, riding a jet ski in high surf while carrying 20 pounds of camera gear always includes the risk of capsizing and being hit by other watercraft and surfers. So sometimes, Murray will use a small boat instead.  But there are never any guarantees that all will go as planned, Murray says — like the time his boat engine stalled at a major surfing competition while 5,000 spectators looked on.

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Editorial: Beach Creatures

Summer is time for the children and mythical creatures to emerge from the sea.  An American photographer, Sarah Williams captured these beauties on the Oregon coast. Sarah says, “when given the opportunity to conceptualize a shoot from start to finish, I like to try to think outside of the box. For this particular shoot, I wanted to combine the beauty of these girls with the darkness of animals – in this case, the owl and deer.” 

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Surf Contest Makes Waves on Central Oregon Coast

Jason Garding, the primary organizer for the event, held the event as a benefit for a grade school water club. One unusual aspect of the Team Cup was the four person teams used for the contest. Usually in surf contests, surfers are competing as solo competitors, against the other surfers in the water. In the Team Cup, surfers were organized into teams, and surfed cooperatively. Teams were made up of employees from varied Oregon surf stores, and surf related companies. Jason describes the event. “You had to get all four surfers on the team to score at least one decent score per heat. After you get a good wave, you’re better off rooting your teammates into a few. If you’re sitting on a solid six-point wave you’re probably not going to improve on that much. It’s better to make sure your buddy, who may only have a 3, improve his score.”

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