Amy Toensing (@amytoensing) | Instagram Profile & stories,photos,videos
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Amy Toensing

@amytoensing

@NatGeo photographer, Artist, Educator

http://amytoensing.com/

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY :: Over a decade ago, when I was living in Portland, Maine, a large population of Somali refugees settled in the area and the cultural landscape was changing fast. Parts of the community embraced the newcomers and other parts struggled with the change. I wanted to know more about my new neighbors and as a woman, I was most interested in the teenage girls. I knew from experience female adolescence is a challenging and exciting time (to put it mildly) - but I couldn’t imagine navigating those years as a muslim girl coming of age in a western world. 
I ended up spending a lot of time with Naima (pictured here) who had fled Somalia with her family, lived for years in a refugee camp in Africa and was eventually resettled in the United States in 2001. When I met her she was 17 years old, juggling school and friends while also taking care of her parents who struggled more than she did with the language and new surroundings. They relied on her for many adult tasks and expected her to uphold and represent their culture. 
I learned a lot from Naima - she was brave and funny and had a giant heart. In this picture we were hanging out by the harbor when the wind grabbed her head scarf - she held tight and struggled to gather it back together to reshape it into something that would hold. #internationalwomensday #girlpower #maine #refugeeswelcome  #whpsheinspiresme.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY :: Over a decade ago, when I was living in Portland, Maine, a large population of Somali refugees settled in the area and the cultural landscape was changing fast. Parts of the community embraced the newcomers and other parts struggled with the change. I wanted to know more about my new neighbors and as a woman, I was most interested in the teenage girls. I knew from experience female adolescence is a challenging and exciting time (to put it mildly) - but I couldn’t imagine navigating those years as a muslim girl coming of age in a western world. I ended up spending a lot of time with Naima (pictured here) who had fled Somalia with her family, lived for years in a refugee camp in Africa and was eventually resettled in the United States in 2001. When I met her she was 17 years old, juggling school and friends while also taking care of her parents who struggled more than she did with the language and new surroundings. They relied on her for many adult tasks and expected her to uphold and represent their culture. I learned a lot from Naima - she was brave and funny and had a giant heart. In this picture we were hanging out by the harbor when the wind grabbed her head scarf - she held tight and struggled to gather it back together to reshape it into something that would hold. #internationalwomensday #girlpower #maine #refugeeswelcome #whpsheinspiresme ...

A bird’s eye view of bison on The American Prairie Reserve. On assignment for @natgeo in Phillips County, Montana. #bison #buffalo.

A bird’s eye view of bison on The American Prairie Reserve. On assignment for @natgeo in Phillips County, Montana. #bison #buffalo ...

Phillips County, Montana :: Scandia Lutheran Church. #cold #scandiachurch.

Phillips County, Montana :: Scandia Lutheran Church. #cold #scandiachurch ...

Saco, Montana - Pip’s Diner on assignment for @natgeo #diner #highlinemontana.

Saco, Montana - Pip’s Diner on assignment for @natgeo #diner #highlinemontana ...

Finding my way through Phillips County, Montana. On assignment for @natgeo #snowblind #coldweather #roadsigns.

Finding my way through Phillips County, Montana. On assignment for @natgeo #snowblind #coldweather #roadsigns ...

First snow angel. #lovemy babygirl #upstate.

First snow angel. #lovemy babygirl #upstate ...

Poconos vacation weekend. #timewithfriends #girlpower #snowedin.

Poconos vacation weekend. #timewithfriends #girlpower #snowedin ...

An oddly warm day in December. #hudsonvalley #swamp.

An oddly warm day in December. #hudsonvalley #swamp ...

Loving being surrounded by the art of Ryan Cronin @cronartusa #newpaltzny #newpaltzart.

Loving being surrounded by the art of Ryan Cronin @cronartusa #newpaltzny #newpaltzart ...

The tutu chapter has begun. Thank you @radiojeng 💕 #tutu.

The tutu chapter has begun. Thank you @radiojeng 💕 #tutu ...

Montana :: In some regions prairie dog towns are becoming ghost towns because of bubonic plague. These aggravated little guys are being caught and released as part of a project to combat the fleas that are spreading the disease. Prairie Dogs are considered a keystone species because the habitat they create benefits about 150 other species - not to mention all the critters who love to eat them. Thank you @aj.bio for your photogenic arm. #prairiedog #bubonicplague.

Montana :: In some regions prairie dog towns are becoming ghost towns because of bubonic plague. These aggravated little guys are being caught and released as part of a project to combat the fleas that are spreading the disease. Prairie Dogs are considered a keystone species because the habitat they create benefits about 150 other species - not to mention all the critters who love to eat them. Thank you @aj.bio for your photogenic arm. #prairiedog #bubonicplague ...

The Werk family moves their cattle last summer on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana. On assignment for @natgeo Thank you @lizwerk #ranching #blackangus #montanaranchlife.

The Werk family moves their cattle last summer on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in Montana. On assignment for @natgeo Thank you @lizwerk #ranching #blackangus #montanaranchlife ...

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