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78

MAY 2015

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

LOCAL LENS

BY ÁSGEIR SIGFÚSSON

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EASTER ISLAND, CHILE

Please submit your favorite, recent photograph to be considered for Local Lens. Images must be high resolution (at

least 300 dpi at 8 x 10”) and must not be in print elsewhere. Please submit a short description of the scene/event, as

well as your name, brief biodata and the type of camera used, to

locallens@afsa.org.

T

he Ahu Tongariki is Easter Island’s largest collection of moai (monolithic human

figures carved from rock). It sits on the island’s east coast, facing west. These moai,

like most of Easter Island’s 887 such figures, were carved at the Rano Raraku quarry

about one mile away. Nobody knows why these figures dot the island, or whom they

depict, although most suspect they are either deities or local chieftains. The Ahu Tongariki

was toppled at least twice—once during tribal warfare on the island in the 17th century, and

again in 1960 when a tsunami caused by the enormous Valdivia earthquake swept over the

coast.

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Ásgeir Sigfússon is AFSA’s director of new media. He was fortunate enough to visit Easter Island—

one of his bucket-list destinations—in March 2015. A native of Iceland, Ásgeir arrived in the United

States in 1997 for college and, after finishing graduate school, decided to stay. He’s been with AFSA

in a variety of capacities since 2003. He loves to travel and plans on visiting all U.S. states. So far, he’s

made it to 29 of them, with plans for 30 and 31 (Maine and New Hampshire) this summer. He took

this photo with an iPhone 4S.