Danielle Livneh ecuador 2013
Born and raised in Lexington MA, Danielle has been a dancer her entire life. She mainly studied ballet and jazz at the Lexington School of Ballet, but has trained in almost all styles. Danielle was also a member of her school’s improv troupe, and sang with the a cappella group, Euphoria, throughout high school. As the vice president of her class, Danielle worked to organize school events and various fundraisers during her four years at Lexington High. Danielle feels passionately about challenging herself, and is described as adventurous and enthusiastic by her friends. Looking forward, Danielle hopes to help inform the public about important issues through a career in journalism.
A Letter to Myself Seven Months Ago
March 29, 2013
Hi there Dani!
So you’re just about ready to leave for Ecuador. You’ve got a backpack stuffed to the brim with clothes, ambitions, and expectation. I hope you’re enjoying your clean clothes, because in just a few months every single article will have become a dwelling for an impressive amount of bed bugs. Also you can tell Mom you were right, you have more than enough underwear.
Oh gosh are you in for a ride. You think you understand that hard times lie ahead, but you have no idea to the extent in which you will be pushed. But how could you? There is no way…
March 14, 2013
With her bubble gum pink shall, bowler hat, long anako skirt, and shoes that garishly advertises Jesus as he savior, she stands defiantly on the side of the road. She is fourteen-year-old indigenous girl of Guamote. As her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents do, she speaks Kichwa. Unlike her relatives, however, she also knows Spanish. She attends a bilingual school, where classes are taught in both languages. The young girl wears a rainbow bracelet demonstrating her support of the indigenous political party. Proud of her heritage, she unashamedly declares herself indígena.
But does she know where these components of her culture originated? Does she know the inception of these…
February 5, 2013
This blog was first published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. You can read the original posting here….
For the past decade or so, the validity of the term “third world” has been a topic of debate. A phrase coined during the Cold War to distinguish allegiances, many argued that it is outdated. Others said that it implied a ranking system, with the United States and the United Kingdom taking first place. The use of the word “world” also caused some trouble. Was it politically correct to dismiss a group of countries as a whole other world? In
Getting the Hang of Thursdays
January 4, 2013
Guamote has but one claim to fame. It is the only reason the small Ecuadorean town gets a sentence in “The Lonely Planet Travel Guide”, or receives any hits on Google. It attracts locals from all over the Southern Sierra, and even the occasional gringo. Every Thursday hundreds of vendors, buyers, and livestock inundate the streets of Guamote for the legendary market. Once a week, the otherwise dormant town awakes into a hectic spectacle. Thursdays are what literally put Guamote on the map in the tourist agencies of Ecuador.
My first Thursday in Guamote began promptly at the break of dawn when a spontaneous eruption of shrills jolted…
A Day in the Life
November 27, 2012
October 18, 2012
Almost exactly a year ago the Lexington high school yearbook committee assigned me the notorious task of choosing a senior quote. Like everyone else, I pretended not to care. Of course I actually spent hours googling “cool sounding quotes” in hopes of finding the perfect combination of words to leave behind for others to inevitably judge.
After days of tedious computer time, I settled on a Stephen Colbert quote. I rationalized it was short, mild and from a beloved character. How did it apply to my life at the time? I wasn’t really sure. “Don’t be afraid to be a…
The Virtue of Sharing
September 13, 2012
I was taught from a young age, as most children are, about the virtue of sharing. I learned that sharing is caring, that greed was an ugly trait, and that yes, I really did have to give some of my chocolate to my sister. Of course I’ve had my fair share of avaricious moments, but in general I’ve always felt that I had a pretty good idea about what it meant to share. It took but a couple days in Quito to realize my understanding of sharing was in fact grossly limited.
The buses here in Quito are cheap (25…