Fellows' Blog Archives
Cultural Exploration: All Posts
Working with sugar cane
by Edward Katz | March 10, 2014
Already it has been 2 months or so that I have been working on farms in Macacu, Brazil. I’m finally starting to know what I’m doing and feel accustomed to the work. The picture above was taken as I was working with a Biluca, a man who with his father and other helpers makes cashasa from sugar cane; cashasa is a kind of hard liqueur made from the sugar cane. Biluca would do most of the field work and his father would be tending to the cashasa keeping a fire going as part of the purification process; boiling fermented caldo de cana or…Read the rest »
by Emily Hockett | March 10, 2014
Arriving at a seemingly random corner in Otavalo, I said goodbye to the other Global Citizen Year fellows in my region, and stepped onto the street. Nervously placing my backpack on the sidewalk, I looked around. A large yellow bus pulled up, and a family of four came out with flowers, balloons, and pineapple upside-down cake. When I found out these people were going to be my host family, I was psyched. We all ate our pineapple cake, and I boarded the bus, and we occupied five of the thirty available seats. From this day on, bus trips have become…Read the rest »
by Claire Wohlers | March 10, 2014
Ibarra (the city nearest to Zuleta) has, hands down, the most impressive food market I have ever seen.
Taking up two sizable city blocks, the market is overflowing with colors and scents unlike any other. From meats, to cheeses, to fruits and veggies, to flours and dried legumes, to eateries, this market has it all. It lies at the heart of Ibarra and is semi-open air (some parts are in-doors, others, only covered).
Every time I get the chance, I explore and patron the market. The two (exploring and patronizing), usually go hand-in-hand because it is almost impossible for me to…
A Very Juncal Christmas
by Libby Goldman | March 10, 2014
I wake up to the sounds of laughter and salsa music outside my door. My eyes jerk open, and I lunge for my watch to check the time. 7:23 PM – shoot, I overslept. I rip off my thin sheet and warm alpaca blanket and yank open my drawer to find something half-decent to put on. I opt for my green corduroys, white knit tank top, and red beaded necklace recently bought from the Otavalo artisanal market. Seems festive enough to me, I think to myself, knowing I’ll stick out no matter what I wear. I reluctantly check my hair and overall appearance…Read the rest »
A Smattering of Thoughts
by Maria Gamache | March 7, 2014
The relief of cool air hitting my skin, an almost empty bakery, and soft cowboy music-playing overhead tells me that it’s okay. Every time I sit down to write, my mind goes blank. It seems to have no problem racing late at night, persisting that I write my blog post about ‘x,’ or have my video revolve around ‘y,’ or what my speech will bring forth in emotions.
I used to write for fun, and I used to love reading books and studying how the author presented a line, an emotion, an action. When I think back to how things used to be, how I viewed the…
Tupac Naula, Poor Child #56487
by Amanda Langan | March 7, 2014
When I was about six or seven, I was always reminded of how lucky I was to live in a developed country by a small photo tacked on the fridge. It was of two little boys from the Dominican Republic, with a background of the typical falling down, crumbling painted school as they stood in ripped clothes, smiling from ear to ear. Underneath the picture was a letter they had written in broken English with little drawings done in weak crayon. I can’t quite remember what the letter said, but I assume it was something along the lines of thank…Read the rest »
by Alexandra Lines | March 7, 2014
(Note: I talk about culture in this blog, and my personal observations of it. Please keep in mind that I draw my observations from generalizations and patterns of behavior, and that there is a great amount of personal variety in every country and in every culture, and that not all individuals will fit into the generalizations.)
Ecuador is not “cultural” or “strange” or “different,” at least no more than any other place in the world is. People are just people, and while our normals may be different, one is not more normal than the other. It is all a matter of…