Fellows' Blog Archives

Cultural Exploration: All Posts


Three Embellished Legends of Imbabura
by | December 19, 2014

Disclaimer: Stories hold to the original legend, but ample artistic license taken! 1. The avaricious dueño or The Origin of the Lake of San Pablo The lake of San Pablo did not always exist in the land of many lakes. No, where San Pablo rests today there used to be dust that only reflected the footsteps of travelers and in the center of the lake, there was a large hacienda (ranch). The dueño of the hacienda was a wealthy but selfish man. One day, a tattered beggar came wandering down the road to the hacienda. His hair was long…Read the rest »

The Way Things Change
by | December 2, 2014

I was in Lome, Togo trying to catch a taxi. My family and I were there for the weekend during spring break and we had gotten lost looking for our hotel. My dad was attempting to use his non-existent Haitian Creole to talk to people, and I was nervously trying to make myself understood in regular French. I had been able to ask a woman what direction the hotel was in and if it was far away. She told me to take a taxi. So my family and I got in a car, with me struggling to give the driver…Read the rest »

Baby Steps
by | November 24, 2014

Dios le pague,” I say as I’m handed a steaming plate of rice and pig skin. This roughly translates to “God pays you,” and is a less cold-hearted version of “gracias.” Had I known this sooner, I would never have said “gracias” so often. Whoops. But I’m learning. I started here as an infant, barely able to speak or take the bus on my own, but each day I have learned something new. I have learned to speak a bit of Kichwa*. Some of my favorite phrases and words: Ñunca shuti mi can… = My name is… huiksa =…Read the rest »
Ecuadorean teens and dance group.

We Live in the Flicker
by | November 24, 2014

Today, my host mom woke up at five in the morning to get on the first bus into town in order to buy food. She wasn’t buying food for my family, but rather, for a group of twelve tourists that was coming for a tour. Santa Rita doesn’t get many tourists, but about a year ago, some people at the Ecuadorean chocolate company Pacari decided it’d be a nice idea to bring chocolate fanatics to see where, how, and by whom cacao beans are cultivated. So Pacari built some cabins, taught some women (my host mother included) how to cook…Read the rest »

Photo Blog 1
by | November 24, 2014

These are pictures of my first couple months in Ecuador featuring Fellows, families, and Ecuadorian nature. The banner is from a road trip I took with my family and their families to Puyo in the Pastaza province. 2. The view of Mt. Chimborazo from the rooftop of my house.
3. One of my workplaces: the school, La Escuela Milenio. 4. A trip to Lake Atillo with Fellows Alcy, Bailey, and Alcy’s co-worker/our guide, Angel. 5. A trip to Baños with Fellow Alea and her family. 6. Christmas tree in our house in Guano. 7. My sister and I at…Read the rest »

Kurt Vonnegut is a Genius
by | November 24, 2014

In a collection of his infamous graduation speeches (found after the previous Fellow Eli left it in my house), there are a few things that stand out about Vonnegut’s brief, insightful, words. He chooses a different theme and moral for each speech, but they always have the same recurring stories to illustrate that theme. One of the most thought-inducing ones is that American marriages are failing because a wife, husband, and two kids aren’t enough. There use to be giant villages of distant relatives and neighbors that all shared a space, without cars and technology to separate them. Everybody needs…Read the rest »

Senegalese Respect
by | November 24, 2014

I never should have made that French toast. I had missed cooking and American food so badly that I’d spontaneously decided to buy dehydrated milk, eggs, bread, and oil and managed to prepare a half-decent “dinner,” that sweet, thick, crispy dish I used to make every Sunday morning after a late night. Matar, my 26-year-old brother, liked it. But I didn’t realize how much at the time. He mentioned the “pain au lait” (bread with milk) quite a few times over the next few weeks and, despite my dwindling reserve of cash, I tried to make it again. But I…Read the rest »

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