Seeking Justice in an Unjust World

At Berkeley, during one of my many trainings for student affairs positions, we had a presenter come speak to us about values. I honestly can’t even remember the context–I think it might have been for RAs, but I can’t be sure. Anyhow, we performed an exercise that I now consistently execute with my volunteers in…

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Open Letter to an Old Friend

One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned since living in Ecuador is that friendships, even ones you think are forever, sometimes fall apart. Sometimes one person is more to blame, and sometimes it’s just a natural effect of being far away from each other. Maybe those relationships can be revived in the future, or maybe…

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Home

Home. What is home? Living in Quito has made me question the definition of home, reworking it to encompass my experiences abroad. I have often wondered how long it must one be in a place to be able to say one lived there. For it to feel like home. Is three months enough? Is 10.5?…

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Teaching ESL in Ecuador

Having been teaching since October, it dawned on me yesterday that somehow, I still haven’t written about what it’s like to be an ESL teacher here. For a blog about my experiences living and teaching abroad, this seems like quite the oversight. I suppose I’ve been focusing a lot more on my personal experiences and…

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Dating Across Differences

Family and friends joked that when I moved to Ecuador, I would end up bringing an Ecuadorian guy back to the States. That’s because my big sister, who lived in Quito from 2011-2012, did exactly that. When I came here though, dating wasn’t exactly a top priority for me. I was busy adjusting to living…

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Highs, Lows, and Gratitude

My parents worried that if I moved away from California, I might never come back. In hindsight, their fear seems comical. Living away from home has given me a deeper appreciation for the people and places there than I ever could have imagined. It has also made me identify as patriotic–something I never would have…

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Mid-Service Slump

In a few weeks, I will reach my exact half-way point of my service in Ecuador. As with so many other periods in life, it has simultaneously flown by and felt like so much more than a few months. Many of us, I would say, are in or recently out of what we call a mid-service slump.…

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