Aitran Doan

Aitran is passionate about traveling and spending time outdoors. She is involved in exploring different cultures and understanding how different global issues affect each person in the world. Her goals for the year are immersing herself in an Ecuadorian community and learning about the lives of those in her community.


Stripping Naked with Nothing to Lose

Who am I? I am the prep school child, the welfare child and the immigrant child from rural Vietnam. Before my Global Citizen Year, I was scared to share who I was because nothing fit together. I was scared my first-world friends would pity my…

15 July, 2014

Los Manos

Hands are a great indication of the work we do and types of life we lead. “Los manos” is also a term used to describe workers, often times those who work in the field. It dehumanizes people, creating the image that these people are born…

15 July, 2014

A New Perspective

A week after returning from my eight-month stay in Ecuador, I found myself on Stanford’s campus for the “Admitted Students Weekend”. There I was, wearing my alpaca sweater, my mismatched earrings, and what someone called “cultural necklace” amidst the crowd of over 1,000 newly admitted…

02 June, 2014

Are Good Intentions Enough?

In early September, all fifty-two of the Ecuado Fellows huddled in the small classroom in Quito debating the merits of Ivan Illich´s To Hell with Good Intentions: is Illich right about the inevitable role of the US volunteer as the ¨vacationing salesmen for the middle…

16 December, 2013

Training for Vulnerability

“Organize logistics for medical brigade, deliver charlas for the community, gather malnutrition statistics, help with administrative duties when necessary….” These are my assigned tasks when I found out I was going to Napo, the main entrance to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador, two weeks ago. During the elapsed…

02 October, 2013

Light, Naked, Vulnerable

I’m doing it. Yes, I am. There’s no going back. That’s it; the boy-cut Mom used to give us was coming back. Remember when we lived in Vietnam and she always cut our hair short so we can run around like crazy boys? I look…

04 September, 2013

Hushing the SHOULD’s

“Only 1% of human beings are able to attend college—any college—even the worst one in the remotest area of the world”( This statistic haunted me from the very beginning of the college process because I knew college was not my next stop. But what was?…

29 August, 2013

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Aitran Doan