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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

July 15, 2014

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 third world past. I was scared that everyone would think...

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Los Manos

July 15, 2014

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 to serve one purpose: to labor all day in the...

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A New Perspective

June 2, 2014

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 Stanford students. We were all gathered to explore the campus...

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Are Good Intentions Enough?

December 16, 2013

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 class American way of life?¨ Now, seven weeks later, living...

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Training for Vulnerability

October 2, 2013

“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 time as I underwent further language and cultural training to prepare...

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Light, Naked, Vulnerable

September 4, 2013

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 back the old pictures now and laugh at our innocent...

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Hushing the SHOULD’s

August 29, 2013

“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? I should go to college. I should go for my...

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