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Aliana Ruxin

Ali is passionate about sports, debate, and the ability to connect with others to build community. In high school, she was a member of the soccer, basketball, lacrosse and debate teams. A deep competitive spirit and strong sense of integrity have ignited Ali throughout her life. During her bridge year, Ali hopes to harness her drive to make meaningful changes in her community and herself every single day. She also hopes to master Spanish and approach college with more focus, direction and understanding.


My Year in Photos

May 15, 2015

A picture can really be worth a thousand words. Thus, I’ve compiled many of my photos into a photo blog. I also included a digitized version of the Humans-of-the-school-where-I-taught-English book, which I created and left in hardcover form at the school. This project was particularly meaningful to me, as the school was such an integral...

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Circles of Community

April 8, 2015

When I think about my Global Citizen Year, I consider leaving out the last two weeks. That way, I can describe life in my rural community, painting a picture as bright and beautiful as the polleras my indigenous used-to-be-host-mom wore. It can be a picture as complete as my five-year-old used-to-be-host-sister’s drawing of her family”...

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We Got In Trouble… And I Liked It

February 18, 2015

It was a lazy Saturday, mÌÁs o menos. I rose around 6 AM, normal time. Breakfast was lentil soup with a special treat: warm milk, straight from cow that Abuelita milked before the sun painted the greens of the fields and blues of the mountains with the colors of daylight. And then MamÌ_, PapÌ_ and...

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January 26, 2015

I wrote this post in September shortly before leaving Quito. For various reasons I did not publish it at the time, but I find that the sentiment still rings true. I didn’t expect the first word I learned from my Quito host family to be autismo, autism. But after hugging and kissing and hopping into...

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A Simple Sense of Comfort

January 9, 2015

One morning in early October, Abuelita and I were the last two at the breakfast table. As we finished eating, she turned to me and asked, Did you have any dreams last night?” I looked up from my lentil soup and nodded

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Learning to Love

November 21, 2014

I’m learning to love 8:00 AM rotisserie chicken on market days. Coated with herbs and freshly cooked, it really does taste good. It also really does wake up my taste buds, smacking them with a burst of flavor in the morning that is becoming more familiar every week. Saturday market days begin with the beeps...

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Mom Things

October 13, 2014

On Sunday afternoon I was playing house with my five-year-old sister and five-year-old cousin. The girls promptly instructed me to be their mom and began to set up an abandoned cement house as our home. I asked what I should do and my cousin replied, “You know, Mom Things. Cook, clean, tend to the cows.”...

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Coincidence in Quito

September 4, 2014

We were about to leave the hostel, to cross the street and meet our Quito host families. I hoisted my backpack onto my back, grabbed my small duffel bag and reached for my rolling duffel. Balancing everything, I took a deep breath and prepared myself to exit the hostel. Looking down at my rolling duffel,...

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Where I’m Meant to Be

September 3, 2014

Last Thursday morning, on the first day of Pre-Departure Training, Abby Falik welcomed the 2015 Fellows with an inspiring speech. More emotions than I could count filled my heart as I thought about the journey I was about to begin, the friendships I was about to cultivate and the challenges I was about to encounter....

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Homes Away From Home

August 3, 2014

I’m writing this from my bed at sleep-away camp, putting pen to paper, this time as a counselor, much as I did years ago as a camper on Letter Writing Days. Looking around at my campers, reflecting on the past six weeks we’ve spent here, remembering the previous seven summers I’ve been at camp, I...

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