Bella Bjornstad

Bella is passionate about life, people, and sustainability. She plays soccer and believes in the healing power of watching the sun rise; she loves to read and is fascinated by politics. Bella volunteers at the local food pantry, is helping to build a greenhouse behind her school. She is dedicated to contributing her resources to helping people thrive in a sustainable way. Her goals for the year are to completely invest herself in her host community and her cohort, challenge her paradigm, and discover how she can best contribute to the world. Bella is inspired by all of the bright people who have challenged the rest of humanity to question the status quo.


Saying Goodbye

I’m going to miss the strawberries, because they are sweet and organic and cheap, and I will miss the carrots because one is almost enough to be a complete meal. I will miss getting on my bus on my way to Ambato and feeling the…

31 March, 2015

Untitled Part II

Since my last blog, I have dug deep into the experiences that were sparking those thoughts. I don’t like cynicism, I think it’s a cop out, an easy say to wiggle out from under our responsibility to each other. And the same thing goes for…

10 February, 2015


I moved to Ecuador expecting to discover the oneness of humanity, to fall in love with the rich culture and warm people. But what I have, in fact, encountered is a stark reality: We are all partial to the ways of our homeland. No matter…

26 January, 2015

Welcome to Tres Juanes!

The barrio I live in is called Tres Juanes because three Juans live here, but Tres Juanes is in the paroquia of Picahiua, named so because if you pick (pica) at the ground enough, you will reach the best water (agua) in the province (Tungurahua)….

21 November, 2014

Five Steps to Falling in Love

Step 1: Look Stupid. If you want to fall in love, you must dive right in. Smile a lot, because everything is so incredible and beautiful and new. You are going to look silly, because that is what pure joy and unadulterated enthusiasm looks like….

21 November, 2014

On Mastering the Art of Discomfort

The other day we were asked to describe a time when we felt our most healthy, in body and mind, and when we felt the most satisfied. I picked out several examples, but none felt as real as now. While I might have made a…

24 September, 2014

Lessons from a River Trip

I spent a few weeks this summer making smoothies for the Bicycle Tour of Colorado, camping out every night, moving every morning, and making smoothies all day. But I was with three other people who are river rafting enthusiasts, so at every chance, and there…

14 August, 2014

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Bella Bjornstad