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Cameron Kaufman

After living in France for 5 years, Cameron moved to New York for high school and became a true student-athlete. She played forward on her high school basketball team and could be found reading and writing short stories off the court. She also served as the editor of the school yearbook. During the summer after her junior year, Cameron worked for a month in the Katmai National Park in Alaska on an environmental conservation project.


Preparing to Say Goodbye

April 21, 2011

One year ago, after endless SAT prep classes, practice tests, the actual exam, APs, college orientation meetings, and virtually living on, i.e. the whole shebang, I finally was accepted into college. Honestly, I thought it would never happen, but it finally did. Similarly, I also never thought I would be sitting here in Cayambe,...

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Up the Nevado

April 6, 2011

I’ve been living in Cayambe, Ecuador for about five months now. The small city is located in a valley nestled in the shadow of the volcano after which it is named: Nevado Cayambe. On a good day (although this is rare), the ever-present cloud veil lifts, and for once you can see the absolutely stunning...

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A Gringa in Ecuador

March 11, 2011

I recently started working at the Escuela Convalescencia de Cayambe, a mere hour’s ride up a road that can hardly be called “cobblestoned.” After that gentle wake-up call, I have a 15 minute walk up a mudslide, oops, I mean, dirt road. I arrive at school at eight o’clock every morning, where I get a...

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A Home Away from Home

February 28, 2011

My (biological) family recently visited me in Ecuador, and we went on a trip to the Galapagos. During my week away from my home away from home, I realized how much I missed being with my host family. I realized that the main reason my stay here in Ecuador has been incredible is my host...

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Assumptions, obstacles, and other difficulties

January 12, 2011

I once had a French teacher who told me that humor is the hardest thing to translate. I frequently go back to what she told me, especially when using that awkward fake laughter in order to feign amusement. I know you’ve all been there before. “Haha, I do get your joke!” Yeah… that was a...

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The Other Side of the Fence

December 6, 2010

I recently started working at a day care for underprivileged children in Cayambe, Ecuador. Just the other day I tucked in a six month old to bed with a blanket reading “Beautiful Baby” (in English), accompanied by a picture of a smiling blond, blue-eyed baby. This was most certainly not an accurate representation of the...

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A Familiar Scene

November 19, 2010

About three weeks ago, I made the long awaited transition to my new host family, who I will be living with for the next six months. I was overwhelmed by the suddenness of the transition that I had blown up to such large proportions in my mind ever since my acceptance to GCY. Minutes after my...

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October 28, 2010

This past week had us getting into the Quiteno rhythm; Spanish classes in the morning, a huge lunch back at home with the host families, and lectures at the university about various subjects to finish up the day. Of course, with the exception of Thursday’s, on which we have our “Ritmos Tropicales” salsa class after...

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The Road Less Traveled

October 27, 2010

Left, right, left, right… My breath was labored after about four hours of hiking up the steep incline towards that summit that just never came, hovering in front of me like a mirage but never actually becoming reality. Several breaks eased the day along, but it became slowly harder as less and less oxygen made...

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October 11, 2010

(This blog was originally posted on Oct 11, 2010, but due to technical difficulties was reposted on Oct 26) This past week had us getting into the Quiten᷉o rhythm; Spanish classes in the morning, a huge lunch back at home with the host families, and lectures at the university about various subjects to finish up...

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A brief intro to my story

September 21, 2010

I moved to New York City after living in Paris for five years. Living there was one of those defining moments that irrevocably changes your life. As an American Jew in a strict French Catholic school, you could say it was slight culture shock. It was extremely hard having to be in situations that I...

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