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Danny DeBare


10 Reasons Why This Gap Year is NOT a Trip

March 25, 2018

  “Let’s hang out when you get back from your trip!!!” one friend texted me. Another, “Danny, how’s your trip going?” It happens every so often; someone refers to the seven months I’m spending in Ecuador as a “trip”. While one can assume that they mean no harm, it puts me on edge, even for...

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Fetishizing the Indigenous Label in My Life

March 4, 2018

I have my introduction down pat in both English and Spanish. “Este año estoy viviendo con una familia indigena, enseñando inglés en una escuela pública y experimentando la cultura aquí” This year, I am living with an Indigenous family, teaching English at the local public school, and experiencing the culture here! Without fail, I let...

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An Open Letter to Expats Living in Cotacachi, EDITED

January 21, 2018

Located in between Otavalo and Ibarra, the center of Cotacachi is a town in the Imbabura Province of Northern Ecuador where I am living this year. A city that centers around tourism, leather, and oil revenue, Cotacachi keeps its streets well kept, well lit, and safe. Cotacachi consists of around 15,000 Mestizos (People who can...

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The First Time I Cried this Year

January 11, 2018

I just couldn't hold the tears back. My emotions just took the best of me; one could call it a culmination of a very touching journey. Ecuador finally found a way to crack me: abuelita Coco remembered her father. Got you there! I think that's what the professionals call click bait. By Coco, I'm not...

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There’s a Third Way to Spell Hanuca

December 17, 2017

  It’s the age old debate: is this oil-filled eight day holiday spelled Hanukkah or Chanukah? Well, boy do I have some news for you. English isn’t the only language that uses transliteration.   After skipping salsa class to take a two and a half hour bus ride to Quito on a Friday afternoon, I...

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The Technology Conundrum

November 19, 2017

  A normal greeting in the States goes something like this:             “Hey! So nice to see you, thanks for inviting me over.”             “It’s my pleasure! Come on in.”             “Great…What’s the Wi-Fi password?” Does that sound familiar? Ok, it may not be verbatim, but you get the point. I didn’t realize the extent...

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Snip Snip*

October 29, 2017

  My hair was a hot mess, and everyone knew it. I took too much time in the morning attempting to mat down this uncontrollable nest. And by 10am, it looked like your aunt who always greets you with a head scratch had a field day. I decided something had to be done. But the...

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Lost in the Hea(r)t(h) of it all

October 4, 2017

There’s this warmth, burning in the hearth of the home. Shifting from an electric blue to a flickering red and burnt orange, it flares up, reaching the cold corners of the house. As the weeks have progressed, I’ve precariously stepped from the outskirts of the light toward this new energy. Not adjacent, but from a...

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Bottoms Up

September 17, 2017

Liquids aren’t the most defined matter. Taking the shape of whatever container they inhabit, liquids constantly change forms. Not reliable like solids, or mysterious like gasses, fluid substances are hard to pin-point—literally. I could talk about the solid food I’ve been eating – white bread, white rice, and white flavorless corn – or the disgusting...

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Returning Home

September 9, 2017

Full disclosure: I am writing this post in the Houston airport on three hours of sleep in one of the most tumultuous weeks I’ve had this year.* I was hoping to upload this second blog post last Saturday, September 2nd; the day the Ecuador cohort was supposed to leave for Quito. Due to Harvey’s damage...

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Bring it on

August 21, 2017

Goodbyes are hard. Goodbye to my friends who have grown up with me for the past eighteen years. Goodbye to my family; the semi-regular family dinners and overly-competitive boardgames we all fight to win.  Goodbye to my comfortable lifestyle and a routine I’ve grown to know all too well. As my days at home dwindle,...

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