Drew Hayes

Drew loves meeting new people and learning new ideas. Through Global Citizen Year, he hopes to learn a lot, gain perspective, and be greatly humbled. His focus is on a sustainable society, and he's been a part of a local initiative to put solar panels on high school buildings. His other lifelong pursuits include swimming, playing piano, and reading literature.


Personal Statement

High school for me was mostly a matter of reaction. Test announced, I prepared.   Something assigned, I did it. Bell rang, next class. Extracurricular, I showed up. Swim practice, I obeyed the coach. Social event, I socialized.  In hindsight, I succeeded mainly because of that system of expectations. I let myself be dragged.  I’m no longer in high…

10 April, 2013

A Story on the Coconut Coast

Please click here to view my Photo Gallery.   Manuel lives on a piece of land close to the town center of Diogo, the small coastal town of 500 inhabitants in which I’ve been living, but the tranquility on his property makes it seem isolated. I didn’t meet him until I’d been living in Diogo…

04 April, 2013

Identity Below The Equator

The definition of “gringo” is hard to pin down. The basic element is being a foreigner. Being white and pasty is a large component. Being from a northern hemisphere, Anglo-Saxon society is another big one. Being wealthy is important also. The cherry on top is the gringo accent. Whatever it may be, apparently I’m about…

13 February, 2013

Stranded on the Beach

I remember the buzz about cities. In Ted Talks and magazine articles, people were raving about the efficiency of cities because, according to some grandiose regressions, the larger a city gets the more productive it becomes per capita. Megacities were claimed the future of mankind. I was not impressed. I lived in a mid-sized city…

09 January, 2013

Settling In

Often when I tell people I’ll be living in Diogo for the next six months, they tell me how privileged I am.  They gush about the beach, the sand dunes, and the river. Now that I’m here, I can confirm that Diogo, Bahia, Brazil is a place worth gushing about. It makes an awesome postcard….

05 December, 2012

Noise Pollution or Noise Beautification?

Hey friends! Long time no blog. I have lots of excuses up my sleeves, but what matters is that I’m in Bahia, Brazil. Finally, I’m abroad. Finally, I’m a foreigner. New words, new people, new habits, new things. So many new things that I do or say each day that it’s difficult to process each…

24 September, 2012

Liberation By Multiculturalism

I remember a family friend, who had recently emigrated from the Philippines to my hometown in Minnesota, describing her bilingualism as “having two machines in my head.” Makes sense, I thought, just like people have machines in their heads for doing math or playing instruments. As I grew older, though, I came to believe her…

10 July, 2012

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Drew Hayes