Joe Giallo

In his spare time, Joe enjoys fencing, acting, and writing creative fiction. Joe played the role of Malcolm in his school\'s rendition of Macbeth. Joe also founded a social-networking website called Origins Archive in order to connect with friends at different schools. In addition he enjoys indulging in what he refers to as “mild nerdiness” playing Magic: the Gathering.


The Disconnect

“Why the #@$% would you want to do that?” And before I could reply, the conversation changed, and shifted back to the drunken debaucheries she had conducted since coming to Canoa. Alberto (who’s writing his own perspective on what I’m about to talk about on his own blog – check it out!) and I were…

20 April, 2011

Minding the Shop

On any given Sunday, you can find me sitting under the blue umbrella on the right hand side of the Apuela’s main street, minding the family shop. Every Sunday, my host mom prepares a huge pot of fritada, fried pork, with mote, some sort of tasteless thing that I think is related to corn, as…

15 March, 2011

Stories Change The World

“Power is the ability not just to tell a story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.” –Chimamanda Adichie, The Danger of a Single Story I left my former host family, the Montenegros, for two reasons. The first of those two reasons was due to a lack of interaction…

23 February, 2011

Becoming Alex

Let me tell you about Alex. Imagine a bear. Then make this bear look human, and then Ecuadorian, and then you have a basic idea of how muscular Alex is. Textbook definition of someone you don’t want to mess with. Ever. Under any circumstances. That bit aside, imagine this Ecuadorian human bear scowling consistently. Check,…

09 January, 2011

A Snapshot of a December Morning

It’s December 30th, and still not even noon. I’m playing over this morning’s events in my mind as I sit in my room playing Free Cell on the computer, stepping outside my life for just a second to relax and reflect. I woke late, having been excused from work the night before by my boss…

02 January, 2011

You Get What You Need

(The following conversation between me and my advisor has been both paraphrased and translated from Spanish. This is also just one small portion of a much larger conversation, and it’s constructed from memory, so don’t go quoting this exactly.) My entire body ached as I finally sat down in front of Edmundo, the president of…

03 December, 2010


As many of you are likely aware, I have a rather… interesting sense of humor, which I share with the world at any given opportunity. I have a passion and, if I do say so myself, talent for puns and wordplay that you won’t really find anywhere else. If I’d had my choice of talents in life, I wouldn’t…

22 November, 2010

Olor de Café

Well, today, I worked with AACRI, my new employers, for the first time, and I’ll be the first to tell you it was an experience. As part of our (Liza and I’s) first month of training and initiation, we spent the day in la planta, the factory where all of the coffee that AACRI produces…

05 November, 2010

Rocks and Rivers

I was sitting out by the river today with my family, and their family, and their family’s family, and then friends, and also the two Canadians who live nearby (they speak no Spanish at all, and seem to think it’s great that I’ve arrived and I speak enough to translate), when a thought occurred to…

05 November, 2010

The Most Beautiful Place No One Has Ever Seen

I’m here in Apuela now. Well, in actuality, I’m just outside of Apuela, in a place that is just a bit more rural, and whose name I do not know how to spell, so forgive me. In lieu of a name, allow me to paint you a picture of what my house is like. Ten minutes on the…

05 November, 2010

Point of View

I’ve spent a lot of time these past few years looking for perspective in my life. I put a lot of stock in perspective. With the right perspective, any problem is manageable, any idea comprehendible, any opportunity useable. It’s all about being at peace with yourself, others, and the world, even when circumstances might make…

20 October, 2010

Such Great Heights

Estoy aqui. Or, in English, I’m here. In Quito, Ecuador. Well, that’s one way to look at it, anyway. I’m also here: at the start of something so vast I can’t really conceive the full implications, even now, inside the country. These last two days have been increiblisimos, and I’m more than a little overwhelmed….

06 October, 2010


One day, probably about a week ago, we were doing an activity where we had to speculate and journal about our identities. It was an exercise in self-examination, and how identities affect the stories we tell. I was ranting, as is my habit in private journal entries, but that’s not really important. What is important…

28 September, 2010

Blood, Sweeet, and Tears

Allow me to introduce you to Sweeet. That’s his street name. You might also know him by Sterling, his handle for the Street Sheet newspaper, or Christophe (that’s phonetic, never saw his name in print), his given name. I met Sweeet on the streets of San Francisco, working on a project for GCY. What was…

28 September, 2010

Enter Stage Right

So, hey y’all. Coming from Raleigh, North Carolina, it’s me,  Joe.  As a Global Citizen Year fellow, I’m really excited and can’t wait to get out in the field in Ecuador.  I’m taking a bridge year in order to flesh out my understanding of the world, and sort of fill in the gaps left in…

21 September, 2010

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Joe Giallo