Kirin Gupta

Having lived and studied in India, Oxford, and Washington, D.C., Kirin has learned firsthand the value of international education outside the classroom. She has been a world traveler for much of her life, spending time teaching in the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy, hiking in Nepal, living in China, and traveling in Western Europe. An accomplished writer, Kirin served as the Editor in Chief of her local Oakton Outlook, and has been published in anthologies of both short stories and poetry.


Second Sight

GCY fellowship is a perspective builder, like the best teachers, parents, and mentors. It is a year for each of us to take on that responsibility, individually, to expand our own worldviews and develop a second sight. The second sight of a student who has lived in a house without floors and eaten off of…

15 June, 2012


“I know, I know she was gift.” “Love, then why do you not dress her? Why did you have trouble giving her your milk?” “She was a gift, but I did not ask for this.” Jeni sits across from me, eyes flicking from side to side, as though searching for an escape. “This is the…

24 April, 2012

Diagnosis Inconclusive

Elastic band

on pastel green


Gnarled hands

Torturing themselves

with nerves.


flutters above the wrinkles

ringing her eyes.

17 February, 2012

A Day in the Life, Ecuador

Only Human A short video to take a glance at a day in my life, here in the little town of Cotundo, working at a public health clinic in the Amazonian lowlands of Ecuador’s Napo Province.    

31 January, 2012

New Renditions of Old Traditions

  Sharing the Celebration of the New Year Location: Riobamba, Province of Chimborazo, Ecuador My host brother Christopher, my host mother Nancy, and I, on New Year’s Eve, in the Park of Lights in the Center of Riobamba. A true Ecuadorian family, though Chris was surprised by the horrifying brightness of the camera’s flash here :). Before…

09 January, 2012

When the Stars Spilled from the Sky

I was running, chasing the elusive breeze. The greenery was thick on either side of the thin, winding road, and sharp rocks beneath my feet on the dirt path were painful through the thin soles of my shoes. A strange sight, the foreign girl running through the jungle at 4 in the morning, before the…

22 December, 2011

The Eighth Daughter

She lies flat as a board and is too skinny Her eyes The nurse has no words for them Buen expresivos, she settles on. Wide and bright They look as though They seek to be separate from her too-small face, Where her cheeks have sunken in, Already at age 7. And her lips are purple,…

12 December, 2011


Sex: Female. Age: 29. Children: 3. Status: Married. Income: $600 per month. Primary/Subsequent: Primary. Diagnosis: Tentative. Breast Cancer, Stage 4. Recommendation: Immediate visit to oncologist, Hospital of Tena.   Filling this chart leaves me empty. My pen drops. Because how much can you see in the statistics, even when the notes are well-enough detailed? How…

30 November, 2011

Lessons in being human: The beautiful girl from Coca

I knew Cynthia for twenty minutes. And that will be it. But it was enough. Swaying with inherent elegance at 5’9’’, thin as a rail, and darker than midnight, she was wearing lavender the night I saw her. She stepped into the seat next to me on a cramped Jumandy bus on my way home from classes…

11 November, 2011

Two Machetes and an Axe: We Come in Peace

Smoke curled under blackened plantains on a wood tray that hung above the open fire. Flames licked up from a pit sunken into the mud floor. It was my first Sunday in Cotundo, Ecuador and my host mom and I had hiked for miles to visit her mother’s farm – the epitome of a campo,…

07 November, 2011

And so I went to teach

An artist who bridged the distance from Nuku’alofa, Tonga to Washington, D.C. Having begun with Global Citizen Year, a new sort of awareness prompts me to take second glances in places where I would not customarily look carefully. It is something to be grateful for, I am sure, for beyond that understanding, once it can…

28 July, 2011

Black Beaches

The beaches in Greece are not always perfect. The black bed of rock I stood on, years ago, was difficult to walk on, large round stones that were smooth individually, but a rough surface to maneuver all at once. The world often comes at you with all the appearance of something perfectly smooth, perfectly beautiful…

05 July, 2011

Curious about Global Citizen Year? This is a great place to start.

Apply Now

Kirin Gupta