Leah Mesh-Ferguson

Leah has done international service in Ukraine, where she spent her time working in a Jewish day school. This sparked her interest in the global community and led her to Global Citizen Year. Passionate for theatre and languages, she is the stage manager for all productions at her high school, speaks French, and is hoping to learn Spanish this year in Ecuador! During her time in Ecuador, Leah hopes to become involved in women's rights and health issues, as well as youth development and empowerment. She is excited to immerse herself in a new culture and can't wait for the unique experiences she will have.


More Than I Ever Have Before

I cried, More than I ever have before. I sobbed, Body wracking sobs that left me tired. I did it in the dark, Holding it until I was alone. But the tears shed at night were not alone. There were tears of joy. Tears of departure. Tears of laughter. And oh, did I laugh, More…

23 May, 2014

A Lesson I’ve Learned

There is so much hate in our world. That thought has crossed my mind so many times this year, but I refuse to accept it. As I finished that last pages of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, I started to cry. At first it was a few tears, but soon they turned to tears of…

11 April, 2014

Um, Actually, I’m Jewish

I guess you could say it’s been interesting. I am a Jew living in a 95% Catholic country. The first time I dealt with this head-on was with my host family in Quito. I was sort of dreading the conversation, what with my very limited Spanish at the time. Finally, the question came one night…

07 April, 2014

Where in the world are my parents?

Here is a slideshow of photos from my parents visit to Ecuador. Hope you enjoy!

27 March, 2014

Three Months Left

A video from a little while back. Hope you enjoy!

27 March, 2014

What My Work Is

As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, I’ve been struggling with inactivity at my apprenticeship. I work with Plan International, an international children’s rights NGO, in an office in the northeast part of Riobamba. While I’ve often struggled with the idea that “there’s nothing for me to do,” I’ve recently realized how much I’ve learned…

03 February, 2014

The Desolation of the Single Story

The other night I did something so COOL! It was so cultural and eye-opening. I went…wait for it…to the…movies. I went to see the latest Hobbit movie with my two sisters and brother at the theater in the local mall.  At the last training seminar, we had a long discussion about telling the danger of…

11 January, 2014


On Friday December 20, 2013, I woke up early to meet my friends Abby and Alex at the main bus terminal in Riobamba. We were going on a trip that had been mostly planned the day before. If you know me, then you might know that this would panic me a little bit. I still made it to that…

31 December, 2013

Traffic Lights

Before I talk about my perceptions of gender here in Ecuador, I want to mention something else. First, I want to emphasize that these are MY perceptions, MY truths, while for somebody else, they might not be true.  About a week ago, I was at my second Training Seminar in Baños, just a couple hours north-west of Riobamba. For one…

16 December, 2013

Around Every Corner

“My vision is to not hold myself to this vision if change is necessary and empowering, and to generally be able to roll with change better.” During In-Country Orientation in Quito, each member of the cohort had to create their own personal vision statement. It would be a rough draft, meant to be revised and…

13 November, 2013

My Soul, My Riobamba

Today, I felt like I was in a city thousands of feet above Earth’s surface. As I stepped out of Plan’s office around 5:30, in the fading light, all I could see were clouds. They had moved so low as to obscure all the surrounding hills and snow-capped volcanoes. On my way home, one street…

22 October, 2013

Climbing Pichincha

On my first free Saturday in Ecuador, one week after I’d moved in with my Quito host family, I took the gondola up Pichincha. Pichincha is the active volcano that lines the Western edge of Quito and the last time it erupted, in 1999, it covered Quito in several inches of ash, but no more….

18 September, 2013

So Long, Farewell

“Actually, I will be spending next year in Ecuador…” This Thursday at 7:00 AM, I will climb onto a shuttle bus with 50 other Fellows, my duffel and backpack packed under the bus, and depart Stanford University for the airport. We will all check in together. We will all go through security together. We will…

29 August, 2013

I Veered and I Couldn’t Be More Excited

Hi, my name is Leah Mesh-Ferguson and I am from Arlington, Massachusetts. From my colorful family background to my passion for languages, I have always been interested in an international existence. I knew I wanted to study aboard, or eventually live somewhere foreign and charming. I never thought I would be taking a bridge year…

09 July, 2013

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Leah Mesh-Ferguson