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Lydia Collins

Lydia spends a good deal of her time volunteering, and was even elected to the board of the Community Service Club at her school.  She runs a program called Empty Bowl, which is a fundraising event in which the ceramic students make bowls while the culinary students make soup, and the two are sold together to raise money for a local soup kitchen.  She also volunteers three times a week at an after school program, where she tutors and organizes activities for the kids.  She took a weekly architecture class at the Art Institute of Chicago last semester, and hopes to pursue a career in architecture.


Alumni Post: 1 + 4

February 21, 2014

When I decided to attend Tufts in the spring of 2012, I simultaneously made another life-changing decision — to not go to Tufts.  Right away, that is.  I deferred my admission until the following year and signed up to spend a year in Ecuador with a program called Global Citizen Year. Global Citizen Year is...

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May 14, 2013

I am a jumble.  I am a jumble of everything and anything on so many levels.  I can’t pinpoint how I feel or why I act how I act or why I say what I say or why I blog what I blog. I really started to jumble the night before we left Ecuador.  I said goodbye...

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Big Mama’s In Da House

March 27, 2013

Three weeks.  Three seven day spans before I leave Ibarra.  Before I leave my siblings, my students, the Andes, everything that was once new but is now familiar. As this intense, raw, and wonderful experience wraps up I find myself spending a lot of time reflecting on the past eight months. In hindsight, I realize that my Global Citizen Year...

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How To Make Friends

February 26, 2013

Dear Reader, Below I arranged a combination of rules, guidelines, and recommendations on how to make friends.  These skills were learned in a local market in a city of 100,000 in northern Ecuador.  They are results of trial and error, embarrassment, laughs, and smiles. Most steps were learned while making friends with food vendors in a market.  For example, a...

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January 24, 2013

One of the first bits of Ecuadorian cultural advice I remember receiving at Stanford is to expect a lot of noise.  Our innocent, pre-departure selves were told that the dogs bark more here, the music is played louder, and the cars never cease to honk.  I listened to the advice, processed it, and then forgot about it.  I was...

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Un Dia Ecuatoriano

January 4, 2013

The following link is to a video that I made documenting the incredible life I am living down here.  It is important to watch and process images of life here without judgement, but instead with curiosity.  Why does that work?  Are those people happy like that?  What makes that system function?  How can we improve that situation...

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Inspirational Tidbits

November 10, 2012

The first week in my homestay here in Ibarra, Ecuador I felt myself riding an emotional rollercoaster like never before.  The days were filled with random spurts of intense waves of realization of my situation. I am here.  In Ecuador.  I will not see my family for eight months.  I have no idea what is going on.  What has happened...

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Accepting the Grit

October 2, 2012

Acceptance.  This word has been at the forefront of my mind during the first few weeks of my new life here in Ecuador.  I feel as if my every move in this wonderfully refreshing, yet overwhelming country has been internally motivated by the hopeful outcome of “acceptance”. Let me give you some context.  This context comes...

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List of Firsts

September 7, 2012

In the days leading up to my departure from home, I kept catching myself adding to a mental list of “lasts.”  As I walked my dog around the block I would think about how this is the last time I will be doing that exact activity for the next eight months. My last time eating homemade granola, buying...

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Looking Ahead

July 10, 2012

The first thing I remember was the graffiti.  Stucco buildings had drawings and words scrawled across their whitewashed walls.  Stray dogs sulked past windows with metal grates, scavenging for dinner.  The arid air was thick with cigarette fumes and exhaust from passing mopeds.  Strangely dressed teenagers passed around suspicious looking bottles, laughing and smoking.  I...

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