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. _


Alumni Post: 1 + 4

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…

21 February, 2014


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…

14 May, 2013

Big Mama’s In Da House

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…

27 March, 2013

How To Make Friends

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…

26 February, 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…

24 January, 2013

Un Dia Ecuatoriano

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…

04 January, 2013

Inspirational Tidbits

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. …

10 November, 2012

Accepting the Grit

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…

02 October, 2012

List of Firsts

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…

07 September, 2012

Looking Ahead

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…

10 July, 2012

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Lydia Collins