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Mitchell Mankin

Mitchell is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, equally comfortable playing saxophone, strumming folk music, or arranging a composition for his jazz ensemble. Friends and professors describe Mitchell as kind, intelligent, and curious. He is also interested in psychology and sociology, which he has explored through his school’s Psychology club and his own reading.



May 17, 2012

Although I am now back in the United States, I haven’t forgotten Ecuador.  When I dream, I’m still back in Ecuador, among the plantains and cacao, working with the women of Sinchi Warmi.  All these memories that come back to me at unexpected moments led me to think back to a little piece of writing...

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Taken by my host brother Johnny

Jacob’s Story

March 27, 2012

Jacob* runs a little tienda sells just two things: local jewelry and books. Jacob appears much like many of the other store owners in town. I probably passed him many times without really noticing him. The first time I really saw Jacob, he was talking to a couple of enthralled Germans seated on the sidewalk....

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No, we didn't all have to pile into this little canoe, this was temporary plantain storage.

4 Hours Downriver

March 8, 2012

Arrival In December, I was invited by my family to a wedding in Cruz Chicta, the ancestral home of my host father’s family. I jumped at the chance to see a marriage in a village still lacking paved roads and electricity. The trip there was an experience in itself. In the four hours that water...

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Sinchi Aqua Center

November 22, 2011

The pickup truck turns off the wide gravel road from Misahualli and onto a narrower track, carrying you and four members of your new family in the back. Thirty feet above your head, the trees nearly touch. You’re headed into the jungle. Then, to your right appears a half-constructed house, and chickens scatter back towards...

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Split Personality

November 10, 2011

There are two people living in my body.  One of them is writing to you now.  He’s constantly thinking, turning an analytical eye to important and decidedly not important things.  He’s often told that he thinks too much, which is true.  The other doesn’t have that luxury.  His mind is absorbed entirely by trying to...

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The Sky Above Cúmbaya

I Want To Be A Quiteño

September 22, 2011

Buenas Tardes, Sorry it’s been so long that I haven’t written.  Nearly every day I’ve started a blog post, only to look at it the next day and discredit it as naive, cliche, or based on ideas that I no longer hold to be true.  Finally, I’ve decided to let go of the next day...

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July 6, 2011

So how does someone end up putting off college for a year and going to a country thousands of miles away?  Well, each fellow here has their own reasons, but here are mine.  I’ve always been a person who likes to gather knowledge about the rest of the world — its history, its geography, and...

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