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Rachel Koltsov


One month out and ramblings.

May 27, 2017

When I started packing for my trip to Ecuador, I fully intended to return to New York City. So whenever I faced any difficulty, or any discomfort or homesickness, I would tell myself “Ok, X more months until I’m home.”. And that helped me, because I could look forward to being surrounded by familiarity when...

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April 28, 2017

“I vibe with that slide concept” (September of 2016 in Parque La Carolina, Quito) Rachel’s first time eating cuy during a picnic with my host family and their friends. (October of 2016, Paute, Azuay) A panel of glass was removed from this church window. I took this photo during a Christmas celebration for my apprenticeship....

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A Lesson on Impact

March 29, 2017

On Monday mornings, I go to the office of the Unidad Social de Gualaceo or I go to the terminal and meet up with the person that I will be working with that week. From there, we go off to do our site visits or group visits, where we do small activities and lessons, depending...

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Mountains are big.

February 23, 2017

Mountains are big. Traveling alone is scary. Especially in a country where I don’t speak the native language so well. You start to crave familiarity and wish that the words coming out of your mouth were conjugated perfectly and always understood without having to be repeated 3 or 4 times. Luckily I didn’t travel alone....

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Life is happening.

January 24, 2017

This was my first year celebrating Christmas. My host sister and I took part in a christmas “parade” on the 10th of December. We were dressed up as angels with ginormous gold wings. The “parade” was a culmination of 9 days of Navideño, where my host family would gather with their friends and discuss the...

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Dancing in the Dark

December 12, 2016

The month of September can be metaphorically compared to a roller coaster. Following a 10 hour trip from the capitol city, Quito, to Cuenca (the busy bee hub of the southern region of Azuay) my host family picked me up and took me an hour away to Gualaceo, which is where I’ll be living for...

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Arrival of the Birds

September 20, 2016

I have this nagging suspicion that I am meant to live in the mountains.   Yesterday I climbed a dormant volcano, called Pichincha. There’s actually a plume of smoke rising from it now, possibly a forest fire. Could also be a cloud. At this elevation, both are possibilities. The air up here in Quito is...

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