Sayre Quevedo

Sayre is passionate about broadcast journalism. He is involved with Youth Radio as a teacher and reporter and also as a poet in his community. His goals for the year are to become fluent in a new language and to learn a new skill.

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“What Stays” Part 3

I could have been smarter about it. I could have said no and walked away. God knows, you gave me opportunities to do it. But I’m insistent, you say, and anyway I wouldn’t have taken the opportunities even if I knew that in 6 weeks…

10 March, 2014

Abuelita’s Hands and other Reflections on Colonialism

It lives in their bodies. Just look at Abuelita’s hands. She’s winding a dirty shoelace around the joints of her fingers, bent inward, an intricate cat’s cradles. They meet in the middle of her palms, the knotted roots extending from her knuckles. Like an exotic…

03 February, 2014

Dancing in the Dark

This Saturday Paul and I are on the street. We’re teasing each other the way we´ve learned to do. It´s a game with simple rules.  He’ll laugh at my first world ways: not sharing the last sip of water, how little I seem to notice…

19 December, 2013

Malabaristas

Malabarista by Odd Walk I saw them the first week I arrived in Riobamba. I was on the bus, idling at a red light. She was standing on the street median in the shade of one of the palm trees. A baby rested in the…

19 December, 2013

New Roots

The first night I arrived in Riobamba my host brother, Paúl, took me out to a show. He didn’t tell me what kind of show it would be. And honestly even if he had I probably wouldn’t have understood, only smiled and nodded and said…

08 November, 2013

For Maggie

Dear Maggie, I was going to write you this letter before you passed. I guess I didn’t prepare myself. While I was here I tried to remember you as you were at the dinner table, Jeopardy playing in the background, each of your confident answers…

22 October, 2013

Souveniring the Scene

Riobamba is like a surrealist painting. Dogs on roofs. Half-built, quarter-built structures, like big gray dollhouses. Farm animals along empty train tracks. Little boys in baseball caps playing in a dusty lot. Nameless streets. Especially when the neighborhood is empty, cold and blue, I remember…

10 October, 2013

Faith

“Cristiano…” the question begins, “Católico…Mormón?” We’re standing beside a mound of trinkets and wallets. In the middle of the square a man blows bubbles with his leathered lips, his face peeking out from the neck of his Barney suit. There is the sound of flutes….

18 September, 2013

Rituals

I feel rituals coming on like a cold. When my lungs get heavy with exhaust walking down America ave. When I wake up and Patricia is in the kitchen with her back to me, singing to herself. When I coddle a cup of sweet black…

06 September, 2013

“What Stays” Part 2

I’m writing this to confront my own concerns, concerns that I am doing a disservice to Ecuador before getting to know the country. I’m referring to my second blog post, “What Stays.” I began to think about my own assumptions about how I, and my…

04 September, 2013

Fear and Fall Training

I am barreling toward Houston in a bullet with wings.  Blue pleather seats and I’m flanked by sleeping strangers and friends, the in-flight movie flashing muted on the screen. Only an hour ago we squeezed through the aisles of this plane. Backpack straps pinched our…

04 September, 2013

A Lesson In Goodbye

A few years ago I watched my friends leave for college; frigid east, humid south. And I had a mantra, something I taught them when it came time to say goodbye: this is not the end. We will see each other soon. Let’s not cry. Let’s enjoy this. Then I’d walk out the door. Then they would board a plane. Then they would get in the car. Then we’d both be somewhere else. No tears. No reminiscing. I kept my goodbyes short, impersonal. I told my friends I did this because I didn’t want them to leave on a low note. I wanted them to leave feeling something positive, that we would see each other again and be better people when we did. It wasn’t the end of the story, just the beginning of a new chapter. For the weeks leading up to Global Citizen Year Fall Training I continued the tradition I began when my friends first left. If anyone asked me if I was nervous to leave I would shrug. “I don’t know,” I would say, “I’m sure it will hit me when I’m finally in Ecuador.”  And when things started to feel sentimental, when they started to feel like goodbye I would change the subject. I didn’t cry, not even when I hugged my best friends goodbye. Today, I hugged my mother for the last time for 8 months. I tried to keep my goodbye quick, keeping to the same routine I had told my friends standing in their driveways years ago. I leaned on the trunk of her car as she got ready to drive back to Oakland. All of Stanford was sepia in sunset and I looked at her, prepared the same monologue. “I don’t want to draw this out. This isn’t the end.” Then, I love you. Then we hugged and I realized I was saying goodbye to the last remnants of my home and my life here, at least for the next 8 months. It wasn’t the end but it felt like it. We wouldn’t see each other soon.  And I did cry. And I enjoyed it. I said goodbye. After weeks of shielding myself from the word and the feeling I embraced it, not as sorrow but acknowledgment. I have a family who loves me. I have friends who I will miss. I can’t say I love goodbye but I know what it means. It’s not a sad note. It’s a high note. It’s a note you’ve got to hold and hold, maybe the one that carries you to the end.  

26 August, 2013

What Stays

The packets we are asked to read about our countries suggests we pack light, bringing what we need: a formal shirt, a gift for our new host families, comfortable shoes; nothing that has too much sentimental value, nothing we would be upset to lose. The…

16 July, 2013

An Introduction

This is a photo I took at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession. This is a photo I took in London. This is a photo I took on my first trip out of the country in my whole life. Up until the week I took this photo,…

09 July, 2013

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Sayre Quevedo