The Desolation of the Single Story

Leah Mesh-Ferguson - Ecuador


January 11, 2014

The other night I did something so COOL! It was so cultural and eye-opening. I went…wait for it…to the…movies. I went to see the latest Hobbit movie with my two sisters and brother at the theater in the local mall. 

At the last training seminar, we had a long discussion about telling the danger of a single story. (We watched the following Ted Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html) There are many examples of single stories  in our lives, but the idea is generalizing based off the actions, appearances, or experiences of one or a few people. We talked about how we might be portraying a single story through our blogs – romanticizing our experience, or generalizing about Ecuador and its people. This is my attempt to rectify that, at least for myself. Despite the pictures you might have seen me post on Facebook or previous blog posts I posted, my life is fairly normal, with many ups and downs. Yes, I’ve been on some cool adventures, but I had fun trips at home as well. You heard about my “awesome” trip to the active volcano, and the donkey incident. What I didn’t tell you about that weekend is that I spent a morning sitting on the beach crying. I felt lonely and homesick and didn’t feel like I could turn to my friends. My life is not all a happy adventure with crazy, fun things around every corner. I’m in an office from 8-5, 4 days a week. I sit down to dinner with my family every night. I have trouble turning off Netflix to get work done. 

My trip to the movies helped me realize all of this. It’s ok if I’m not doing something different and “cultural” every day. I am living my life and I wanted to share this with all of you. I’ll try not to romanticize my experience in the future, but I can’t promise it won’t happen. Just remember that among the shining waterfalls and donkey rides, there’s a whole lot of everyday life mixed in, and even some terrifyingly heart-wrenching difficult moments. Lots of love to everyone back home and I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s!

Leah Mesh-Ferguson