Foraging Forward


I’ve been holding off on writing this post because I can’t quite believe that I’ve graduated. It feels like a chapter of my life has closed and I am not quite sure how long it will be until I return to the tiny rural New England town that I called home for the past four years. But … Continue reading

Reconnecting and Recharging


It’s been so weird being back at Amherst for senior year, seeing some people for the first time after a year away. Still, it’s been great to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM: Microeconomics of Development: This course was a seminar of 10 students and I was always self-conscious … Continue reading

A “Deeply Unsettling” Semester

Urubamba Valley at 5am

The title of this post comes from a quote from one of our professors. We were sitting around on a ranch in the middle of nowhere in Argentina and discussing reverse culture shock, what it would be like to go back to the US and explain our time abroad to friends and family who would expect … Continue reading

Buenos Aires: Community and Leisure in Porteno Life

View of the city, from the rooftop of Hotel Bauen

When I first arrived in Buenos Aires, I was walking around downtown past shiny retail stores and crossing the street with crosswalks. It reminded me of Manhattan. I wondered, with all the familiarity of skyscraper-tall malls symbolizing a consumption culture and without the chaos of street markets and informal forms of transportation, would Argentina would … Continue reading

Dakar and Keur Samba Kala: Privilege, Tourism, and Nok Bokk

So many beaches in Dakar

The first thing I noticed about Dakar was the air. I could smell the sea in the air, and as cheesy as this may sound, it smelled like possibility. I moved into my homestay the second day in Senegal. My host mom is 60, and her surname is Kebe, so my Senegalese name is Mariame Kebe. … Continue reading

Delhi and Ahmedabad: Displacement, Development, Social Silos, and Feminism

Art project at One Billion Rising protest in Delhi

The city of Delhi is different for everyone, it all depends on how you view it and who you are. One night a classmate and I sat together, and talked about how we were worried we had blinded ourselves to structural inequity, extreme poverty, oppression of minorities, problems we knew existed but didn’t want to see. We worried … Continue reading

Choosing Change


When I was a high school senior, I thought I wanted to go to a school in a big city. I ended up in a school in rural western Mass. And I absolutely love it. I go to New York and Boston a few times a semester, and I do wonder what it would have … Continue reading

Flashmobs and Failing Fast

tracks 1

This past year has been: amazing. upsetting. hilarious. disillusioning. exhilarating. It has been full of a lot of travel and new experiences, many important conversations and much questioning. A year in review, in a slightly different format: LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM: Game Theory: Words cannot describe how much I loved this class. Our professor was … Continue reading

Bad Aid, Privilege and Doing Good to Feel Good


I used to like Teach for America. It sounded so promising, so good. And if you think about it, so do a lot of other programs that send privileged kids off to be great “helpers”. In fact, many of these forms of bad aid are rooted in paternalism, often because the people who lead them … Continue reading

Before We Teach, We Have to Learn


There’s a saying that you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Which got me thinking about the social organization of undergraduate students in dormitory communities. Who you live with, who you choose to be friends with, will affect you a LOT. So when I’m looking at study abroad programs, … Continue reading