Natalie Kfoury – Co-Editor-In-Chief
Sinche. Just thinking about that word brings me back to the most special place I’ve ever been. Now, the only way you would know about sinche is if you took part in Lasell’s Shoulder-to-Shoulder trip to Ecuador or if you happen to be fluent in Quichua (a native Ecuadorian language from which the word derives).
Sinche means strong, but it means so much more. And to understand what it truly means, you have to find the treasure. And to find the treasure, you have to travel to Ecuador with a group from Lasell, team up with some amazing, crazy, hilarious, and loving Ecuadorians, and learn all there is to know. It may not make sense to you, but what Ecuador taught me will stay with me forever.
I enjoyed every aspect of this trip and I can promise you that Professors Aaron Toffler and Jose Guzman, Gillian Stanley of the Graduate Program Department, and the 12 amazing ladies that traveled with me will all agree that every moment was absolutely wonderful.
We fell in love with the people of Ecuador, the landscape, the children we worked with. We laughed, cried, supported each other, and in that week, we became a family. We improved a school, bonded with children, hiked mountains and volcanoes, and learned about the incredible culture.
Joy wells up inside me when I think back on this trip. I could fill this newspaper with stories of the life-changing opportunities we had. But, I won’t (it would make me cry and miss Ecuador too much).
I will simply leave you with this: We are offered opportunities to change our lives and to change the lives of others, whether it is in travel or something we may encounter every day. Realize these opportunities and seize them. You may not know when you will get them again or if you will get them again. I am grateful that I seized the opportunity to travel to Ecuador. A big piece of my heart is still there and I fully intend on returning and continuing to be sinche. Ecuador gave me so many opportunites that showed me just how strong I am.
For pictures from the Ecuador Shoulder-to-Shoulder trip, visit http://www.the1851chronicle.org.