Author: Laura Preston

The Privilege of Language

I tend to have a bad habit of meeting the best people on trains. What started off as a desperate plea for help from a slightly lost tourist on a train from Munich became the start of a conversation with Tiago, a sports education professor from Brazil. …

A House of Beautiful Business

Heading to Lisbon had never been on my personal map, but as soon as Girls in Tech invited me to the “House of Beautiful Business” it only took one look outside at the rain in Cambridge to convince me to pack up my bags and go. I was on a mission to dis…

Becoming a Charity Case

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, it’s quite common for other Americans to pity you, especially those who live in the same country as you. Many a party I have met Embassy employees who told me with a smile, “Thank you so much for your service. I could never imagine doing what you do. I mean, […]

Fidelity, Faith, and Football

Fidelity, Faith, and Football Fidelity 1 The phone rang. As I dug it out of my pocket, I casually answered, “Hey brother, what’s up?” “Nothing good,” came the reply. “My wife left me. The children are gone. She took everything.” I sat there in stunned silence on the other end, wondering what to say next, […]

The Power of Language: Politically Speaking

When I first wrote about the bilingualism of Cameroon, I was amused by the challenges set before Cameroon as a country of two official languages. It seemed rather laughable, watching people from the same country attempt to converse on the side of the street over mundane affairs such as cab fare, as if they came […]

Taking Advice Seriously

“Excuse me,” I asked smiling to the ladies selling corn on the side of the road. “Can you tell me where to go to get to…..Mfou?” I loved pronouncing the name of the town, because it sounded exactly like “fool” to me in French, which is how I felt at that moment. There I was, […]

Dreaming of a Bright Future

“Girls are harassed, assaulted and raped.” “Sugar daddies exist.” “Girls get harassed by men in their community. Family members, classmates, even teachers.” I knew all of these statements to be true when I had worked with a team of classmates at our course with Partners in Health in Rwanda. We had worked out a puzzle […]

Work as a Peace Corps Volunteer: It’s what you make of it.

Flashback to 2013: “I think you should definitely sign up for the Masters International Peace Corps program. Those two years of my life as a volunteer were amazing.” I was wondering what Professor Kent Glenzer was going to say next, but no words came over the phone. Nervous since I didn’t really know him that […]

Racism, and why the U.S. has a long way to go.

I grew up in a very interesting town. Despite its proximity to San Francisco, or its name (Castro Valley), there were still quite a few stark contrasts when it came to talking about race, religion, and diversity in general among my friends and myself. Sure we had a diverse school, with plenty of first generation students […]

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.