The Light - An Alumni Publication Summer 2015 - Page 20

FACES OF YFU Morell and her host sister Anita, in front of Cuicocha in Cotacachi, Ecuador, 2010. MALLORY MORELL PROGRAM: Germany 2003; Ecuador 2005 OCCUPATION: Acquisition Geophysicist, BP HOME: Houston, TX   LIFE LESSONS: Morell and her host sister Anita, in front of Cuicocha in Cotacachi, Ecuador, 2010.    Pieces of Exchange The most important life lesson I learned during my year abroad was accepting people as they are. My first host sister and I did not get along well. To her, everything was cute, her favorite color was pink, she Profile pic  absolutely adored the stuffed animals she received for her birthday, liked to talk in a baby voice, and her greatest aspiration was to be a model. She was also 17 years old, in her last year of school and was very intelligent. The day before I changed host-families, my first host-mom and I had a one-on-one, all-cards-onthe-table conversation. Among other things discussed, the traits of my host-sister were brought up. She looked me right in the face and said “That is Gaby. Like it or not, that is who she is.” This candid conversation helped me reevaluate how I thought about people — a lesson I’ve kept with me throughout the years. ■ Morell