Catching up with Meaghen

Hello Olin friends!
My name is Meaghen Sausville, and I look forward to getting to know all of you by this time next year!  I thought I would take a minute and post answers to some questions a few of you may be curious about.


Where do you come from?

I was born and raised in Watervliet, a small city just outside of Albany, New York.  I live there with my mom, two dogs, and my big sister Kelsie, who currently attends Hamilton College.  I attended an all-girls boarding school, but I was one of the day kids, giving me, in my opinion, the best of both worlds.   

Meg and Mom

Me and my mom.

Meg and Friends

My school sister, Alex, and my real sister, Kelsie.

Why did you take a gap year?

Basketball was my primary sport, but my second love was soccer.  My third concussion in two years (I was the goalie) scrambled my brain pretty thoroughly.  I am dying to be with everyone at Olin right now, but taking a gap year to get it all back together was definitely the right move.

Meg the Goalie

The day before my final concussion...bye-bye, soccer!

How did you spend your summer?

Wait for it…I went to Ecuador!!  It was so great. I really love the Spanish language and I was devastated when I went back to school after this last concussion and found I could not remember how to process Spanish.  I kept working on it, but it just wasn’t coming back.  Here’s the good news though—when we landed in Ecuador, hardly anyone spoke English.  My mom does not know any Spanish at all, so that left me.  Slowly at first, and then more and more rapidly, my Spanish started returning.  By the end of the trip, I was conversing freely and my mother would have to remind me to stop speaking Spanish when I was talking to her. 

Boats in Ecuador

We spent time in the capital, Quito, and also spent some time paddling around the rain forest.  While we were in Quito, the manifestations happened.  Manifestations are large-scale protests where the indigenous people from the rain forest (called “the Community”) travel up to five days to reach the presidential palace two blocks from our guesthouse, calling for the president’s ousting.  As more and more people poured into our area, it started to get scary.  The scariest images were probably the hundreds and hundreds of police in full riot gear.  I definitely did not want to get in their way!  The noise kept escalating throughout the afternoon and early evening, but it petered out when it got dark.  Our host invited both police and protesters to come inside to use the facilities (but not at the same time).  Everything was closed down and no one could get into or out of the city.  That actually turned out to be a good thing because we were supposed to go to Cotopaxi and it began to erupt the next day! 

The rain forest was another incredible experience.  We stayed at a “rustic” lodge, which reminded me of a summer camp.  We had critters in our room at night (both the scurrying and the flying kind).  During the day, we were either in a motorized canoe to get to farther destinations, or we paddled around the river nearby.  We saw several species of monkey, many birds, and I even got up close and personal with a caiman! 
Meg and a Critter
What are you doing now?
I am trying to find my way around a machine shop at the local college.  More on that in my next post.  I hope you are all doing fantastically well.  Talk to you soon!

Posted in: Gap Year Blogs