“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments, so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.”
– Seasons of Love, RENT
Measure in love. A lot can happen in a year. We definitely tried to set our intentions and live into all of those little moments, but it’s still crazy to think that an entire year has past since we arrived in Nicaragua on August 13, 2014. We’ve had countless of cups of coffee, enjoyed sunsets and sunrises, and definitely shared in laughter and strife. Most importantly and incredibly, we’ve experienced the love of our new friends and family, Peace Corps and Nicaraguan alike.
It’s impossible to sum up everything we’ve been doing, experiencing, and learning, but in efforts to quantify our year for you all, we pulled out the calculator and tried literally counting our blessings.
Here’s Andrew and Emily’s first year in Nicaragua, by the numbers:
- Incredible host families we’ve lived with and loved both in training and in site: 3
- Times a week we are serenaded by the slightly off-key evangelical congregations across the street: 5
- Dollars we make a month that have to be budgeted carefully: 350
- Days a week we use Nicaraguan public transit: 7
- Times we’ve been stranded/late due to a broken down bus: 1
- Hours it takes to get to the capital and Peace Corps office on an express bus: 2.5
- Hours it takes to get to the other Peace Corps couple in our TEFL64 group, also using express buses: 8.5
- Blocks Emily has to walk to buy Stabilos (her favorite art pens that were hard to find in the US): .5
- Times we eat delicious Salsa’s Kayro hot wings per month: 3
- Mantequioso avocados we can buy for a dollar: 6
- Days we’ve been sick of eating rice and beans: 0
- Heart stoppingly, jaw droppingly delicious mangos we can buy for a dollar: 3
- Foto Fridays that have been completely dedicated to food: 9
- Local Nicaraguan bananas we can buy for a dollar: 36
- Expensive condiments like Balsamic Vinegar, Nutella, Achuapa Sesame Oil, and Sriracha Andrew has bought as a coping strategy: 14
- Counterpart English teachers with whom we co-plan and co-teach weekly: 7
- Classes we work in, ranging from 32 to 53 students: 23
- Students who sometimes drive us crazy, but we love working with in those 23 classes: 971
- Classes canceled due to baby showers, prepping for said baby shower, assemblies, rain, teacher meetings, parent meetings, the sky being dark because it looks like it might rain, sports tournaments to raise money for a Mother’s day event in which school would also be canceled, etc: 34
- Camps we’ve help run: 1
- Camps we’re working on in the future: 3
- STEP English classes we’ve taught on the weekends in Masaya, León, and Chinandega: 6
- PC committees Emily is on: 2
- Teachers and community members who have attended our weekly English conversation class: 19
- Teachers who attend our monthly trainings / Community of Practice: 30
- Anticipated English teachers for the in-the-works STEP Estelí program: 90
- Pictures taken on two different cameras and two smart phones of our crazy adventures, cultural exchanges, and moments we just don’t want to forget: 3571
- Anti-malaria pills we’ve taken: 160
- Parasites and bacterial infections we’ve had: 8
- Instruments that we sometimes play in the evenings to wind down: 3
- Types of loose-leaf tea we drink to find our zen: 3
- Books we’ve read in Spanish: 9
- Personal Peace Corps goals that we have officially crossed off our list: 19
- Days a week we rest in our hammock, Paz: 7
- Unique Peace Corps Volunter sites we’ve visited: 18
- US family members we’ve had visit us in Nicaragua: 6
- US family members who still plan on visiting us here in Nicaragua: 11
- Miles Andrew walked on his pilgrimage with our good friends: 30
- Dichos/slang Andrew has learned to woo the hearts of every Nicaraguan he meets: 43
- Families who’ve told us we are now a part of the family: 9
Day we’ve felt thankful to be in Peace Corps Nicaragua: 365