Dearest friends and family,
When we joined the Peace Corps in 2014, we never thought we’d be this comfortable and at home in a foreign country. Yet throughout our 27+ months and extension we’ve slowly come to understand and embrace our Gringo Pinolero identities.
Like any year, 2016 brought it’s own ups and downs.
We grew closer to our friends and host families here, but we also greatly missed our loved ones back home. So we visited home – once to IL (for a funeral) and once to OR (for a birthday/GRE). And we hosted so many (11) different friends and family members! Showing them our Nicaragua has been an honor and we hope that they now understand a bit more why we love it so much.
We survived a hurricane, and zika, and the long recovery of chikunguyna. Don’t worry. None of them were as bad as they sound.
We experienced two national elections – of our host and home countries – through a lens we’ve never had before. It was quite the experience to be abroad during an election year.
We said goodbye to our cohort since we extended our service, counseled/co-directed 4 camps this calendar year (ACCESS, GLOW, CHACA, and ACCESS again), and celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary.
Gallo pinto is now a welcomed staple in our diet. We learned a lot from teaching in a completely new setting. We continued to immerse ourselves in Spanish and up our Nica street cred.
We worked hard and earned our keep. One of our PC Nicaragua staff members says that the longer we’re here, the more qualified we’ll feel to dive deeper into our work. Now that we’re almost done, we keep thinking of new projects that we could do if only we had the time.
And we’re starting to feel that pressure of time. So we’re taking as many pictures as we can, celebrating small moments, and striving to live into the intentions we set to aprovechar our time left in Peace Corps.
Life is full of comings and goings, of challenges and lessons, of transitions and blessings. We embrace what we can, while we can, and strive to have the lessons we’ve learned from our journey guide our way on. That is what we wish for you this holiday season, and for ourselves in the (big transition) year to come.
Feliz navidad y prospero año nuevo.
Love and light,
Emily and Andrew