Tag Archives: Blogging

Peace Corps and the Cultural Blogging Community

One reason we currently write May We Suggest is to work towards the Peace Corps’ third goal: to help promote a better understanding of other peoples (in our case, Nicaraguans) on the part of Americans. We want to share our experiences and a bit of the Nicaraguan world with as many as possible state side and beyond.

And while we think our blog is pretty sweet, we are obviously not the holders of all knowledge.  There are un montón of other blogs out there that deserve to be read.

This post aims to share some of the networks of bloggers we’ve developed over our time in Peace Corps.  Whether you’re looking for country specific information, what to pack, cultural insights, travel tips and routes, general information on Peace Corps, or just good stories, we hope these lists are helpful, inspiring, and insightful. Continue reading Peace Corps and the Cultural Blogging Community


Numbers and Indicators

VRF work

Working under the umbrella of the US government means we periodically fill out a report titled the Volunteer Report Form (VRF).  Our latest one was due on Tax Day and we were up late crunching the data.  On it we cite if we are meeting our specific First Goal indicators, thus showing improvement in areas such as English Teachers’ English Proficiency, English Teachers’ Methodology and Practices, and Students’ Participation in Extra Curricular Activities in English.

A few crazy numbers we also got to report were on this blog which works toward the Peace Corps’ Third Goal: sharing our host country and culture with friends and family back home.  From July 2015 through March 2016 (this last reporting period for TEFL volunteers here in Nicaragua), we increased to 633 followers, hosted 4006 visitors, and received 11,328 views (8,401 views in the US and 2927 views from other countries).  A huge shout out to all of you who are helping us rock that Third Goal!

Happy Peace Corps Week 2016

55 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10924 to establish the Peace Corps.  All week volunteers (returned and current), host countries, and the Peace Corps family are celebrating our commitment to world peace and friendship. We build bridges between cultures, provide countries with desired technical trainings, and have the privilege of being hosted and loved by the countries and people we serve.

Last year, in honor of Peace Corps Week, Andrew and I started our PCV Spotlight series – highlighting the service of PCVs around Nicaragua.  While we hope to still publish a couple more spotlights, this year, we wanted to try a little something different.

There was this terrific blog challenge back in January/February run by Blogging Abroad – a blogging community of “digital ambassadors” who promote cross-cultural exchange through their stories, videos, pictures, and posts.  We’re super excited to be a part of this community and were sad that we were too busy during January/February (but seriously: from Allen and Nilsen family visits, MST, ACCESS Camp and GLOW, an unexpected trip home, and starting the new school year…we never stopped) to participate in their challenge.

A Nicaraguan (and Nilsen) motto – más vale tarde que nunca (better late than never).

Stay tuned for some great posts as we aim to answer the prompts from Blogging Abroad.

Happy Peace Corps Week 2016!

Why Peace Corps Blogging is Meaningful Work

August 2015 Guidepost to Wholehearted Living
Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To”

As countries around the world seek to advance and connect, Peace Corps Volunteers of the 21st century have access to technology that their predecessors never dreamed of.   But with the power of access comes great responsibility; the Peace Corps Blog was born. Volunteers often start blogging strong. Their excitement fuels updates, committing cultural faux pas provide easy and hilarious content, and everything seems so new…for a while.

Then an incredible transition happens. Through integration, gaining cultural understanding, and the simple passing of time, a PCV’s host country becomes a little more like home. Volunteers might say later that this is when they really started to feel like they hit their stride, but it is also often where their blogging faded away. It doesn’t have to be though.

Keeping a Peace Corps Blog can be meaningful and worthwhile work. Even if it hasn’t been updated in what you feel is too long, here are six reasons to find some Internet, get yourself a cup of tea (or mate, or kava, or airag, or) , and give blogging another go: Continue reading Why Peace Corps Blogging is Meaningful Work

2014 in review

One reason we write May We Suggest is to work towards the Peace Corps’ third goal of sharing our experiences and a bit of the Nicaraguan world with as many as possible state side and beyond. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared this 2014 annual report for May We Suggest. Pretty cool how far the internet can take our stories. Although one thing these numbers can’t express is how wonderful being connected to all of you has been for our spirits, and therefore our service.

Here’s an excerpt of the review:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,500 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Want to know how many countries accessed our stories, our most popular posts and reflections, or (our favorite) the top commenters? Click here to see the complete report.

In Search of Impact

Yay for the interwebs! It is so exciting to feel like we are already getting to know other volunteers in our cohort. Ya’ll should follow this blog of a couple who will also be serving with us in Nicaragua. Their first post is awesome!

The NicAdventure

By Conor Sanchez

Five years ago, I moved to Washington, D.C. Inspired by a candidate, the 2008 election was a call to service for me. I saw his candidacy as a rallying cry for young Millennials like myself not only to use our newly inherited voting power to elect a transformative leader, but to also embody that spirit by pursuing meaningful and service-oriented careers.

I tried to walk the walk. After graduation, I bought a one-way ticket to Washington to intern on Capitol Hill with former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman. In June 2009, I arrived and joined a cadre of self-important and overly idealistic young professionals. After five weeks I landed a position as an assistant in Sen. Bingaman’s office. I even convinced my then-girlfriend, Michaela, to turn down a job offer in Albuquerque to pursue her interests in public policy and human rights in D.C.

Two years flew by…

View original post 557 more words

Peace Corps Blogging Community

Update: As this post is from before we even started our service, it is now a bit out of date. If you’re looking for awesome Peace Corps and other cultural blogs, check out this more recent post.

I consider myself a decently computer savvy young adult.  I use multiple email accounts, track all events with our friend group through social media, and have run a classroom website for a couple years now as a teacher.  Even still, the shear size of the blogosphere is both intimidating and impressive.  As Andrew and I have begun the daunting task of preparing for our Peace Corps Service (more to come on this later) we’ve turned to this crazy collection of blogs and connections for advice and to being to wrap our minds around this huge life change that’s right around the corner.  In our searching, we’ve found a number of Peace Corps blogs that give us a glimpse into what service may look like for us:

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¡Salve a ti, Nicaragua! author Anna Louise spent two years in Nicaragua as a health volunteer and is currently there on an extended third year.  I love all the pictures in her posts!

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OK. I know this one says Jamaica.  BUT this couple have put together a fabulous blog!  They’re one of the blogs we’ve looked at in trying to get ours up and running.  AND they give a couple’s perspective, which we have already found helpful.  Their endeavor to embrace living life intentionally is beautiful as well as inspirational.

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Another health volunteer, Lauren is a recently RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer).  I love how her passions seep into her posts.

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Ellen is a TEFL trainer in the Nicaraguan department of Boaco.  Her start date was in August 2013, so we may cross paths in the near future!

With so much to do and prepare for, I’m thankful for the countless volunteers who have already shared their stories, experiences, and energy in their communities in country and the global blogging community.  Those voices are already inspiring us as we take the first steps of our journey towards Nicaragua.