Tag Archives: Connection

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

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Felices Fiestas from Nicaragua

Dearest friends and family,

christmas-card-2016

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

The Power of Compliments

Baho

I love food.  I love cooking it, eating it, thinking about it, talking about it, everything.  As a cook, I also know how good it feels to have someone expound on the scrumptiousness of my creations. Therefore, I have no shame in showering praise on people that make my barriga llena y corazón contento.  I’ve successfully wooed the lady that prepares our lunches for STEP.  She often writes my name on the boxed lunch destined for me, and I’ll be treated to a special surprise (an extra piece of chicken, an extra portion, a special side, etc.).  Sometimes I get really lucky, and when she’s cooking up special dishes during the week, she drops a serving off at our house.  This beauty is a baho she made last Friday.  SOOO GOOD!!!!

Nica 64 COS Conference

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It’s hard to believe that our Close of Service Conference is here! While Andrew and I are extending until next March, our TEFL64 compañer@s are getting ready to head their separate ways. This community has been through a lot together. I’m thankful for our collective treasure trove of stories and that each of them will forever understand why this beautiful land of lakes and volcanoes is so dear to our hearts.  As some of our group begins to leave this week, we’re thankful that we still have 7 months to work towards our goals and spend time with the people who have become part of our family.

Familia sin fronteras

Guate

We had the incredible honor of visiting family in Guatemala this past week.  As we spent the week learning about the culture and traditions of Guate, we couldn’t help but notice the similarities and differences between them and those we have here in Nica.  The biggest similarity – the most important part of life is the people you spend it with.

In Joy and Pain

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This week was difficult for us and the teachers of Estelí; a beloved and hardworking district employee, and dear friend of ours, suddenly passed away.  Between attending the wake and funeral services, we were exhausted and knew the teachers were, too, so in efforts to be culturally sensitive, we canceled our Wednesday conversation group.

Almost immediately after sending the cancellation text, our phones rang off the hook!  One of my counterparts, Regina, got in touch with me and said, “You can’t cancel tonight!  We have a late-birthday surprise planned for Andrew.  We don’t care if we don’t formally have class, but you still have to come.”  So we resent the message, saying we’d have an informal class, for anyone who just wanted to come and be together.

Regina had cooked an entire, delicious Nicaraguan meal in honor of Andrew.  As she says, “he loves all the foods!”  Even in the midst of pain and loss, perhaps especially during these times, our friends have shown incredible care, affection, and love for us.  I hope we can learn from and carry their example with us for years to come.