Tag Archives: Diversity

Things I Never Knew about School

Other than my bed, the classroom is the place where I’ve spent the single most amount of time over the course of my entire life.  After 19 years in formal education in the United States, I thought I knew a thing or two about school.  One of the wonderful opportunities we have as Peace Corps volunteers is to appreciate the different approaches societies take to things as central as education.  Sin más preambulos, here is a list of things I never knew about school with my new Nicaraguan context: Continue reading Things I Never Knew about School


Gender and Development Committee Work

One of Emily’s secondary projects is working with the Peace Corps Nicaragua Gender and Development (GAD) Committee.


The committee promotes sustainable gender equality, both for Nicaraguans and Peace Corps Volunteers by providing camps, technical trainings, and resources.  Emily is super excited to be working with such a group of passionate, dedicated individuals. While we may feature some of their work and projects from time to time here on our MayWeSuggest Blog, to stay most up to date with their work with Gender and Development:

We look forward to following their journey until they reach their vision: “Power, respect, and opportunity are no longer gendered.”

Introducing Counterpart Diaries

Dear Counterparts,

We are very thankful for each of you working with us. Your desire to improve your English and your classroom teaching is why we are here. Co-planning and co-teaching with you gives us a way to meet Peace Corps Goal 1: to help people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.

You all know that we write on a blog as a way to work towards Peace Corps Goal 3: to help promote a better understanding of other peoples (in our case, Nicaraguans) on the part of Americans. We write about our experiences, stories, successes, and challenges. We sometimes write about our work with you, too, as you are very important to us and the work we are doing here.

But we’re only half of the story.

Sometimes our words are inadequate and therefore, we invite you to tell us yourselves: Who are you? Why did you want to work with us? How has your professional life changed?

Tell us your half.

To find all of our Counterpart Diaries, click here.

May We Be Receptive to New Knowledge and Understandings of How Life Can Be Lived

June & July 2015 Guidepost to Wholehearted Living
Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle 

Nicaragua has been full of lessons and surprises. A year ago, I never pictured myself standing and squished on a more-than-full school bus for multiple hours, taking bucket baths, teaching classes of over 50 students without materials, or even feeling comfortable conversing in a language different from my own. Yet here I am today. Experiences that at first seemed so foreign are becoming more normal, more a way of life for us as well. Continue reading May We Be Receptive to New Knowledge and Understandings of How Life Can Be Lived

Parades on Parades



This week there are some pretty big celebrations going down in Nicaragua.  In Estelí it began yesterday with what we were told was non-political celebration of the “Liberation of Estelí” (however number of red and black Sandinista flags outnumbered the blue and white of Nicaragua 10 to 1).  In Estelí on July 16th, 1979 the Sandinistas ousted the troops of the dictator Somoza from the city. Every year since the people of Estelí have celebrated with parades and gatherings in the park.

July 19th marks the official “Triumph of the Revolution.”  The festivities in Managua on the 19th will be exponentially more intense and politically charged, as the government pays all the bus companies in the country to stop their normally scheduled routes and instead bus people to and from the capital.

As Peace Corps Volunteers we work with people from all political backgrounds.   We’re thankful for the opportunity to observe, to listen, and to learn regardless of who is in power and who is not. One of the problems we see in our own country is that the lines are so darkly drawn, that the art of listening has been lost.  May the chance to hone this skill make us not only better PCVs, but better citizens of the US upon our return.

Two is Twice as Tuani

Like any applicant and wanna-be Peace Corps Volunteer, hours were spent scouring the Internet and talking with any RPCV to gather information and get a glimpse into what was to come. We were looking for something a little different though: for information about serving as a couple.

There wasn’t much to be found and the little official information we did find wasn’t too cheery. At the time, only 7% of PCVs were married couples and according to our Peace Corps recruiter, they were the most likely to quit service early. Even the application and initial interview blatantly stated there were specific challenges that we would have to overcome. With all of these considerations in mind, we continued through the application process, drawn by the opportunity to adventure together, to add to our treasure trove of shared memories, to learn a new language, and to take advantage of the end of our twenties before children, grad school, and a mortgage.

As we celebrate our four-year wedding anniversary and 10 months of living in Nicaragua, we thought we’d share why serving as a Peace Corps couple is super tuani (Nicaraguan equivalent of cool/awesome). Continue reading Two is Twice as Tuani

Miniature Seats

small bus seats

While the flora might be gigantic in Nicaragua, the busses didn’t get the memo.  We never fit in the bus seats.  Our legs aren’t event close to being vertical in here, as pulling them up to you is the only way to sit down.  #longleggedgringoproblems