Tag Archives: Language

English Singing and Not Yet Goodbye

English Singing Competition

We had the honor of helping with the annual municipal (county) English Singing festival this past week.  Over 20 schools sent their best English singers to compete for the chance to represent us at the departmental (state) level, and maybe on to the national competition.  We’re super excited that our high school, Guillermo Cano, won!

Irela, the English tecnica for the Ministry of Education, one of our dear friends and such a hard worker, was the muscle behind the whole event.  She surprised us with framed certificates and almost cried as she told the crowd she’s going to miss us so much next year. We’re not ready to say goodbye yet, but it was a touching reminder that it won’t be easy when the time comes.


TEFL Project, Peace Corps Nicaragua

Shot before our time, but a great overview of the TEFL Project’s role here in Peace Corps Nicaragua.

Dicho for the Impossible

In case flying pigs don’t seem unlikely enough for your tastes, you can now add this bad-boy to your repertoire:

Cuando las loras escupan. – When parrots spit.

Turns out that these sorts of hyperbolic expressions of impossibility are an incredibly universal phenomenon across cultures and languages.  They even have a fancy Greek name: adynata.  Click here to enjoy a list of adynata in 20 different language!

Dicho for Not Sweating the Small Stuff

Few dichos capture the essence of an entire culture.  Usually, they represent specific feelings or experiences to be applied in certain contexts.  However, every so often I come across an expression that encapsulates the Nicaraguan ethos.

Hay más tiempo que vida – There is more time than life.

On the surface, this dicho may not make any sense to you (I know it didn’t to me).  However, after living in Nicaragua for over a year and a half, it’s starting to sink in.  I see this dicho lived out by the ladies sitting outside in their rocking chairs, chatting with neighbors and passersby; school ending an hour early so the teachers can attend a vigil for a beloved community member; or walking an 11-hour pilgrimage instead of taking the 90 minute ride in the back of a truck.  Although life may be short, that doesn’t mean we have to meticulously schedule every second in an inflexible quest to cross off tasks from ever expanding to-do lists.  Instead, take time for what matters most, even if that means what you had scheduled for today doesn’t get done until tomorrow.


Mid-Service Training


This past week we spent in Managua at our Mid-Service Training, the last official TEFL training we’ll receive as PCVs. Even though we were sad to have to say goodbye to Mamma and Pappa Nilsen (they headed home on Tuesday), we had the pleasure of spending this training with Ana Cecilia and Mariela, two of our amazing counterparts.  Ana Cecilia and Emily even lead one of the trainings for our group!

The second half of the week our counterparts headed home and we were joined by the new TEFL 66 volunteers for some more trainings, a talent show, good food, and even more good times.  We left ready to take on the challenges and celebrate the successes of the new school year that’s right around the corner.  Here we come 2016!

ACCESS Camp 2016


“The small things can change the world.  Be part of it.  Access changed our lives and gave us the opportunity to learn. What is Access?  Friends, Fun, Amazing, Fantastic, Change in our lives, Incredible, and Pride.” – ACCESS Camp 2016 students

This past week, we had the privilege of being Coordinators for the 6th annual ACCESS Camp for 300 Nicaraguan students studying English all over the country.   We were counselors last year and loved the chance to spend time again with some of the most incredible, bright, and motivated students in the country.

A huge thank you to the camp counselors (TEFL Volunteers and Nicaraguan English teachers) as well as the rest of our coordinating team.  To see more pictures and videos of the week head to the ACCESS Program Facebook page.