Tag Archives: Together

Firmas Galore


Every semester we write reports in Spanish to summarize all of our work: with counterparts in the schools, coordinating STEP, staffing camps, and more.  We compile it with the beautiful firmas of our counterparts and MINED representatives.  A few even have their own seals to make it super official.


Familia sin fronteras


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


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.

5 Tuani Years

Today marks 5 incredible years of marriage.  We feel so lucky to be serving in the Peace Corps with our life partner and still think Two is Twice as Tuani.  May the next 5 years bring us even more wonder, growth, understanding, and adventure.

May We Aprovechar Peace Corps

In May 2014, we used the ideas of May Day to start a new tradition in our family: setting intentions for the following year together. Just as May Day has been a celebration of spring and new life growing, we wanted to plant the seeds of our intentions with the hope that they would grow over the year to come. And grow they did!

In May 2015, we began reflecting on those intentions, taking a deeper look at our journey into the Peace Corps, Pre-Service Training, our first few months at site and into our first year.  It took a bit longer than we anticipated to reflect on those first five intentions, and we set our “May Day Intentions” a little late (in August) last year.  We chose to focus them on the rest of our Peace Corps service.

Thus, to celebrate May Day this year, we are echoing these intentions and for duration of our time left in Peace Corps Nicaragua:

May we seek to empower others so that our service means more than 27 months.

May we continue to set healthy expectations for ourselves.

May we embrace the present as our time here is limited.

May we be as intentional in our relationships as we are in our to do lists.

May we realize that our Peace Corps Experience is what we make of it.

We’d love to hear from you, too.  What intentions do you have (or want to set) for yourself?

From the Eyes of the Old Tiger

This is a guest post by Andrew’s father, Erik, from when he visited us in January 2016.

In his January Dicho Blog entry Andrew shared with us:

Hijo de tigre nace rayado – The son of the tiger is born striped.

In his comments he mentioned the joy of seeing their service through the new eyes of Carla and I as they introduced us to the natural beauty of Nica and the wonderful human nature of the Pinoleros whom have taken them in as family and friends. I want to share the viewpoint from the eyes of this old tiger as I reflect on our experience. Continue reading From the Eyes of the Old Tiger

2015 Seasons Greetings

2015 Christmas Card

Dearest friends and family,

If 2014 will be remembered as a year of adventure for joining the Peace Corps, 2015 will be remembered in our family as a year of anything and everything Nicaragua. We spent the entire year living abroad, working with teachers and community members, learning a new language and new ways of living, as well as trying to build bridges between our cultures.

As the year comes to a close, we enjoy looking back at how far we’ve come. A year ago, everything was new, strange, and well….foreign. Over the year, though, things changed. Andrew likes to say we are Gringo Pinoleros – a combination of our identity with a Nicaraguan national saying of pride. Every day it’s a bit more true. We’ve mastered some slang, set intentions and lived into them, accomplished some incredible feats, and made great friends in our PCV and Nicaraguan communities.

Slowly but surely, Nicaragua has become one of our homes and part of our hearts.

We continue to be thankful for the love and support of all of you. We are proud of the work we are doing here and know that on some level it is making a difference. It is still an honor to be serving our country and soaking up all the lessons this adventure has to offer. Thank you for reading the stories on our blog, for Skype, Facetime, and Facebook chats and messages, and for the hand-written cards and packages. Know we miss you but feel your support from afar.

May your holiday season be filled with love and light. May you embrace the adventures and life lessons that surround you as we try to do the same here.

Feliz navidad y prospero año nuevo.

Emily and Andrew