Good morning all! As I write this the rain has been picking up speed and we can feel a slight chill in the air. The sound and the cold make it a perfect time to share a mate with the family. And if you know mate, then you might be able to guess that I’m writing to you from Monte Caseros, Argentina.
Our post Peace Corps travels so far have been amazing! We’ve shared, eaten, explored, questioned, and lived as deep into the experience of each day as we could. And because of this (and not knowing when we would next have consistent Internet) we’ve been a bit absent on here.
This blog was such an important part of our Peace Corps experience and we want to keep it alive. But, as we rang the bell on March 1st, it cannot exist as it did and needs to change along with us as we transition out of Peace Corps and on to our next phases of life.
One change we are making is to our domain name – to the link you use to find us. We never loved the .org at the end of our url, but it was all that was available at the time. This post is to inform you of three main things:
- Starting tomorrow, April 9th, the URL of this blog will change from http://www.maywesuggest.org to http://www.maywesuggest.blog – check your settings to make sure you’re still following us!
- It may take us a couple more weeks/months to figure out exactly how we want to transition this blog. In the near future, we’re hoping to write more detailed posts about our travels, about our transition out of Peace Corps, and out transition back to the United States.
- We are still alive! If you want to follow our travels more instantly, check out our May We Suggest Facebook page and the album titled “Post Peace Corps Travels” or my Instagram @eallennilsen with the hastag #postpctravels.
We feel so thankful for the opportunity to connect with friends and family during our travels and this transition. Adventure is out there. And we’re finding it.
Miss Part 1? Find it here.
Coming from a profession that also has a high level of burnout (teaching), I think it’s important to be aware of the difficulties life-encompassing work like Peace Corps can bring. When you care so much, how can you not give your all until there is nothing more to give? Instead of pretending it doesn’t exist, the more we can acknowledge and affirm each other’s struggles, the more supported we will feel. From this place of affirmation, we can then look towards steps to counter burnout, and re-embrace our passion for life-changing work.
Here are some steps that I am taking to help combat my burnout and to ensure that I am still able to give my best during our 4-month extension as well. I invite PCVs (and even those in other high burnout professions) to join me and give one or two of them a try:
Remind yourself of why you made the 27-month commitment.
Continue reading Combating Late-Service Burnout (Part 2)
Being a Peace Corps Volunteer demands your full attention, resources, and effort. You left your friends and family to move to an unknown land to work with unknown people. The lessons to learn and the family to gain continue to make it the “toughest job you’ll ever love.” But let’s be honest – toughest is also a part of that description. Sometimes, it’s a completely draining job. Unlike many 9 to 5 state-side positions, at the end of the day, you don’t get to leave your work at the office. In fact, you probably don’t even have an office outside of the room you’re renting from your host family.
As I sweep the puddles of water out of my house after it runs down the stairs and floods in the rain, I can’t help but remember the warmth that is to curl up by a fireplace. As we check for rocks and bugs in our rice, I can’t help but remember a clean pantry where animals and bugs didn’t run the show. When I stand on a crowded bus for 4.5 hours to ride from Managua to my site, I can’t help but remember that I used to own a car and drove to work in style. When mosquitoes make people sick and the regular fumigations worsen my asthma, I can’t help but long to be out of the tropical zone of strange diseases and not have to worry about our health.
This far into service, some of those US memories start to be idolized. The States becomes a land of dreams and hope and cleanliness and prosperity. It’s easy to forget the struggles that also exist there and that nowhere is a perfect paradise. Continue reading Combating Late-Service Burnout (Part 1)
A year ago today on my 27th birthday, I had a desire to live more wholeheartedly. Every month we selected one of Brené Brown‘s Guideposts for Wholehearted Living as a lens through which to see our adventures and encounters here in Peace Corps Nicaragua. I centered myself in what our blog is all about: embracing that life is beautiful, hard, and worth living, that love and light are actually all around, that this moment, whoever and wherever you are in life, is the best part of your life.
Living into these Guideposts was rarely easy. They always sounded so pretty, so simple. Forget about what others think? Awesome! Cultivate authenticity, creativity, or laughter? Sign me up! But when it came down to it, to actually walk the walk was more challenging than I anticipated. Continue reading Wholehearted Living – The Journey in Review
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.