Thanks to the Multnomah County Library (and our impending end of service language evaluation), we’ve started a new tradition: reading aloud in Spanish. It’s the perfect thing to pass the time while one of us (Andrew) is cooking, and or the other (Emily) is doing dishes. We can already tell our pronunciation is improving!
Throughout our time in Peace Corps Nicaragua, we’ve learned that there are varying degrees of having and not having Internet. Despite how it may appear, it’s not a yes or no kind of problem. There’s Internet that is just good enough for Facebook and e-mail, but won’t load videos or images. Then there’s Internet that’s fast enough for video chatting like Skype or Google Hangouts. And when it’s really bad, and you can’t get anything to load, if you have just a peep of Internet you can play the Chrome dinosaur jumping game while you wait. What’s your highest score? Did you even know this game exists?
How many does the express bus seat? Depends if you’re counting just the seats, or also counting the plastic stools placed along the entire aisle and floor space in the back and front of the bus.
On Thanksgiving Day 2016, a Category 2 hurricane came ashore along the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border. This historic storm forced Peace Corps Nicaragua to consolidate all of our volunteers in Managua, as they take our safety very seriously. Luckily, for us, it went farther south. And since we were already in Managua, we were all able to attend a nice Thanksgiving meal at the home of an embassy or Peace Corps staff member. For the third year in a row, we were blessed to attend the home of our second-in-command and chef extroidonaire, Miguel Lindhout. We stuffed ourselves silly and felt at home. Hopefully it will be our one and only Thanksgiving during a hurricane. One is enough for our lifetimes.
I had the pleasure of giving a charla (workshop) a few weeks ago with one of my counterparts to the new group of Peace Corps Trainees and their new counterparts they’d just met. The charla was about how we can work together as Native English Speaking Teachers (NESTS) and Non-Native English Speaking Teachers (NNESTS) to both be better teachers. Peace Corps LOVES acronyms…can you tell? haha!
At one point during the session, Ana Cecilia and I were to share our prepared remarks about what we’ve learned from each other these past two years and how working together has made us better teachers. We practiced and had it all planned out…..until we both broke down crying trying to share in front of close to 60 people. It was embarrassing. It was heart-warming.
I’m not ready to say goodbye yet…and that hit me hard in the middle of this session. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to get to work with amazing teachers like Ana Cecilia, and feel beyond honored to have her say that I have forever changed her teaching and her life for the better.