“In Mongolia, you might live in a ger; in Swaziland, it could be a rondavel. Just as each Volunteer experience is different, so is each house.” (read more)
Emily / Nica 64 / TEFL
“As countries around the world seek to advance and connect, Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) of the 21st century have access to technology than their predecessors never dreamed of.
But with the power of access comes great responsibility; the Peace Corps blog was born. Volunteers often start blogging strong. Their excitement fuels updates, committing cultural faux pas provide easy and hilarious content, and everything seems so new… for a while.
Then an incredible transition happens. Through integration, gaining cultural understanding and the simple passing of time, a PCV’s host country becomes a little more like home. Volunteers might say later that this is when they really started to feel like they hit their stride, but it is also often where their blogging faded away. It doesn’t have to be though.” (read more)
Conor / Nica 64 / TEFL
“The most obvious way to engage with the world through Peace Corps is to serve as a Volunteer.
It’s an opportunity to delve deeper into a foreign culture than you would be able to otherwise, even as a budget-conscious traveler, an international NGO worker or a foreign service officer. Volunteers go to some of the furthest corners of the globe to serve their country.
But even if you aren’t ready to spend 27 months in a foreign country where you may or may not have access to running water, much less wireless Internet, there are still lots of ways to help the overall objectives of the Peace Corps by staying informed, donating to projects helping more girls get an education or leading a presentation in your local community.” (read more)
Conor / Nica 64 / TEFL
“Millennials – that tech-savvy, selfie-taking, debt-ridden cohort born between 1980 and the mid-2000s – are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Welcome.
Despite all the negative things that have been said about us – we’re narcissistic, spoiled and entitled – a consensus is now growing that recognizes us as a hard-working generation that wants to make a positive social impact” (read more)
Andrew and Emily / Nica 64 / TEFL
“So what did you think about our last class?”
“It was OK. I really liked the Walk-to-the-line activity, but I don’t know if they completely understand possessive adjectives.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Every time we gave an example with a possessive, they seemed to wait for one student to move, and then they followed. I think they were just mimicking him.”
“Good observation. What can we do about that? Do you want to re-teach the material, or try a different assessment to see where individual students are?”
“I would like to do a review of the material. But how?”
“Well, let’s look for some ideas here in the TEFL Manual. What do you think about this one?”
Almost every co-planning session we have with one of our counterparts begins with some variation of this conversation. Looking back on the first half of our service, we recognize that it’s conversations like these that are the heart of the TEFL program in Nicaragua.
Samantha / Peace Corps Stories
Oh Nicaragua, Nicaraguita
That girl at the bar said you have no culture
But I know
Culture is not something can see in colorful cloth or folk dances
But something you taste, like the dust that lines your mouth in April before the rains start
Like the ash baked into tortillas
And those small strawberries that come down from the mountain once a year
And culture is something you smell
Like the elote blackening in the street
The red and black paint drying on telephone poles
And the trash burning outside
It’s something you hear
Like the cars with the speakers tied on top, announcing a funeral
The sound of a plump mango falling from the tree
And every adios as you walk by
It’s something you feel
Like the warm hand of a stranger, inviting you in
The bumps on the road, as you pass by the mountains
And the ache of your heart, once you’ve left
Peace Corps held a poetry contest in 2015 that received more than 800 submissions from Volunteers in the field and returned Volunteers. Samantha Austin’s poem received the runner-up prize in the returned Peace Corps Volunteer Category. Austin was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua from 2010-12.
*Originally published on http://www.peacecorps.gov
Emily and Andrew / Nica 64 / TEFL
“Like any applicant and wannabe 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: information about serving as a couple.” (read more)
Emily / Nica 64 / TEFL
In December of 2015, a crew of PCVs and Nicaraguan students held a community event, raised over $5,000 and donated a lot of hair. This is part of that story.
“This December, my husband and I will have a lot less hair on our heads.
I’ve donated my hair twice before. I tend to like long hair, and used to be rather attached to it. My junior year of college I decided I wanted to know I could feel pretty without super long hair. I cut it short and loved it!
This time though, it’s a little different. Short will not suffice.” (read more)
Kim / Nica 64 / TEFL
Before coming to Nicaragua to serve in the Peace Corps, I imagined that it would be similar to my study abroad experience in Ecuador: teaching English, speaking Spanish and indubitably changing lives. But I did not expect that the life that would change the most was my own. (read more on peacecorps.gov)