Va Pue Magazine

Peace Corps Nicaragua stories of service.


Exit Interviews

11 Sunrises Worth Waking Up For

Peace Corps Stories

“Whether you’re a Volunteer in Costa Rica or Cameroon, Jamaica or Georgia, Tonga or Togo, there is one constant of Peace Corps service: you’re going to see some pretty awesome sunrises.” (read see more)

Exit Interview: Robert, ENV 64


Robert F. Brown (formerly Maria)

Site and Sector:

San Nicolás, Estelí. ENV64

Project assignment:

Community-based Environmental Education

Project reality:

Elementary Science and OTV Teacher and Town Environmental Consultant Continue reading “Exit Interview: Robert, ENV 64”

Exit Interview, Amanda, ENV 64


Amanda Fisher

Site and Sector:

El Valle de La Laguna, Masaya. Environment 64

Project assignment:

Environmental Education Promoter

Project reality:

Primary school science teacher, garden and compost engineer, papelografo artista.

Did you have an apodo during service?


Most and/or least useful thing/experience brought into country:

My own sheets. Even brought 2 sets, super useful because Nica host family sheets were scratchy and elastic was always shot so never stayed on mattress. I usually got 9-12 hours of sleep in site every night so they were definitely put to good use!  Other most useful thing, EARPLUGS. Least useful: Watertight bag. Never used it and the one chance I could’ve used it (tour of Somoto Cannon, lots of swimming) I didn’t bring it with me!

What do you wish you had done here?

More sports related stuff in site.  It’s what I’m good at and what I love to do but I let the lack of materials and hilly terrain prevented me from getting something started. Wish I could’ve been a part of a committee, maybe would’ve had the chance to be a part of the camps and teach Nica kids the importance and values of being part of a team.

Most creative way you killed time in your site:

Working out with Shaun T videos, he saved me.

What books/podcasts/shows/movies did you get hooked on during your service that you would like to recommend to other volunteers?

Favorite podcast I discovered was The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson.

Most Nicaraguan habit you’ll take home with you:

Lip pointing and nose scrunching.

What will you miss six months from now?

My PC friends, host family, Laguna de Apoyo, Crossfit in Managua.

What will you not miss six months from now?

Having to use public transportation, latrina life, piropos from gross/disrespectful men in public.

How have you changed during your service?

I went from valuing my independence and free bird lifestyle to really longing for a husband and family of my own. “Settling down in Delaware” used to scare me but now I know I am ready to do just that. Living in a culture that truly values family definitely influenced and inspired this change.

Did you ever want to ET?

Every other day but my friends and family kept me going. I’m no quitter.

Big plans for your readjustment allowance?

Pay off credit card debt that I accrued while in PeaceCorps, car maintenance stuff, pretty new clothes 🙂

What’s next?

Coaching college field hockey, part time work as a teacher at an early learning center, find a husband and live happily ever after.

Final words of advice:

No matter how tough things may be… have faith in yourself and others, laugh A LOT, take care of your body and mind, spend time with the people who make you happy, and last but not least: work hard but play harder.

Exit Interview: Sam, ENV 64


Sam Connor

Site and Sector:

Env, Diriá

Project assignment:

First, co-teach and plan with primary school teachers.  Second, implement community environmental projects.

Project reality: Continue reading “Exit Interview: Sam, ENV 64”

Exit Interview: Lindsay, ENV 64


Lindsay Ellingson

Site and Sector:

Balgue, Ometepe. ENV64

Project assignment:

Environmental education

Project reality:

Just plain old education Continue reading “Exit Interview: Lindsay, ENV 64”

Exit Interview: Robin, TEFL 64


Robin Swanhuyser

Site and Sector:

Nindirí, Masaya. TEFL

Project assignment:

TEFL Teacher Trainer

Did you have an apodo during service?

Robin Hood.  Continue reading “Exit Interview: Robin, TEFL 64”

Exit Interview: Michelle, ENV 64


Michelle Zaragoza

Site and Sector

Juigalpa, Chontales. Environment 64

Project assignment

Primary environmental educator

Project reality

Taking hours creating the perfect materials for classes that NEVER happen while eating WAY TOO many tajadas. Continue reading “Exit Interview: Michelle, ENV 64”

Nica 64 Exit Interviews

The time for Nica 64’s official COS has arrived. Over the next few weeks, we will share some of their final thoughts and words of wisdom here on the blog in the form of VaPué Exit Interviews.

Are you an RPCV in Nica 64 (or an older generation) but didn’t get to respond to the Exit Interview Qs? Never fear, the questions are here: Continue reading “Nica 64 Exit Interviews”

Exit Interview: Eric, SBD 63


Eric Insler

Did you have an apodo during service:


Site and Sector:

León, SBD 63.

Project assignment:

Coaching entrepreneurship teachers; advising small business owners. Continue reading “Exit Interview: Eric, SBD 63”

Exit Interview: Ilana, HE 61


Ilana Hipshman

Did you have an apodo during service?

ili, ila, ilanisima, (ilanita to my host father only)

Site and Sector:

Health sector. 2 years in Rancho Grande, Matagalpa, and a third year in the city of Matagalpa.

Project assignment: 

a. Sustainable public health education and promotion
b. Cultural exchange

Project reality:

a. Survival
b. Cultural exchange
c. Sustainable public health education and promotion Continue reading “Exit Interview: Ilana, HE 61”

Exit Interview: Kelsey, HE 63


Kelsey Guziak

Site and Sector:

Health 63, Terrabona, Matagalpa

Project assignment:

Teach sexual and reproductive health to teens and mothers, and promote breastfeeding and healthy eating habits at the Casa Materna Continue reading “Exit Interview: Kelsey, HE 63”

Nica 63 Exit Interviews

Nica 63 COSed in May 2016. Over the next few weeks, we will share some of their final thoughts and words of wisdom here on the blog in the form of VaPué Exit Interviews.

Are you an RPCV in Nica 63 (or an older generation) but didn’t get to respond to the Exit Interview Qs? Never fear, the questions are here: Continue reading “Nica 63 Exit Interviews”

Blog at

Up ↑