Back from family vacation and starting to gear up

Sunset over the lagoon

This past week I was camping with my family and friends on Madeline Island in Northern Wisconsin. We had a wonderful time, as we have for the past 18 years that we’ve gone there. Now that I’m back in Northfield it’s down to just three weeks and a couple of days until I fly out to Washington DC and then Nicaragua for my PC training. I’m trying to prepare by reading a couple of books about Nicaragua and about teaching English, but since discovering other PC volunteer blogs from Nicaragua I have been devouring them as well. I’m starting to think seriously about what I will need to pack, and trying to mentally prepare myself for the challenges that lie ahead. I’m nervous about:

working with teachers who have been teaching much longer than I have, the punishing tropical climate, the abundance of parasites and bacteria, the bugs, access to water and communication, and fitting in with my host family.

I’m excited about:

meeting people in the community where I am placed, taking Spanish classes and speaking all the time, seeing volcanoes, bonding with my host family, meeting other PCVs, settling in and starting to accomplish things (no matter how small), reading and learning a lot.

As I’m reading other PCV blogs, I realize that others may soon look to my blog to see how my experience was, so I am going to try to be more descriptive about the process, the challenges, the rewards, and my thoughts and emotions throughout. As a bit of background, I applied in early 2009, was nominated, and then injured myself that spring. I was deferred for a year until I could show that I was well, then in June of 2010 I was re-assigned to the Nicaragua TEFL program. It has been a long wait for me, but finally it is happening and I’m thrilled to be going on August 31st.

The closer the leave date becomes, the more bittersweet everything seems and the larger the lump in my throat gets. It will be simultaneously enthralling and crushing to leave my loved ones, but I know that after the painful goodbyes we will remain close and the adventures and challenges in Nicaragua will fill me with the energy that I will need to make the most of my time there.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Debra Lawsing on August 8, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Maybe we can trade techniques and strategies for teaching 2nd language learners. I know you’ll be great because you always put your best into everything you do.


    • Thanks, Deb! I’d love to email or chat about teaching strategies, especially when I’m down there in the thick of it. I could use all the help I can get! When were you in Cuba with the PCVs?


  2. Posted by Katie on August 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    this website is so great and your eyes are so beautiful. chris and i miss you already and will be thinking about you often. love you. can’t wait to hear all about it. you’re going to be such a huge influence to so many people! xoxo


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