My Life Lately

My life lately has been really busy in a good way. This second year has felt a world apart from my first year. I know my community and am known here. I have great relationships with my counterparts and I am putting into practice many of the ideas that I had over the course of the last year. I know what to expect in my schools and I’m a much better teacher than I was at the start. I have a better sense of the needs in the community AND where I can be most productive and helpful. All that and I’m exercising more frequently, I have good friendships with locals and volunteers, and I continue to read and keep intellectually engaged through podcasts and the news. Surprisingly, as my work and volunteer lives improve, I think this second year is going to be more difficult for Amanda and I. I know we just finished posting about our successful long-distance Peace Corps relationship, but then both of us realized that the post came at a time when we’re feeling the strain most acutely. It’s hard that I’m getting more and more busy and the things we used to share have become more routine and less exciting. Without exciting things to share and find in common it is more difficult to feel connected in the ways that we want to. We’ll have to keep looking for other connections to keep things interesting. It should help that I’ll be visiting home to see my brother graduate from college in June and I’ll see her too.

So far this year my highlights have been a three-day training event with my fellow volunteers and our counterparts in a beautiful cloud forest resort, a youth leadership camp for 15-20 year-olds(same as last year), a waterfall hike, a half-marathon in cool and mountainous Jinotega(four minutes faster compared to last year), a three-day meeting to put together the new issue of a volunteer-run magazine I’m involved with, a huge One Laptop Per Child Event, and a second trek up Concepción volcano(here was my first). Some new blog posts are coming about some of these events.

My main projects at the moment are working with my counterpart teachers and trying new strategies, helping start up a local Spanish teacher cooperative so that tourists can get lessons and community members can have jobs, helping develop the class schedule and discipline system in the high school, giving trainings and developing a system to use the computer lab in the high school, and teaching community classes three nights per week. It’s challenging work, but I continue to learn a lot and I’m reaching a turning point where I feel competent in what I’m doing and that gives me even more energy and motivation to do a better job, creating a positive feedback loop. It’s exciting and exhausting and I’m looking forward to both each new day and early April when we have vacation during holy week.

Two of my three counterparts at our one-year training event in January

Group of youth at the Peace Corps leadership camp

Hike with friends to a nearby waterfall.

Faking our finish for the cameras after having completed the Jinotega 21k and 10k races.

The One Laptop Per Child initiative is here on Ometepe and gave 5000 laptops to all the elementary school children on the island a couple of weeks ago.

Ruth, Heyling, and me at the top of concepción volcano.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Dad on March 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    And, what a beautiful life it is! And full!! And busy. I look forward to April’s break on your behalf, too. REALLY hoping it works out for both your bros to come see you in Nica. Love, Mom
    P.S. You and Amanda are amazingly creative sensitive people with incredible internal resources and resilience — you’ll work through the tough times to be where you need to be. Not to say it isn’t tough…

    Reply

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