An Open Letter to Gisele

Dear Gisele, I am writing you because you have grown to be my best friend during my time in Chacas, but I know you will not remember me. When I leave, you will be just 2 and a half years old and the only thing that will be left of me is the puppy beanie…

Iquitos: La Maravilla Que Conquistó Mi Corazón

I have been struggling to find ways to begin this blog post because it is so hard to put into words how incredible my vacation to Iquitos was. It was a trip where I was forced to turn off my cell phone for 5 whole days due to limited signal and electricity and just experience…

The Mid-Service Slump

Today marks my one year anniversary of living in beautiful Chacas, Ancash! This means that I have exactly one year to go on this Peace Corps journey! Leading up to this day, I have done a ton of reflection about my first year and what I feel proud of in my service and what things…

The Unintentional Consequences of Development

After serving my town for just one year, I cannot pretend to be an expert on development or foreign aid programs. I live in a town that got electricity 15 years ago, a road 3 years ago, and Internet just a month ago. Life is changing rapidly for the people of my town, almost exclusively…

A Week in the Life

Many people ask me what it is I actually do day to day while serving in Peace Corps as a Community Economic Development volunteer, and now that I am settled into my site, I have a pretty regular schedule. Here is a breakdown of a normal day for me in Chacas: Sunday 8:30 AM –…

A Taste of Earth

One of the hardest parts about being away from my home and family is missing holidays and special occasions. Last year, Thanksgiving went ignored, Christmas was barely celebrated, and holidays like Memorial Day were completely forgotten. However, a wonderful part of living in Peru is that every other week there seems to be something to celebrate….

Mother’s Day Edition

Happy Mother’s Day, Moms! In honor of this day, I want to take a moment to recognize all of the motherly love I am blessed with in my life. I have always been surrounded by strong and supportive women. My dad passed away when I was just 10 years old and my mom was left…

Mater Elevations

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: food is love. I believe the best way to start to understand a new culture is to try all of the local foods and experience the biodiversity through the combination of rare and exotic flavors. This may be why I have dedicated quite a bit of…

A Year in Perú

I arrived in Perú April 28, 2016 and here I am April 28, 2017! A large reason I wanted to join the Peace Corps was to learn about myself and life through an experience of independence. I wanted to be around people who live and think differently than I do so that I could gain…

Lessons from Summer School

Teaching summer school, known as Vacaciones Útiles, is my favorite project that I have tackled, so far. In site, I am definitely most happy when I am working, and vacaciones útiles filled my February with 98 kids with amazingly unique personalities from all over the province of Asunción, Ancash.  That means I got 98+ hugs a…

State of Emergency

All over the world, there have been news broadcasts showing the horrible flooding and landslides that have officially put Perú in a state of emergency. More than 70 lives have been claimed, hundreds are left missing, and over 100,000 people are now without homes. The situation is devastating to say the least, and I am…

When Culture Requires that You Cut Down a Tree

Carnaval is upon us! In Ancash, this is the time for dodging flour bombs and dancing to the constant beat of the Huayno drums. Sheer happiness clouds the air as people dance and laugh and drink to celebrate this time. Everywhere celebrates Carnaval slightly differently, but this year, I spent the celebration in one of…