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….

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…

My Cusco Top 10

Happy New Year, Everyone! The end of December and the beginning of January were a complete blur and have been super busy. I was fortunate enough to get to take a vacation with my family over the holidays and it was a trip of a lifetime. Having my mom, sister, and brother in one place…

A Visit with Carrie Hessler-Radelet

The Peace Corps has been full of unexpected and humbling experiences. Daily, I have to pinch myself to remind myself that this is my life. I’m living in Perú. In fact, right now, I’m writing this blog post while sitting outside and watching the most incredible bright orange sun fade into dark blue wisps of clouds…