The Things We Carry With Us

Even before starting the Peace Corps, I had one thing clear in my mind: the biggest benefit of the Peace Corps isn’t necessarily what we do abroad, but rather who we are when… Continue reading


For Valentine’s Day, I designed a lesson called ‘How to date a gringo/a,’ a hot topic with my adolescent students in a tourist trap city. They listen rapt as young men and women… Continue reading

Ode to Bici

I am back in the sultry heat of the Caribbean coast, teaching English in a public school for a few months before I start grad school in the fall (fall? What is that?).… Continue reading

Rain: A Reflection

The rain makes itself felt in Cartagena. The humidity rises in a stifling crescendo that breaks with the violent staccato of lightning and boom of thunder before mellowing into a brief after-storm spell… Continue reading

Fresh Start

My students graduated a few weeks ago from the Adolescent Mothers program at JuanFe, after six months of intensive personal and professional growth classes.   Seeing those girls walk across the stage, confident… Continue reading

Gringos Can Dance, and this Video Proves It!

The stereotype is true: Colombians love to dance. Or at least the ones on the coast do. The musica de moda here is champeta, adapted from its African roots into a catchy, hip-writhing,… Continue reading

A Tale of Two Women

A few weeks after starting work at JuanFe, I accompanied one of the social workers on a home visit. We were going to a few houses close by, in the same neighborhood as… Continue reading

Falling Down Memory Lane

Last weekend I took a break from the heat and went to visit my friend Sophie in Bogotá. Sophie lived about forty-five minutes away from me in Uganda, and we worked together on… Continue reading

A Week in Conversations; AKA, the Week I Fell in Love

MONDAY After my most challenging group of teenaged mothers gave me a quiet, productive class as an unsuspecting 6-months-in-Colombia gift, one of them decided to braid a flower into my hair before going… Continue reading

Adventures in Nuance

During the Cartagena International Film Festival in February, I sat through a Colombian-made film about the armed takeover of the courts in Bogotá in 1985. It had the worst English subtitles I have… Continue reading

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