Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Nursing, Rock, and Roll in Paraguay

Guapo: def. Forget what you thought is meant. It means hard working. Not that you're hot. Weird, I know.
Charla: def. Forget that you thought it meant to chat. It's an instructional seminar. Weird, I know.

There are many different types of volunteers. Some volunteers are really involved with youth, others prefer an older demographic, some like to focus on national initiatives, and some just lock themselves in their house for two years and wait it out. Then there are those super guapo volunteers who give a charla or teach a class like every freaking day.

I am not a charla giving volunteer. While I have taught a variety of classes, I don't often find myself in front of a classroom. It's just not my thing. There are volunteers who jump into a classroom and light it up. They are captivating, and impressive. You can tell that they know what they are doing, while I just shuffle around awkwardly until my allotted time is up. I have good intentions. My results just seem to always fall a little short of inspiring.

Now, forget everything I just said, because I gave an awesome charla yesterday. To be fair, the awesomeness had very little to do with me, but rather a girl in sitting in the back of the room, who made my day.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

FRANKEN STORM!!!!: 5 Peace Corps tips for when the power goes out

In Peace Corps we like to call days with power outages, Tuesday.

Living without power ain't so bad. It's the cruel irony of the water going out every time it rains, that really kills. But for all of you in America who are freaking out about Frankenstorm and potentially being without power or roads for a few days here's a few tips from a pro:

1) It's not that bad.
       You complain about going to work all the time. Take the time, enjoy your day off. I highly recommend you don't VPN into your work email. You are conserving the battery life on lap top for more important things.

2) Stock up on candles but be careful, they will set your clothes on fire that are hanging from the same bed post you just placed that candle. (True story.) No candle stick? Just melt a few drops on to the surface you want the candle to stick and then place candle on top of wet wax.

3) If the power goes out and the fridge doesn't work, no worries. Eggs don't need to be refrigerated anyways. Promise.

4) If you can't drive on the roads and are stuck inside your house do your best to not go stir crazy. I like to do chores super inefficiently walking from one room to another. It makes time go faster and I feel like I went somewhere.

5) Do not write snarky blog posts about how living with out power is no big deal. Karma is swift and just, and your power will also go out in the middle of writing tip number four. I can't make this shit up!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zumba is Friggin' Hard: My exercise class

So a couple weeks ago a talk about what's wrong with health and fitness, here is where I talk about what's right.

While it is called a secondary project because it doesn't relate directly to my sector of work, one of the biggest and most important projects I've done is Paraguay is lead a group of women in a 30 min to an hour long work out class twice a week.

I was handed this class by the volunteer who came before me. She started this class, and asked for the next volunteer to continue. While never explicitly admitted I'm pretty certain that's a huge reason I was placed in this site. I'm sure glad they did.

Those who know me, know just how lacking I am when it comes to grace, and rhythm  I am super amped that I live in a time when jumping up and down fist pumping on a dance floor now counts as dancing. Anything else is pretty much over my head. But here I am teaching Zumba, and loving every minute of it.

Not since my debut in the Sunshine Dancing Kids in 2nd grade have I enjoyed choreographed dance so much. My group and I laugh and sweat our way through jumps, salsa steps and booty shakes. Most of the women there do have weight loss goals, and I imagine that some of them are at risk for obesity related diseases, but the goal of the group is not weight loss. The goal of the group is have fun, push our limits, and make fun of me in Guarani.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Laid back sippin on Terrere: tutorial number 2

Last summer I wrote, produced and starred in my own video about Terrere. That video, if I must say, was a gem. While I am still waiting to hear back from the Travel Channel about a possible pilot, it makes me glad to know that you all have been educated about Terrere. However, I think my solo video lacked a little of the essence of Terrere that is hard to communicate through words alone. So in order to fill that gap I give you Mike Nixon, fellow PCV and full time gangster.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

LAY OFF ME I'M STARVING: Making sense of my role as a "Health Professional"

This post is a little about Paraguay, but not entirely. It's about more than Paraguay and in some ways less. It's about something every person does on a daily basis, one of the most intimate of acts. Sitting down and eating a meal.
Tastes so good.

Monday, October 1, 2012

This is what happens when...

This is what happens when you run for a long time on a red dirt road.

Did my own pedicure. 

That's not a tan line. Just straight up tierra colorada.