Pueblo Bus

Eric Brown is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. dogs barking sweat beading vallenato blaring bus speeding traffic inching roads curving motos zipping drivers swerving halt, go stop, start whiplashed neck pounding heart fingers tapping WhatsApp dinging vendors selling musicians singing purses clutched boxes piled clothes adjusted … Continue reading Pueblo Bus

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The Bus

Kaleb Rogers is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. A lot of Peace Corps volunteers savor going to the head office in Barranquilla. They savor the opportunity to spend a night out of site. They savor (literally) the chance to eat non-pueblo food. They savor seeing friends, being … Continue reading The Bus

Dead Mouse Fan

Jane Haines is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. It's two o’clock in the morning when a loud clanging jerks me awake. Robbery? No, my neighborhood is safe; the noise came from inside my room. Did something fall? I turn on my light to see everything in place, … Continue reading Dead Mouse Fan

Felicidad

Claire Nutter is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. Happy moments during service with the Peace Corps can be like rain during the dry season here on the coast of Colombia: desperately needed and can sometimes not happen for weeks on end. I’ll be honest, I was … Continue reading Felicidad

The Normal

Andrew Torro is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. Throughout the first 10 months of my service, I have have been working alongside the administration of Escuela Normal Superior de Manatí. Throughout my time there, I have been getting to know my counterparts better as well as … Continue reading The Normal

Screams Internally

Kellie Mahoney is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia - When I applied for the Peace Corps I knew that it entailed future failures. Whether I liked it or not, it would  happen. I knew that I would be stressed, have my patience tested, face work challenges, … Continue reading Screams Internally

What is Weak?

Kaleb Rogers is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia - It’s October 25th, 2017. I’m sitting in a rare oasis of air conditioning in the coordinators’ office at my local high school, excited to co-plan a new entrepreneurship curriculum. It’s tightly packed, maybe 60 square ft. The two … Continue reading What is Weak?

Lentils with Chicken

Thomas Russell is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia - This is what kept me going in my first few months at site. Schedules change, counterparts change, space and time actually changes, but these lentils stay the same. They’re perfectly good without the meat; in fact, that … Continue reading Lentils with Chicken

Committing to Failure

Jane Haines is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia - At the end of September, 2018, a new group of community economic development trainees reached the end of their training period. Language? Check. Practicum project? Check. Site visits? Check. One million tiny Styrofoam cups of coffee? Check. Check. … Continue reading Committing to Failure

I’m Going Through Some Changes

Kaleb Rogers is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in Atlántico, Colombia. -   I’m sitting on the bus with my headphones in, pushing just enough air past my vocal chords to feel the sensation of singing without actually producing words. It’s not that it matters; nobody on this ostentatiously decorated death machine would … Continue reading I’m Going Through Some Changes

Woven Words

Yosili Amador is a Practical English for Success (PES) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. - Ay mi Colombia hermosa! Mi dulce pesadilla. Every day te vivo pero sometimes your heat, la soledad, and the abundance of “cojela suave,” drive me a little bit to the edge. Es que sometimes I don’t know what … Continue reading Woven Words

Thyme and Again

Belen Castillo is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in a pueblo in Atlántico, Colombia. - When I first started looking at different Peace Corps posts, I definitely did some eliminating based on whether I thought I would like the traditional food in that country. I am an adventurous person, but not when it … Continue reading Thyme and Again

Book Colored Lenses

Kaleb Rogers is a Community Economic Development (CED) volunteer serving in Atlántico, Colombia. -   People talk a lot about self-care in the Peace Corps, doing things that keep you happy, keep you sane. At times, the Peace Corps can be challenging, depressing, even boring. The evaporating enthusiasm of a once highly motivated counterpart or … Continue reading Book Colored Lenses

Sancocho: A Recipe for Community Building

- Sybelle VanAntwerp and Ivette Aguilar are Community Economic Development (CED) volunteers serving in pueblos in Sucre, Colombia and Magdalena, Colombia, respectively. The original version of this article was a speech for the CII-11 swearing-in ceremony, delivered in Spanish by Ivette Aguilar. It was developed based on common experiences and input from the cohort during … Continue reading Sancocho: A Recipe for Community Building