Day 325 IST

325 days in, almost one  year since I’ve been in Nicaragua! Today everything broke, I do mean everything. My computer froze, then turned off and then  basically gave me the cold shoulder. It was permanently on a black screen. It tried to start up repair and after doing that 12 times, I knew it was at the end of the rope. My basic Nicaraguan phone looked like a bomb that might detonate at any time. The battery swelled so much, I couldn’t even put the back of my phone on. It sucks that everything is seemingly falling apart but I must believe it’s for a reason. We are at an all included resort, one of the very few in Nicaragua. It had food and drinks, even alcoholic beverages with the right color band. Sports, pool, beach, and hot water in the showers, what could be missing? Wifi. Nope, that’s not included in the ridiculously high bill. For four days, I was stuck, unable to do work without a phone, computer or internet.

All the training was in Spanish. My brain feels as if all the life has been sucked out trying to understand it all. But I can say that it gets better as the days go on. The place was beautiful and the ocean sounds were entirely relaxing. I don’t mind any time near a beach. Another in-service training job well done.

 

Bye 2015

I closed 2015 out with a bang! I decided, after a very uneventful Christmas in my site, that I would celebrate New Years Eve the way I wanted. Despite all my friends being in the States for the holidays, I traveled to visit a fellow volunteer in Jinotega.  My fellow volunteer has her parents visiting and they were so lovely to rent a room for me! We stayed in an amazing new hotel. It was a deceased former Vice President’s home. It had several old relics and was stunningly fancy. THERE WERE LIVE PEACOCKS IN THE BACK TERRACE! The all white one was so beautiful. I had hot water and wifi, I could not have been more blessed. We climbed to the famous cross. It was beautiful BUT crazy intense. 920 stairs later, I enjoyed an amazing view. Jinotega was FREEZING, no exaggeration I thought I was coming down with a cold. I was not prepared. Afterwards, not wanting to intrude and desperately in need of heat, I traveled to Leon. It is definitely one of the hotter departments of Nicaragua and it has a beach. I have always wanted to bring in my new years on a beach, so this year I did. Despite MAJOR setbacks, I found my way on an exclusive beach in a lodge in Leon with about 15 other travelers. Nicaraguans have a tradition to make a fake man and fill the cushion stuff with fireworks signifiying the burning of 2015. That was really cool on the beach. I said bye 2015 with style and brought in the New Year with the peaceful serenity of the sound of waves. I am most thankful for such an opportunity to see Nicaragua and experience new places. Last year, this time, I was working two jobs and desperately counting down to being a peace Corps volunteer. Now I am here and quickly coming up on my one-year mark! I hope you brought in the New Years well followers and most importantly remember to be thankful! Tomorrow isn’t promised today.

Sorry for the Wait

I have been locked out of my account for about a month. Having set my posts to auto-post, I was not concerned. I went to the States, enjoyed my family. Then I found myself loving the break and focused on my vacation when I came back to Nicaragua. But, now I’m back, back with an attitude and you can look forward to seeing more posts from me in 2016! Sorry for the way, Happy Holidays and thanks for reading.

Why Food Equals Traveling Home

Today, I’m traveling home.  I have been counting down the days for this! There are only two things I miss about the states: my family and food. While I will be home I plan to eat everything in my sight! I am going to be doing happy food dance. Do you hear me?  Something like this:
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As a matter of fact, I have compiled a list of the things I miss and plan to inhale.

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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday here in Nicaragua. Of course not. I mean celebrating the genocide of a people by having a mass killing of animals and commercialism sounds ridiculous when you think about it. Still, rituals are hard to keep. My sites mates went to Managua to celebrate. Peace Corps has a tradition of being invited to the Ambassador’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. This year they’re opening the embassador’s house and other PC staff.  Keeping in mind the travels I will be having this Saturday (for a PC birthday party), the fact that I will be going to the States THIS (dance party) Tuesday (Managua Monday) and would have to pay to stay somewhere to enjoy the food provided for Thanksgiving, I decided to stay in my site. I asked my host mom to cook fried chicken for me. That’s as close to a Turkey Day meal I am getting. In all honesty, I am ok with that. Last week, we had a Spanish workshop. We stayed in the same homes we were in during training. It was just like training. Spanish lessons all day and an interview at the end to check our Spanish level. I loved my host family and was thankful to see them again. I was received with open arms and was shocked to see that my little nephew is walking now. He is starting to talk and remembered me. Just look at that face! Doesn’t it make you  have all the feels?

2015-11-20 14.38.03 2015-11-20 14.38.06I don’t think another Nica family could ever warm my heart like my training family. My Nica mom even brought Christmas gifts for my parents in the States. So if there’s anything I’m grateful for this holiday, it’s my Nica family in Masaya. I know that if I need anything, am ever in trouble or am sick again my Nica mom will come to support or help me in any way I need. It’s not easy to let people into your heart, but Nicaragua has made it pretty easy.

25 Tips to Beat Writer’s Block

Writer’s block! How can I beat it?!

I get asked this A LOT. I am a writer and write every day. As a result, I have been asked how do you beat writer’s block? I personally believe writer’s block doesn’t exist. I also wrote a similar article citing a quick an easy way to get writing. Here are 25 tips to beat writer’s block:
  1. Write your past. What happened to you? Tell your own perspective. Maybe you want to start your own memoir.
  2. Write the future, it could be what you want your life to be or what you think life will be like. P.S. Flying cars is a little played out.
  3. Describe your best friend. Work those adjectives.
  4. Write your dream guy/girl
  5. Pretend you were an inanimate object – what would it be like if you were a car? how would you act if you were a parrot? Maybe a pen. What kind of life does a pen have?
  6. Go on a trip. Take a stroll through the zoo. Go to the grocery store. Sit in a parking lot and people watch. You will see something worth watching.
  7. Write backwards. Start at the end. Was it a car crash? Did they get married? Then decide how you got there. Keep writing backwards. They rode off in the sunset. They got in the car finally wed and keep writing on and on and on until you get to your beginning.
  8. Write poetry. Poetry doesn’t have rules so put lines together. Just write and once you get that on the page take each line and make it a story plot.
  9. Write about things you hate
  10. Write about things you love
  11. Write a story as if you were a new character in your favorite TV show
  12. Steal dialog. Go to a restaurant and write down the things you overhear people say. then find a way to make your characters say that
  13. What’s a book you read that you didn’t like how it ended? Maybe the guy didn’t get the girl or the guy chose the wrong guy. Rewrite the ending.
  14. Write as if you were living in a different time period. what would have it been like to watch Abraham Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address
  15. Join writer forums. You’ll always find a new perspective to write.
  16. Write fan fiction. 50 Shades of Grey is supposedly fan fiction of Twilight.
  17. Look up writing prompts. Give a few a try.
  18. write yourself as a superhero!
  19. Write focusing on only one of your senses. what is a day like in just smells? What is an hour in just sounds?
  20. Write about another planet. What would it be like to live on Pluto?
  21. Music, think of where the artist was or felt to write that song
  22. Art, go to a gallery and write the story you think the piece if trying to say
  23. Talk to a kid. Kids are strange and they do say the darnest things. Talk to them for about 30 minutes and then write about it.
  24. Write if you were a person in a major tragedy. What would you have done if you were trapped in the 9/11 building?
  25. Try an app like StoryShop
Writing is a lot like riding a bike down a hill. You just have to get started.
Don’t judge your writing. Just start. Write until you feel like stopping, then edit and critique. Maybe you have something golden. Maybe not, so what. You wrote, though, didn’t you? The quality doesn’t really matter because if you keep doing it you will get better. The important thing is you didn’t let the blocks stop you. Pretend you’re a runner and writing block is a hurdle. You can get over it. Just jump. You just have to jump.

4 P’s to Beat Writer’s Block

It’s 4 am. You’re awake. You do no want to be awake. You have to be up in 3 hours and you want to sleep. Sound familiar? What do you do? Drink warm milk? Meditate? Start cleaning? Take a little sleep medicine? Who knows, but the point is you don’t just sit there trying to fall asleep. If you do, you know that does not work. Think of writing like sleep. Don’t just stare at the page. That’s just like waiting to fall back asleep. It doesn’t work. Try something new. This article includes technical suggestions to beat writer’s block, if in fact, even exists.

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Writer’s Block Doesn’t Exist

When was the last time you heard a plumber say, “I just can’t plumb today.” What about a doctor saying, “I can’t perform today. I don’t know why, I’m just not in the zone today.” They don’t.  For some reason, this excuse has been accepted in the artist community. Maybe it’s because there’s more pressure to perform. Maybe it’s because a lot of us have muses. Whatever the reason, I call flag on the play.

Writer’s block does’t exist.

Jobs don’t leave room for underperformance. Neither does our craft. Seth Golden, Robert Parker, Steven Pressfield, all have cranked out works like robots. How? How do they overcome writer’s block? It’s not some special formula. They’re no different from us. The answer is just do. Decide your method of resistance. Whether it is writing a certain number of pages every day, writing only for a specific amount of time or merely finishing what you start, decide your method of madness. Once you choose, don’t excuse yourself for anything less. Writer’s block is just a figment of your imagination. If you want tips for how to have resistance, check back in a couple days for my post, 4 P’s to Beat Writer’s Block

PCV Interview Lindsay Nason

I remember the first time I met Lindsay, I thought she was a healthie. She has the quiet, calm demeanor of a health volunteer. Her heart is made of gold. My interview with her confirmed just how strong she truly is. Ladies and Gents, meet Lindsay.IMG_0396
Lindsay Nason

Age: 23

Sector: SBD 65

From: Truckee, CA

Fun Fact: My cousins are related to Marshall Lynch who plays for the Seattle Seahawks.

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