Sector: Small Biz
From Traverse City, Michigan
BA Political Science, Beloit College MA International Development, Western Michigan University
Fun Fact: I don’t have many fun facts, but an interesting fact is that I’m a very experienced tractor driver
I didn’t really decide that I wanted to join the Peace Corps until my senior year of college- I had been pursuing a political science degree for four years at that point, but did not realize until my final semester that my capacity to serve as an elected official or bureaucrat was limited. That being said, I was still very passionate about public service. Prior to attending college I had lived much of my life outside the United States and was very interested in exploring new cultures and countries- Peace Corps provided me an opportunity to combine those interests. Four years and one degree later, here I am! Living the dream.
What were you doing before PC? Does it relate to what you’re doing now?
Immediately before I shipped out I was unemployed and was not doing much of anything, but before that I was pursuing a Master’s Degree in International development. Of course, working with Peace Corps is a perfect follow up to that program, especially as it relates to the role of capital development in growing economies.
Did you have an expectations abut Nica? Is Nica living up to those expectations (if you had any)
I had tried very hard to avoid building up expectations for Nicaragua, since it seemed like I would only be setting myself up to be disappointed (insofar as it would be difficult to form any specific vision, no matter how modest, that would be representative of the country as a whole). All I wanted to do was learn the language, meet cool people, and experience a new culture, and thus far this experience has exceeded those expectations.
Is this your first time out of country? if now where have you been?
My first time out of the country was in 1996, when I moved to India with my family. Since then I have lived in one other country (Indonesia) and have had the opportunity to travel to countries throughout Asia (Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Nepal, Singapore), Europe (Germany, England, Holland), the Middle East (Oman, the U.A.E.), and South America (Colombia).
What’s one thing that surprised you about Nica?
I didn’t come with many expectations, but I was definitely not prepared for how beautiful Nicaragua is- trees, beaches, volcanoes, lagunas, all of it is amazing.
So far, favorite memory of NIca?
That’s a difficult question, in just two months I’ve already made a lot of fantastic memories. One of the best would be climbing the Volcan de Masaya with a group of volunteers. Brutal walk, but well worth it. (See photo above.)
Now that you know where your site can you tell me what your first thoughts were/are?
Excitement! I’m sorry to be so far away from so many of the friends that I’ve made during training but working in Nueva Guinea will be a great opportunity- the service there fits my priorities like a glove, and I’m excited to start exploring jungle.
if you have to, do you think you can live without the internet?
Haha eventually! I love the internet, but I can learn to do without almost anything given enough time.
You can only listen to 3 CD’s for the rest of your life, what are they?
My Dark Twisted Fantasy (Kanye) Demon Days (Gorillaz) The Wall (Pink Floyd)
When your envision yourself after these 2 years are finished what do you see? (describe yourself or use a few descriptive words)
Well you can’t really see these things, but I hope to be more resourceful, more resilient, and more adaptive.