My Denver Baecation

My last blog post was only a two weeks ago but I feel like SO MUCH has happened since then.

In a nutshell, July has been a whirlwind of spectacular events with wonderful people.

On July 14, Camp GLOW wrapped up it’s second week of production with our second group of high school girls.

**sniff sniff** I’m so sad it’s over since it was such a fun project to work on and I’m so happy with how it went.

Both camps were unique and special in their own way, thanks to two great groups of girls and the fellow volunteers who came to help out (thank you thank you thank youuuuuu).

During the second camp, Camp GLOW took over Peace Corps Costa Rica’s facebook page for the entire week, giving a day-to-day insight of our camp.

If you missed it, you can check out what we did during Camp GLOW Week Two here.

After the camp ended, I made a vigorous 8-hour dash up to San José to catch a flight to Denver for a much anticipated trip to visit my boyfriend Alex. Continue reading

Semana Santa: Experiencing Holy Week in Costa Rica

Where I come from, I’ve learned to celebrate Easter Sunday by painting eggs and brunching hard.

Champagne mimosas, stacks of pancakes and mounds of crispy hash browns.

The best of the best Sundays with the family. That’s my Easter.

But here in Costa Rica, things are done a little bit differently this time of year. And there’s no hypothetical bunny hopping around leaving chocolate creme-filled eggs and plastic confetti grass everywhere.

On the note of folkloric creatures can I just say that instead of a tooth fairy, here, A RAT comes to leave money underneath children’s pillows after they’ve lost a tooth. How terrifying is that?!

I just had to get that out there. Anyway, back to Easter stuff.

In Costa Rica, we celebrate Semana Santa (semana = week, santa = holy/saint).

Archivo_000 (3)Semana Santa, also known as Holy Week, is a major Catholic holiday celebrated throughout the world that consists of parades, processions, and local community celebrations. The holiday starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. Continue reading

My Project: A Rural Tourism Site

For all Peace Corps Volunteers (well technically “trainees”), Site Assignment Day is a big deal.

Site Assignment Day is a special day two months into PST (Pre-Service Training) where program teams assign volunteers their:

  • Peace Corps site for the next 2 years
  • The main project they’ll be working on
  • The local partner / counterpart they’ll be working with (generally the person who requested the Peace Corps Volunteer)

In case you’re not familiar with the 27-month Peace Corps commitment, it’s:

  • 3 months of Pre-Service Training (usually in the country’s capital)
  • 24 months as a Peace Corps Volunteer in assigned site
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Pre-Service Training Squad
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In-Site Squad

On April 22, 2016, I received my assignment:

  • Site: Fila Naranjo, Coto Brus, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Partner: Ana Cedy Montero, President of the women’s group: Asociación de Mujeres Productoras de Fila Naranjo
  • Project: Development of a Rural Tourism Site

Continue reading

What’s It like Living on a Peace Corps Volunteer Budget?

Let’s talk about that chedda.

No, I’m not talking about cheese, even though you know I’d like to be (since I’m from Wisconsin and all), I’m talking about money.

Or as we say here in Costa Rica, la plata. The silver. That cash money monaayyyy.  

You could probably guess with a title like “volunteer” that PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers) don’t make a ton of money. It’s true. We’re all broke. Continue reading

A Costa Rican Campo Christmas

Over the past few weeks, the thought of being away from home — away from friends, family, snow, cheese, Christmas cookies, wine — all the things that are comforting to me during winter and Christmas, was a difficult truth to swallow.

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But now that Christmas has come and passed, I feel appreciative of the time I spent with new friends and family, under a hot hot Costa Rican sun, with 3 wonderful Peace Corps volunteers, endless Christmas art activities, too much karaoke, ridiculously priced cheddar cheese (I’m from Wisconsin, it was necessary), not-so-delicious red wine, and Christmas cookies (yes, we made it happen). Continue reading

Tropical Storm Otto Hits Costa Rica

This past Thursday, Costa Rica and Nicaragua were hit by Tropical Storm Otto.

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The storm made landfall on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast at 1pm on Thanksgiving Day as a Category 2 hurricane but quickly lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm. According to the US National Hurricane Center, at it’s strongest, Otto had winds of up to 110mph.

While the central and southern regions of Costa Rica were not terribly affected by the storm (except for excessive rain and flooding in some areas), the northern region has been severely damaged. Continue reading

Soy La Hija de Mi Abuela

Soy La Hija de Mi Abuela
I am the daughter of my grandmother

Growing up, I was always with my grandma.  I grew up on my grandparents’ farm in the countryside of Wisconsin, riding horses with my grandpa, gardening and cooking with my grandma, and spending time with my family…kickin’ it country bumpkin style. I absolutely loved living on a farm when I was younger, and more than anything, living with my grandparents.

As a little girl, I learned a lot from my grandma.

She taught me how to shoot a gun… Continue reading

My First 42K Marathon + 5-Hour Running Playlist

I just ran my first marathon last weekend! That’s right, the 42k, the 26.2, the whole shabang.


How was it?

Exciting, terrifying, exhausting, rewarding and thrilling.

…kinda like making through the end of a horror film.

Overall, it went better than I expected. My goal was to not walk (start low reach high right?) so I was just happy to finish the race without walking. The first 75% went great. I was cruising up until mile 18 and then things got rough. Real rough. The sun came out, the route turned solo, there was hardly any other spectators or runners around, and my stomach started hurting from all the GU energy packet things that I had consumed over the last few hours..Oooof. I fully regret choosing flavors such as espresso, peanut butter, chocolate and peanut butter (twice, really?), and vanilla.

I puked at the finish line. Not my proudest moment. But c’mon,…props for making it til the end right? Continue reading

The Day I Saw a Pig Die

Se dicen que si alguien tiene el miedo cuando se está viendo un cerdo muere, el cerdo no va a morir en paz.  

They say that if someone is afraid when they are watching a pig die, the pig will not die peacefully.

This past Thursday, I watched a pig die. I watched it with fear in my heart and pain in my eyes and sure enough, that pig did not go peacefully. Call me superstitious but I think it was my fault.


I didn’t necessarily want to watch it but I felt like I should. The lifestyle here in the campo of southern Costa Rica is so heavily based on agriculture–coffee, livestock, sugar cane, produce–and killing animals for comida is something that happens every day. Everyone is accustomed to it, and it’s just the way we live here (c
ause I guess I’m part of the group now too). Last week, we had a community raffle and the prize was a live pig.

Continue reading

Technology in Costa Rica (y la muerte de mi computadora)

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In honor of the recent death of my Macbook Air, this post will be about technology in Costa Rica. About a month ago, my computer started getting really hot and restarting itself all the time. Finally, it just wouldn’t turn on so I took it to an Apple store (called iCon here…sketchy, I know) and I found out that there was an issue with the battery and the logic board. The cost to fix the computer was $1,400! So, so long to my beloved Mac.

Back home in the United States, buying a new computer is easy. You just walk into a store or hop on Amazon and it’s in your hands within 48 hours (or less). Because my experiences with shopping have always felt so expeditious, I thought replacing my computer would be a simple task. It wasn’t.

Continue reading