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Showing posts from May, 2011

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Every day people ask me why I am here in Cartagena and how long I plan to stay. I have a few one liners to explain my presence. "I am an English teacher... the US and Colombian governments are working together to improve English instruction... at least 9 months..." If someone is really interested, I explain the Peace Corps, and if he or she is really, really interested I tell them it has three goals:

• Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
• Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
• Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
-peacecorps.gov

I find it funny that no one ever asks me if I accomplish these goals. I have #2 down. Sometimes I feel like Uncle Sam's niece as I am humming "You're a Grand Ole Flag" and teaching how to pronounce the words "United States of America." I'm on my way to completing #3 v…

Link to the Land of Opportunity

This past week was my birthday and I was nervous. I really had no idea how the Colombians, that I have been living and working with for 7 months, would treat me. I knew I would get a hug  and blessing, dios te bendiga, from everyone. However, I didn't realize I would get two surprise parties and a lunch. Students told me that were honored to be in my class, enjoyed getting to know a North American, and now see more opportunities for their futures. Even though Cartagena is a tourist city with many gringos, most residents have never spoken, let alone work, live, and eat with one. 
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I represent the US government, people, and attitudes whether I like it or not. It can be a tough task especially when I don't agree with many of our policies or even my fellow citizens. However, I do agree with one thing that the US has been doing well since its inception: providing opportunities.  Since, most of the Colombians I meet will not be able to visit the US, it is m…