Don’t Forget Nicaragua

I arrived in Granada, Nicaragua in September 2014 via chicken bus. Walking those beautiful, oppressively hot streets in the middle of the day with all of my worldly belongings on my back, I had a feeling this place would change me.

I can say with certainty now that it did. It was there that I met and fell in love with my now husband, and made friends that have become family. It was there that I grew confident in my practice of travel and teaching. It was there that I faced down some of the ugliest realities of white privilege and the legacy of colonization; where I had the experience of being the visible minority; where I fought tooth and nail with deeply ingrained and overt sexism, struggling with my place and role in it all.

It’s there that I first took the stance of activist teacher; and of the importance of instilling self-esteem in students; in helping them to know and understand that they have power and that they can make a difference.

So who would I be if I didn’t use what space I have to make you aware, single reader, that the city hall in Granada has burned down, that the country is in chaos, and that as a result, hundreds have lost their lives and tens of thousands have lost their jobs?

There are a lot of scary things happening in our world right now, but Nicaragua hasn’t received the international news coverage it deserves. To all those who followed my journey on this blog, who enjoyed my writing about my time in that beautiful place, I urge you – please don’t forget Nicaragua.

How we can help

I owe so much to this place, so this is my attempt at paying it back. I have started a GoFundMe page. The organization I moved to Granada to work with – La Esperanza Granada – will be the full beneficiary. They have lost nearly all of their volunteers and are low on funds. Yet their work is more important then ever. They are doing all they can to keep the learning centers they operate open for the children of Granada. Even better, they are attempting to put in place a program where adults who have lost their jobs due to this crisis can work in the learning centers in exchange for basic necessities. Please consider donating to and sharing the campaign. You can do so here.

IMG-20141208-WA0022
Granada as I knew it, in more peaceful times.

Our New Zealand Celebration

Mandy Caldwell Photography-2

Alright single reader, I promise this is the last wedding-related post!

The challenge of Tom and my relationship has always been and will always be the distance. Even now that we are together it is a test to decide how to use our hard-earned dollars and vacation time. Do we visit my family or his? Where do we settle? How do we find a compromise when our loved ones are so spread out across the world? Continue reading “Our New Zealand Celebration”

The Best Day of My Life: Our Winter Mountain Wedding

So, I have a confession.

I was one of those girls.

You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones with the secret Pinterest boards. The ones who binge watch all the wedding reality shows on TV. The ones who dream about their wedding – the dress, the setting, the ring, the guy – their whole lives.

I know it’s very cliche and unoriginal, but it was me. Continue reading “The Best Day of My Life: Our Winter Mountain Wedding”

Where I’m From

Recently I celebrated my one year Melbourne-versary – that is, the anniversary of my arrival in Melbourne one year ago. I came into this adventure hopeful, but unsure as to how I would cope living so far from home, and how I would do with this giant unknown. Over the last year however, Melbourne has completely won me over with her special southern charms. I’m all settled into life down under these days. Continue reading “Where I’m From”

My Favorite Melbourne (So Far)

img_20161218_121349776

Where has time gone??

I cannot believe it has been almost 8 months since I’ve landed in Melbourne. Moving across the planet and settling in to live down under has taken some time. But difficulties aside, I fall in love with Melbourne more and more every day. Here are just some of the many ways Melbourne has captured my heart (so far): Continue reading “My Favorite Melbourne (So Far)”

[Featured Post] A Long Distance Love Story

10380635_10203426240112882_2651258834795720184_o
The first picture Tom and I ever took together at Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

The first time I met Tom we were in the living room of the house I had just moved out of in Granada, Nicaragua. I had been in the country for about a month already, but had been in Granada volunteering with La Esperanza for only 2 weeks. The house had four bedrooms shared between 16 volunteers from all over the world. Living there was a great way to meet people, but my nerves were a bit frazzled by the party-like atmosphere and the ever-growing pile of dirty dishes in the sink. So as soon as the opportunity arose, I moved out to a smaller house a few blocks away. Continue reading “[Featured Post] A Long Distance Love Story”

2016

img_20160610_202405236_hdr

How has 5 months gone by so quickly?? 5 months with no new content on this blog. It turns out moving and getting to a know a new job, city, and country takes a lot out of you. Continue reading “2016”

Greetings from Melbourne (Finally!)

Beautiful Melbourne from across the bay
Beautiful Melbourne from across the bay (super low-quality photo thanks to crappy cell phone zooming!)

Well, in my last post I did say I needed a break – and here I am 2 months later finally getting close to feeling myself again. Continue reading “Greetings from Melbourne (Finally!)”

This is What Happens When Your Best Friend Visits New York

IMG_20160214_172843246

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you’re probably pretty well-versed on my feelings about my current residency in New York City (Not caught up? You can read all about that here and here). It’s easy to get lost in the negatives of a place like this, but nothing is better for refocusing on the positives than playing tour guide for visitors. Continue reading “This is What Happens When Your Best Friend Visits New York”

Warming Up to New York City

IMG_20151209_082343

Almost a year ago now I wrote my first post on what living in New York City was like for me. In summary: I find this city to be a constant struggle. Continue reading “Warming Up to New York City”