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.
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.
A lot of teachers travel. The best teachers love to learn. Travel draws those kinds of curious personalities.
It doesn’t hurt that a perk of the job is a few extra weeks off a year than most. I’m tempted to go on an aside here about how teachers earn more than those weeks off in overtime worked during the school year… but I’ll resist. Continue reading “On Teaching and Travel”→
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”→
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”→