2 months of Peace Corps service

Gorgeous calendar by Sara Woodrow

For those of you marking my time away on your Cute Overload, Nuns Having Fun, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, or Green Bay Packers calendars, you should have now flipped through five months of my absence.  For two of those months, I’ve been an official Volunteer: harder to fire than a trainee, with real responsibility and a decent amount of independence.  For those of you following the blog, you’ve read that these first few months as a volunteer are some of the hardest.  They are the months when we are away from our group of 20something friends for the first time.  The months when we are getting to know a new family and a new pueblo.  The months when we are trying to navigate just how we are going to do our work.  The months when we spend more time not doing than doing.

This is what two months have looked like for me:

  • so much classroom observation
    • specifically, a surprising amount of math class observation
  • recruiting girls for Camp GLOW (Girls Leading Our World)
    • meeting with school leaders and parents to ease fears about sending their girls away to camp
  • joining the Gender Equality Committee and being elected co-president
    • subsequently trying to figure out how to make things happen on a committee with members spread out across various sites/departments and with varying levels of internet access
  • learning to play rugby with a great group of dudes and lady dudes
  • trying to get some beach time in
    • this is easier when rugby practice is on the beach
  • spending way too much money on arepa de huevo and salchipapas
    • going to bed feeling ill several nights because i’m used to eating much healthier than arepa de huevo and salchipapas
  • lots of embroidery
  • going back and forth between my house and the local bike shop a lot
  • sweating so much
  • doing laundry all the time because I’m never not sweating
  • playing with our puppy
  • spending too many days (read: money) in Barranquilla to get air conditioning
  • going to the gym
    • working with the gym owner to experiment with how easy/hard it is to get verification code for Google My Business here (since mail is a mystery to me)
  • ironing out a work plan
  • working on vocab lists to get an extra-curricular English project rolling at one of my schools
  • cooking & sharing food with my host family, who’s always fascinated by the very strange things I cook and my over-use of hot sauce
  • earning the nickname María Piña from my host family
  • pulling together community class materials


Today is the last day of school before students have a three week vacation.  Next week I’ll be working in the schools with the teachers, and then they get a two-week vacation.  During that two-week vacation I’ll be trying to make sure I have at least two months of community class materials ready, working on primary school lessons, and travelling out to an island off of Cartagena to give a class to local eco-hotel owners on how they can leverage Google and social media to make their businesses easier to find and communicate with online.  It’ll be a busy “vacation,” but I am so excited to get rolling!



About the author

One thought on “2 months of Peace Corps service”

  1. I enjoy reading all your updates! Sounds like things are going well. Love, Aunt Julie

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Mountain View

A little about me!

Hey! I'm Brianna Hope, a born & bred midwesterner embarking on an adventure as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia. I am clumsy, I spill a lot, and I share most of my interests with 6 year-olds.

Follow me on Snapchat: alabrianna


The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Colombian Government.


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