Peace Corps volunteer and UW-Madison graduate Laura Linde hopes to work for a nongovernmental organization and promote improved environmental practices internationally after she completes her Peace Corps service this year.
The Peace Corps announced that the University of Wisconsin-Madison ranked No. 1 among large schools on the agency’s 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 87 Badgers currently volunteering worldwide.
Joining the Peace Corps was a jumping-off point for Alison Feurerstein. Two service-filled years in Nicaragua propelled the Madison, Wis. native into a dynamic public health career, opened her eyes to a new culture and led her to her life partner.
But Feurerstein found more than just love within the Nicaraguan culture – Peace Corps changed her perspective on family, community and relationships. When looking back, it all started with the leap.
Because Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment, it allows volunteers to celebrate the holiday season in their host countries and participate in new traditions and customs, while also sharing their own. From now until January, we will highlight stories from Peace Corps volunteers who share their experiences spending the holidays overseas
“Wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas.” This Christmas carol resonates deeply with Peace Corps volunteer Emily Nilsen, a Thompsonville, Ill., native who is serving as a secondary education English teacher trainer in Nicaragua. Her husband, Andrew Nilsen, is also serving as a secondary English teacher with her. Together, they embark on their second holiday season away from home, creating their own traditions along the way and sharing Nicaraguan cultures and customs with their family, who will be visiting from the U.S.
“Last year for the holidays, we had just arrived to site and were at the beginning of our Peace Corps service. This meant that we could not have visitors, nor visit home. While a little homesick, we were able to observe lots of local customs and traditions here in Nicaragua. We even decided to start one of our own – The 12 Days of Nilsen Christmas – where we re-wrote the classic song to include things we could find and explore during the holidays. Continue reading “Peace Corps Holidays: Nicaragua”→
Thomas Pearson knows that his Peace Corps service in Nicaragua is much more than the two years he spends in country. To make a true lasting impact, he is leading, coaching and inspiring the people who have the power to ignite change: students.
Growing up, Micah Kloppenburg always wondered who wove the life into the Botswanan baskets that hung above his family’s dinner table. He knew the baskets were remembrances from his parents’ Peace Corps service in Botswana in 1976-79, but he wanted to know more about the culture behind them. As his curiosity about human nature and the world outside of the U.S. expanded, following in his parents’ footsteps became a natural next step.
Emily Nilsen, a native of Thompsonville, Ill., is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua with her husband, Andrew Nilsen. Emily, a 2010 graduate of Graceland University, works as a secondary education English teacher trainer and Andrew as a secondary English teacher. Below, Emily she describes some of her experiences co-instructing with local teachers.To learn more about current openings in Nicaragua and other countries, visit www.peacecorps.gov/openings
“So what did you think about our last class?”
“It was O.K. I really liked the walk-to-the-line activity, but I don’t know if they completely understand possessive adjectives,” I say
“Why do you think that?” the teacher replies.
“Every time we gave an example with a possessive, they seemed to wait for one student to move, and then they followed. I think they were just mimicking him.”
“Good observation. What can we do about that? Do you want to re-teach the material, or try a different assessment to see where individual students are?”
“I would like to do a review of the material. But how?”
Meet Thomas, a Peace Corps volunteer making a difference as an entrepreneurship education volunteer in Nicaragua. Does his story inspire you? We’re currently looking for the next generation of volunteers to fill this assignment. Learn more on our website and apply by July 1 if you’re ready to serve
Peace Corps volunteer Thomas Pearson starts his day in Nicaragua with a breakfast of tortillas, beans, cheese and a cup of coffee, given to him by his host mother, Gladys, who treats the 24-year-old American more like a son than a tenant in her home. Then he spends his days teaching entrepreneurship at a high school and visiting rural areas. Sometimes, he says, he is late to meetings because members of the village have stopped him to talk.