Greetings from Oz


It’s been 2 months since I stepped foot on this sunburnt land. I first arrived in Coffs Harbour, just over 300 miles north of Sydney in New South Wales. Now I’ve made my way down to Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, in Victoria.

Here’s a taste of what I’ve experienced so far.

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Post Peace Corps Sacrifice

When I tell people I served in the Peace Corps, most people react with a big “Wow. THAT must have been hard.” They seem to think that living in a developing country for 2 years must have been filled with sacrifices. Truth be told, I did “give up” a lot. I gave up 24/7 access to high speed internet and was left with one internet day a week. I missed a lot of things. Food, drink, family, friends, and a language I was 100% versed in.

But now that I’ve been back in America for 8 months, I’m starting to realize that the sacrifices I made leaving the US for Paraguay, my host country, were nothing compared to the sacrifices I made when I finished my service and got on a plane headed back to North America. I realize this may be hard for some Americans to understand, so I’ve decided to use the power of GIFs to express just what I gave up when I left Paraguay and what life in the US has given me instead.


During Peace Corps 


I only received a handwritten letter or card in the mail once every month or two but it would always make my day, week and month. I would also re-read each one more than I’d choose to admit here.

Post Peace Corps

I receive mail almost every day. Unfortunately it consists of bank statements, credit card solicitations and more junk mail that I just end up tearing up and throwing away.

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14 Hashtags in #Guaraní

This is my first year in the States after living in Paraguay and serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years. Paraguay is a landlocked country of over 6 million people in the heart of South America. There are many things that set Paraguay apart from its neighbors but none more so than the reverence for Guaraní, the indigenous language of the Guaraní Indians, still spoken by 90% of Paraguayans. In fact, Facebook just launched in Guaraní two months ago. 

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, learning at least a few words and phrases in Guaraní is a must. In order to  help fulfill the Third Goal of the Peace Corps “to strengthen Americans’ understanding about the world and its people,” I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite words and phrases in Guaraní. I also just recently learned that last year #hashtags and GIFs were a big deal, so I thought this format would be the most appropriate for a 21st Century cultural exchange. 

#Oiko means “it works” or “it’ll do.” If you want to add more emphasis you can say Oikoite which translates to “that really works very well.” You can also use this phrase when talking about food that tastes really good. So forget the #numnum and use this new #hashtag for all your food pics on Instagram.

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My Top 10 TED Talks

I watched my first few TED Talks when I was in college. These informative and inspirational speeches were just what I needed to help remotivate the dreamer in me whenever I felt discouraged in my mission to make a difference. While in Peace Corps, TED Talks served as teaser trailers for interesting books I would later choose to read. I couldn’t possibly count the number of TED Talks I’ve watched over the years, though it’s a big number for sure, which made choosing my favorite TED Talks all the more difficult. Yet here they are, in no particular order, 10 of my favorite TED Talks that I found to be the most informative and inspirational. I hope you enjoy them and I hope you will share your favorites with me too.

1. Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

This has got to be one of the more “practical” TED Talks on my list as Amy offers some advice we can all put to good use in our next job interview.

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