In every sense of the word, this week shook things up big time for Michaela and I.
On Monday evening, just as we were going to sleep, we experienced a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, the biggest either of us had ever experienced. Amazingly, the damage caused by the quake was minimal despite its alleged size. Then, yesterday, we learned where we’d be living for the next two years! Along with the 17 other TEFL Volunteers in our program, Peace Corps staff had us draw our names from a box and read aloud each person’s destination. After hearing our name we had to find our sites on a giant map of Nicaragua and pin our names to the city.
Well, it looks like Michaela and I are heading to the rainforest! We’ve been assigned to a fairly big city in RAAS (Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur), which is located in the southeastern corner of the country. Michaela will be teaching in the secondary schools and managing a newly established English Resource Center, coordinating community classes, resources, and events. I will be teaching in a rural secondary school as well as in a university, supporting the revision of academic programs, the development of courses, and providing organizational assistance.
We know very little about our site but are pumped to visit for our first time next week, when we travel with our counterparts and stay for five days meeting the people we’ll be working with over the next two years. Rumor has it we’ll be filling some pretty big shoes of an outgoing TEFL volunteer who started the Community English Center using the Peace Corps Partnership Program, a program that raises funds online for projects worldwide.
We’ll make sure to have a full report on what it’s like next week, but for now we’re kind of left to our imaginations since very little has actually been written about our city. It’s been called “La Luz de la Selva” (The Light of the Rainforest) and described as where the Wild West meets the jungle, the latter of which I love because it might actually fulfill my fantasy of commuting to work on horseback. It’s also surrounded by some mountains, lakes, and a ton of waterfalls. If all of this is true, I think I can deal with that! Either way, we are so pumped to finally know our new home.