1. Ecuador Amazon Trek

    “¡Dos días, pura bajada, y sequísimo!” The campesinos assured us that our Amazonian trek would take no more than two days. It would be downhill the entire way and, even though it was the rainy season, completely dry. (If only I could have conjured up that telltale chorus from the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song?!) Well, apparently, either 1) they had never taken the trip themselves or 2) they were giddily seeking Atahualpa’s revenge! It took Mike Wooly and me five long, painful days to rea...

  2. Ecuador Ya Mismo with Mingas

    I felt like I had woken up a half an hour before I had gone to sleep. The sun was still slowly drifting across the Atlantic, and stars from both hemispheres illuminated the Andean sky. I crawled off my paja (straw) mattress, threw on a few layers and began my trek.  I had come up with this elaborate (and somewhat loco) scheme to stock a mountain lake with trucha de arco iris or rainbow trout. It would involve transporting delicate fry from a nursery near Cuenca, Ecuador to a little cloud fore...

  3. Tanzania Graduation Picture, 6th form

    These are my graduating 6th formers, at Mazengo Secondary School, Dodoma, Tanzania, 1989. I taught A- and O-level maths at this all-boys school (there was one girl, the daughter of another maths teacher).  In this picture, we are all happy and hopeful!

  4. Georgia Up The Mountain I Go

    Heading to my village in the mountains.

  5. Morocco Spice Rack

    I met my husband while serving in the Peace Corps.  This poem is a celebration of the blending of our cultures and the wonderful diversity it brought to our lives.   Spice Rack   America’s melting pot implies mélange. Spice rack conjures up complexity: The tongue distinguishing textures And tastes – sweet, savory, Pleasantly piquant.                                         We were raised differently-- You: Moroccan, Arabic-speaking, Moslem; Me: American, English-speaking, Catholic, But food...

  6. Democratic Republic of Congo Pizza Pizza

    Idudu, businessman/largest local bread producer and family had never had pizza.  So we made a deal, if he provided the dough, I would bring the tomato sauce, cheese and pepperoni and we would bake pizza in his bread oven. 

  7. Morocco Cookbook

    A culinary record of recipes tested and digested au Maroc from the summer of '82 to the close of service in '83!

  8. Morocco Moore Cooking With Joy

      Perhaps good food and Peace Corps seem antithetical, but in Morocco, a cultural crossroads, it was everywhere.  Whether fruit, vegetables or a plucked chicken from the market, most things were fresh and seasonally available in towns such as Taza or Essaouira.  And lacking such distractions as a telephone or TV, we had an incentive to imitate Julia Child's joie de la cuisine.   Those of us who were teachers in Morocco had the summer months off to work on special projects. My friend Joy and I...

  9. Morocco Goat in an argan tree

    During my first year of teaching English in the provincial capital of Taza, I met my husband at the marche in Fez.  He was working for a French oil company and during my second year of service, he was transferred to the region of Essaouira. We conducted a long-distance romance which included visits back and forth.  When I visited him in the south, I saw goats like this one climbing in the argan trees to eat the nutty, olive-size fruit.  

  10. Thailand Mai Pen Rai means "Never Mind"

    Mai Pen Rai means “Never Mind” Tim Hartigan TEFL/X, Thailand Group 95 (1989-1991) Questions borne of tragedy define generations of Americans. “Where were you when…Kennedy was shot?” was followed by “…the Challenger blew up?” and then “9/11 happened?” Buffalonians of a certain age also define ourselves by a much smaller traumatic question: “Where were you when the Bills lost their first Super Bowl?” I got to my Peace Corps site in rural northeastern Thailand in 1989. Part of my...

Countdown to Weekly Contest Deadline!

“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.