1. Paraguay Painting the the church

    To celebrate San Juan the community painted the church a bright yellow. This picture was taken at a morning terere break. 

  2. Ecuador PC Map Making

    When I visited schools surrounding my site, I was surprised to discover that few of them had maps. (I LOVE geography!) So, we ended up painting them on all the buildings in the parroquia. As a young cartographer though, I am embarrassed to say that I wasn’t always PC. On this particular map of Ecuador for example, I gave back the territory taken by Peru in 1941. I would point out that Ecuador didn’t official recognize Peru’s sovereignty until long after my Peace Corps stint.       

  3. Ecuador Top Grads

    The Spanish introduced sheep to Ecuador in the early 16th century. Nearly 500 years later, the animals there now look nothing like their ancestors. The Andean Criollo sheep are tough yet small. They produce very little meat and the quality of their wool is poor.  I was able to get a grant and purchased 40 purebred Merino from New Zealand. I gave five to each of the eight schools in the Parroqia. I then did a number of classes on small animal husbandry. At the end of the year, the top graduat...

  4. Ecuador Cooking with Vesinos

    As a fresh-out-of-college volunteer, I wasn’t much of a chef. Fortunately, I had neighbors who were. They would periodically come over and give me lessons. They taught me how to prepare guinea pigs, quinoa, locro soup, seco de pollo, lomo salteado and other popular Andean dishes. As you can tell from this picture taken in my kitchen, I was extremely grateful!     

  5. Ecuador Equipo de Sueños

    As a Peace Corps volunteer you often end up taking on “other” assignments. One of mine was coaching the local girl’s basketball team. Here we are with a few younger sibling fans and our mascot, my dog Iko. Note: I named my dog after the famous New Orleans song by The Dixie Cups. As it turns out, it sounds a lot like the Quechua word for dog, allcu. The locals found this funny.       

  6. Ecuador Kids & Cuyes

    Cuyes or guinea pigs make for great pets. In Ecuador though, they're also considered a delicacy. Buen provecho!   

  7. Brazil What Price, Wisdom?

          The Peace Corps dentist in Salvador ---a large, modern Brazilian city ---informed me I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled. He gave me the name of a local dental surgeon.   I had nightmarish visions of a dentist, who wasn’t really a dentist ---just like the one at my Peace Corps site in Glória ---pulling my teeth with pliers, without benefit of an anesthetic. I have no idea what his real name was, but in Glória, everyone called him Zé Dentista.   I arrived at the real dentist’s office, ...

  8. Ecuador Niños & Ovejas

    Delivering sheep to the children of Pinjuma

  9. Ecuador ¡El Gringo Va a Morir!

    It was the last race I ever ran. I had only been at my site for a few months when I decided to enter a 10K in Cuenca, Ecuador. In retrospect, it was a huge mistake. I hadn’t trained since college; my New Orleans lungs were still ill-equipped to extract oxygen from the thin mountain air; and my flatlander muscles could hardly summit a curb less clamber up steep cobblestone mountain roads. Nonetheless, I was, well, Peace Corps confident. Like so many new volunteers, I had set my sights on sav...

  10. Paraguay Teeth-Brushing 101

    Although I was an Agroforestry volunteer, I helped out my nearest cohort, Erin, with health programs at a community school that was centrally located in the community of Santo Domingo, Guaira, Paraguay. My hometown dentist had sent down a duffel bag full of toothbrushes and toothpaste, so we decided to do a dental health program. Saw lots of bloody mouths and had to keep numerous kids from eating toothpaste like candy, but it was a great day.

Countdown to Weekly Contest Deadline!

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