Nilsen Sibling Adventures


We love having family visit; not only do we get to spend time with loved ones, but sharing Nicaragua’s beauty, culture, adventures and customs with them is one of the best parts of being a PCV.  This past week we’ve had the privilege of hosting Andrew’s siblings.  From canoeing and jungle camping on the Rio San Juan, traveling on the public bus system, and eating all sorts of yummy foods, this visit was full of adventures and familia love.

A Day in the Life (of my belly)

If you know me, you know that food runs my life.  A generally jovial chap, I become quite melancholic at the prospect of missing a meal.  In the US, weekly meal plans and weekend trips to the grocery store were how I made sure Emily and I were well fed.

However, things have been different here in Nicaragua.  Whether it’s the lack of fridge/freezer space, or the fact that I can purchase all of my provisions within walking distance, I’ve developed a more improvisational style in regards to food preparation.  Sure, I’m still constantly thinking about what we’re going to eat, but I’m mostly focused hours, not days, ahead.  Here’s what a typical day looks like: Continue reading A Day in the Life (of my belly)

In Joy and Pain


This week was difficult for us and the teachers of Estelí; a beloved and hardworking district employee, and dear friend of ours, suddenly passed away.  Between attending the wake and funeral services, we were exhausted and knew the teachers were, too, so in efforts to be culturally sensitive, we canceled our Wednesday conversation group.

Almost immediately after sending the cancellation text, our phones rang off the hook!  One of my counterparts, Regina, got in touch with me and said, “You can’t cancel tonight!  We have a late-birthday surprise planned for Andrew.  We don’t care if we don’t formally have class, but you still have to come.”  So we resent the message, saying we’d have an informal class, for anyone who just wanted to come and be together.

Regina had cooked an entire, delicious Nicaraguan meal in honor of Andrew.  As she says, “he loves all the foods!”  Even in the midst of pain and loss, perhaps especially during these times, our friends have shown incredible care, affection, and love for us.  I hope we can learn from and carry their example with us for years to come.

Small but Mighty – The History of the 10 Córdoba Bill

This is a post in our series On Culture and Currency: History Lessons in the Palms of our Hands.

While Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, it is barely half the size of Oregon, my home state.  My concept of country size has been challenged many times, including when I unknowingly befriended the godson of the Vice President of Nicaragua. What Nicaragua lacks in geographical presence it makes up for in a plucky, underdog spirit that is woven into its historical narrative.  Two such examples are displayed on the (fittingly) smallest bill: 10 Córdobas. Continue reading Small but Mighty – The History of the 10 Córdoba Bill

5 Tuani Years

Today marks 5 incredible years of marriage.  We feel so lucky to be serving in the Peace Corps with our life partner and still think Two is Twice as Tuani.  May the next 5 years bring us even more wonder, growth, understanding, and adventure.

Camp GLOW 2016 Video

With a Spanish version of “Fight Song” as our anthem, workshops about sharing power in relationships, goal setting, HIV/Aids and pregnancy prevention, and redefining ideas of beauty, all combined with the magic power of camp songs, games and fun, this week was the week of a lifetime.  Enjoy the smiles and joy that is women’s empowerment. Via GAD Nicaragua 

Musings from Nica | A Couple's Journey in the Peace Corps


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