Danielle is a family friend. She’s in Nicaragua. In a really rural, poor-as-dirt part of Nicaragua. Danielle is in the Peace Corps.
Danielle graduated from college recently, and she could be doing just about anything a normal twenty-something would want to do. She’s smart, extremely athletic, musically inclined, has a great personality and is vastly more beautiful than I could ever have been handsome. She was one of New Hampshire’s top track athletes in high school, highly motivated and successful. Yet all the things she’s been gifted with left her wanting for something else.
So she did what few of us would ever be willing to do; she left home and for the next two years is going to teach and farm in the lower-class region of a third-world country. I couldn’t be more proud of her.
I write about Danielle because I want others to read about her. She does not have it easy. This is a huge transition and a greater learning experience for her than it is for those she is trying to help; and worse, she’s gone to a part of the world where the spiders are, like, the size of your hand. She hates spiders.
She started a blog. It’s called (surprise) Danielle in Nicaragua. Her writing skills are not necessarily perfect but grammatically and phonetically close enough to get the point across. What’s neat about her blog is its endearing nature. It’s a quirky and fun read. She only gets a chance to write maybe once a week at most – I believe she has to travel to some larger town that has a wi-fi connection – but her letters weave a story vastly different than the stuff we usually read and write about in the world we live in. Her stories are about how most people on Earth live, not how we live.
Danielle in Nicaragua is worth a visit. The embedded video above and the one below (which includes musical references to The Godfather and Radiohead) were taken and produced by one of her fellow Peace Corps volunteers; they are funny and educational. Notice what they do with the few tools and materials they have to work with.
So read her blog and leave an encouragement or two in the comments section. She’ll appreciate it.