First Official Diary Entry

Elena, my language teacher, has distributed a folder which we now know we will be filling with periodic diary entries … in Spanish … throughout our language learning experience (at least the formal one, as I’m sure, there will be much to learn even after these three months conclude).

Here’s what I wrote in English before beginning the not-so-plenty task of translating both words and concepts into a new language/culture: Continue reading First Official Diary Entry

More on San Miguel and other tidbits

For those who are curious about a “typical day” thus far, I got permission from fellow trainee Lauren Hayden to share the link to her blog: She nailed it so I see no reason to repeat what she has said so succinctly.

Darrell Potter, a fellow novice I’m sharing Spanish classes with and who also lives in my community, has a great eye so if you want more photos, check out his blog:,

Here are few photos from my perspective: Continue reading More on San Miguel and other tidbits

Just another Saturday in the life of Karen Campbell …

Eliza in mercadoToday’s walking tour of downtown San Jose was made even more interesting by that fact that I experienced the whole of it — beautiful stained glass in cathedrals, multinationals in parks, parrots calling out from trees, exquisite and fastidiously maintained architecture, illegal vendors calling out for anyone/everyone to buy pirated DVDs and everything from “leather” goods to kid’s toys, drug addicts stumbling in the streets, Peruvian musicians, and families enjoying the beautiful day — while carrying five dead chickens. Continue reading Just another Saturday in the life of Karen Campbell …

Add love … stir often

olla de carne pot 1Today I was introduced to the arduous task of preparing olla de carne (pot of meat). My host — Elizabeth Sanchez — started early this morning. Had I known the roosters weren’t the only ones up at that hour, I would have joined her to help much sooner than I did.  By olla de carne - pot 2the time I came out of my room a bit after 7 a.m., she already had the fire going, the “carne” in the “olla,” and was preparing to head to the bakery and vegetable stands she preferred in the nearby community. Continue reading Add love … stir often

New friends…

Tico29Meet Tico29 — the identifying name that Peace Corps uses with each of its groups. In this one shot you see world travelers (well over 20), language learners, pursuers of social justice, friends and mentors to special needs individuals, people of faith, believers in the mystery, teachers, accountants, advocates, quirky individualists, seekers of inner peace, lovers, fighters, Peace Corps volunteers in training and so much more. We stand 41 strong. We are here for community development and teaching English by way of a task assignment but most of all to be the best representatives of world peace and friendship that we can be. We’re off to a good start!

My Peace Corps Inspirations!

imageRoger and Brittany, both former Peace Corps volunteers, stopped by for a post-orientation dinner along with Richard and Robin (who made this website possible). We talked world peace and friendship (mission of PC) and organizational goals of meeting needs, promoting positive image of US to host country and of host country to US. We also told silly jokes, solved numerous earth-shattering Continue reading My Peace Corps Inspirations!

Getting Oriented …

phoThe rain couldn’t douse my enthusiasm this morning but it did make for a perfect day to enjoy a bowl of Pho in downtown Houston when I learned that orientation REALLY didn’t get underway until around 2 p.m. So I’m relishing the good feelings of having spent last night with friends who made it through the downpour to enjoy one more “going away” get-together.  And I’m also taking the time to chronicle a few of the feelings that have already made me ponder. Continue reading Getting Oriented …