Ethiopia: As a 10-Year-Old Sees It.

Sometimes, I think faraway places seem faraway. Really, really faraway. Unimaginably different, inexplicably bizarre, incomprehensible. The differences seem to far outweigh the similarities, and the faraway place remains, mentally, very far away. I think I have something to make Ethiopia feel... familiar, or at least normal. Here are ten pictures that my Ethiopian host sister... Continue Reading →


What is Pre-Service Training?

Peace Corps service is twenty-seven months long: three months of pre-service training (PST) and twenty-four months (two years) of service. Before you get to the actual job, you have to make it through twelve weeks of CBT (community-based training). During that time, you’re a PCT (Peace Corps Trainee) — you become a PCV (Peace Corps... Continue Reading →

Fifteen Kilometers Left To Travel

There are just fifteen kilometers left to travel. Sitting on the bus, waiting to leave. I’ve been traveling for two days, and this is the third and final bus, taking me to the village where I will live for the next two years. This morning, it took us nearly five hours to conquer 150 kilometers,... Continue Reading →

This Will Be Your Home.

This morning, when I woke up, I had no idea where I'd be spending the next two years. Around 11am, I stood in the parking lot behind a fancy hotel in Addis Ababa, staring at at an outline of the map of Ethiopia on the pavement. Then, I was handed a brown, paper envelope and... Continue Reading →

Integration is Weird

Peace Corps is constantly telling us to “integrate.” Speak the local language well? Good work, you’re so integrated. Wear culturally appropriate clothes? Great, you’re so integrated. Want to do something slightly out of local social norms? No, it’s going to negatively affect your integration. Integration is definitely important. It’s very, very, very important. It’s important... Continue Reading →

Why Teach English in Ethiopia?

“Name!” she exclaims, having caught up to me. It’s my second day of teaching at this particular high school in rural Ethiopia, and a group of three ninth-grade girls has chased me down the road. “My name is Diana,” I reply. “Name!” she replies again, not having understood my answer. “Diana,” I try again. “What... Continue Reading →

Becoming A Good Teacher

A little over five years ago, when I was a high school student in Swaziland, there is a conversation I had with a friend’s mother — a teacher. “To be a good teacher,” she said. “You have to teach the students, not the subject.” Five years later, and I’ve grown from a high school student... Continue Reading →

How Peace Corps Ethiopia Picks Sites

We recently had a training session on how Peace Corps, at least Peace Corps Ethiopia, picks the sites that volunteers will spend two years at, and how different volunteers get assigned to different sites. While one of the Peace Corps core expectations is to serve where assigned, even under conditions of hardship, it is definitely... Continue Reading →

Cabbage and Illiteracy

I get home from training today, drop my backpack in the house, change from my teaching clothes into my house clothes, and head back outside to the kitchen with my host mom. Sitting down on the sack of fertilizer that we use as a chair, we sort through the rough stalks of the greens, ripping... Continue Reading →

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