March 1, 2003: Headlines: COS - Nicaragua: Pomona Magazine: From 2000 to 2002, Kathy Sepponen lived in San Antonio de las Nubes, San Juan del Rio Coco, Madriz, Nicaragua

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Nicaragua: Peace Corps Nicaragua: The Peace Corps in Nicaragua: March 1, 2003: Headlines: COS - Nicaragua: Pomona Magazine: From 2000 to 2002, Kathy Sepponen lived in San Antonio de las Nubes, San Juan del Rio Coco, Madriz, Nicaragua

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From 2000 to 2002, Kathy Sepponen lived in San Antonio de las Nubes, San Juan del Rio Coco, Madriz, Nicaragua

From 2000 to 2002, Kathy Sepponen lived in San Antonio de las Nubes, San Juan del Rio Coco, Madriz, Nicaragua

From 2000 to 2002, Kathy Sepponen lived in San Antonio de las Nubes, San Juan del Rio Coco, Madriz, Nicaragua

Kathy Sepponen ’00
I studied international relations at Pomona, focusing on development and gender issues. The Peace Corps was a natural extension of my studies as far as gaining practical experience in doing development work. I also wanted to do something drastically different from writing papers and doing academic research so when I was nominated for the Food Security Program/Small Livestock in Nicaragua, that sealed the deal.

From 2000 to 2002, I lived in San Antonio de las Nubes, San Juan del Rio Coco, Madriz, Nicaragua (translated is Saint Anthony of the Clouds, Saint John of the Coconut River, Madriz, Nicaragua). It was a small village of 250 people, a one-and-a-half-hour walk from the nearest bus or building with electricity (and six freaking hours from the nearest functional phone) in the heart of the coffee mountains of the northern provinces. I worked on crop diversification, soil conservation, fruit tree grafting, animal husbandry (mostly chickens and pigs), livestock vaccinations, family gardens, vermiculture, composting, my beloved women's group and medicinal plants.

Anecdotes from Nicaragua get pretty intense and often times messy. My first week there during training I was palpating cows and learning how to butcher chickens. After my first month I was using hitchhiking as my main form of transport. Then there was all those bouts with amoebic dysentery. I loved my time there immensely and I think the most telling moments of my service were how such utterly different surroundings in which I was a painfully obvious outsider came to feel like home. Walking one-and-a-half hours to buy rice came to seem normal. Bathing with a 5-gallon bucket and a little pan became second nature. Electricity became an urban legend for me, and that was fine. The members of my community became not only my assignments but friends who I cherish and miss dearly. Eating rice and beans for every meal, well, I never got used to that.

In the fall I will be attending the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins to get my masters with the intention of getting paid for doing Peace Corps-type work in the future. My heart and soul are in doing the type of work that I did in Nicaragua. In my mind it requires a delicate balance between innocence and experience—the innocence to accept what is new and strange with excitement and willingness to learn and the experience to know how to make good decisions and listen to your instincts. If anything, once you come back home to the States you can appreciate what you have so much more. To this day a good burrito makes me ridiculously happy. Electricity is pretty cool too. I really do miss hitchhiking, however.

—Deborah Haar Clark

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

January 15, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 15 2005 No: 375 January 15, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Bellamy finishing term - Veneman to head Unicef 15 Jan
230 RPCVs volunteer for Crisis Corps 14 Jan
Peace Corps Fund needs silent auction items 12 Jan
Matt Gould in one-man Peace Corps show in Hollywood 12 Jan
Taylor Hackford's "Ray" Nominated for Golden Globe 12 Jan
Ambassador Johnson shares memories of Thailand 11 Jan
Senator Dodd suggests PC return to Venezuela 11 Jan
Ambassador Hull wants PC to return to Sierra Leone 11 Jan
Poiriers unhappy with PC investigation of missing son 10 Jan
Emile Hons reflects on the Deborah Gardner murder case 10 Jan
Judge Paul A. Bastine criticized for stalling Divorce 6 Jan
Volunteer Patricia D. Scatoloni dies in Macedonia 4 Jan
more top stories...

Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

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Story Source: Pomona Magazine

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Nicaragua



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