I think everyone has an Uncle Leroy. We all have that person in our family who is notoriously irresponsible.  Families talk about Uncle Leroy behind closed doors, telling their children stories about what not to do.  My dad talks about the wise career guidance he received from his parents, which was something like "Get a job.  Don't be like Leroy.” My Great-Uncle Leroy never graduated from college.  I'm sure he meant to when his parents paid for tuition, but somewhere along the way, he … [Read More...]


The Moment When Everything Changed

A year ago, I wish I had known how quickly everything can change.  Because nine months ago, I made the most impromptu decision of my life. I didn’t know any Spanish.  I quit my job in Chicago, and I didn’t want to teach anymore.  I’m not sure I could have found Guatemala on an un-labeled […]



I spent a few days this week in Antigua.  Antigua is a historic town a few miles away from Guatemala City, full of old churches and cobblestone streets and touristy souvenir shops.  Getting around Guatemala is always an adventure—especially when you’re doing it alone. But I booked a charter bus out of Xela, hopped on […]


We are More Than a Résumé

Before I graduated from college, I visited the career center at my university to get help making a résumé.  I learned all about action verbs and bullet points and the sovereignty of Times New Roman.  But I remember thinking not even the strongest verbs or the most nondescript fonts could make my two summer jobs […]



It’s funny how some of my most vivid memories involve running. In second grade, we had a pen pal from the school across town—mine was a boy named Javier.  Our pen pals came to meet us, and he said “I bet you can’t beat me to the fence!” “I bet I can!” I said, and […]

books and postage

The Story of Books and Postage

Expectations are heavy.   I remember the day when I decided to leave. It was about a month before I quit my job, and three months before I accepted a job in western Guatemala and bought a plane ticket.  At the time, though, something just didn’t feel right. When I moved out of my apartment, […]

  • a day at home
  • a day in chicago
  • evening on a hill
  • a day in london
  • a day in ireland
  • a day of joy
  • a day in xela
  • a day by the sea