Teddy Dondanville

Archives

As my birthday approaches during the current pandemic, I am spending time reflecting on what it means to not necessarily feel special at this time. Me, like so many others, are experiencing what it feels like to have a meaningful event get put on hold, or worse, completely washed over. Others are postponing the weddings they’ve been planning for years while some high school and college graduates experience the anti-climatic culmination of… Read More

My two years in Peru were surrounded by mountains. I lived in the Andes. Between the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra. It was epically beautiful to have such towering mountains on all sides of me every single day. They were always the highest things. The sun and moon would always set and rise behind them. My horizon was greatly diminished in distance because of how close I was living to the… Read More

Another thing I have noticed since I’ve been back in the US is that some of my eating habits have changed. The most obvious to me is my concern for not wasting food. While living in Peru I learned not to say no to someone who is offering you food. Along with that, it is very important to finish everything on your plate. Receiving food and being grateful for it is really… Read More

Adjusting back to the pace of Los Angeles has been interesting. For the most part, I do a lot of bicycle riding. I work on my bike as a courier, and when I go to my nanny job, I commute on bicycle. However there are some times when I need to drive. This mostly is when I am commuting to the farther reaches of Los Angeles or leaving the city completely. Since… Read More

Readjusting back into the United States has been an interesting process. What I have discovered is that once you’ve lived in a different culture for long enough, culture shock impacts you once again when you shift back to your home country. Culture shock works in both directions. This post isn’t necessarily about the moments of culture shock I’ve experienced since I’ve been back in the United States. Although that would be pretty… Read More

Since I have come to Perú my media intake has increased quite a bit. I find myself using my cell phone a lot more, and relying on my computer to entertain me. For some people I think this might sound like the opposite of the Peace Corps experience. In fact, I never would have predicted that my media intake in the Peace Corps would grow to be larger than it was when… Read More

In Peru there is a lot of waiting outside of doors. If you go to someone else’s house it is polite to wait for the host or hostess to invite you inside. Going to someone’s house and walking straight in would be really strange. This much is true for bedrooms also. When I lived with my host family, my host siblings would never just walk into my room. They would always be… Read More

It’s pretty bad. My attention span that is. I have noticed a big difference in my ability to stay focused since I became a volunteer. I think the change is easy for me to see because my lifestyle is so different than what it used to be. Going straight from being a graduate student in a Master’s program to a PC volunteer was not the easiest thing. As a student I was… Read More

Figuring out how to understand humor in Spanish took me a while. Understanding when to use it myself took even longer. Now I am able to joke amongst colleagues and friends like I would normally in English. I’ve got a better handle on what Peruvians think is funny and how/when to deliver jokes. I think it’s really hard to try and explain each individual good joke. There is so much that is… Read More