While working as a Peace Corps Volunteer, writing was how I processed the exhilaration of adapting to life in a rural Dominican pueblo. I knew that the pictures from my camera wouldn’t do justice to the memorable events I was living out on a daily basis. Writing was the only way I was sure to capture every detail worth remembering.

The Dominican Republic ProjectAndrea's Dominican Republic essaysview Andrea's Dominican Republic artwork

After I sent out a few emails, people back home responded with interest in reading more about my Peace Corps life. The number of people receiving my emails increased monthly. People forwarded them to other people, tacked them up in staff rooms, and read them to classrooms of students. My brother bound them together like a book, and my mother slid each one into its own plastic cover, organized into two, three-ringed binders.

I had an audience; a captive group of readers in classrooms, offices, and homes across the U.S. who volunteered to join me on every adventure. The opportunity to share it with others and to connect people to a culture I was growing to love motivated me to write.

I returned home in May 2003 and people still comment on the stories they read during my two years of service. Some say they see their life from a different perspective or they’ll ask how a particular Dominican friend is doing. Since the first week of volunteer training in February 2001, images and feelings from my experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer have been noted and stored into my memory. These impressions of the Dominican Republic are still emerging onto paper. This portion of the web page is devoted to those creations.