Argentina, here we come!

8 05 2010

As most of you know, Tim and I decided that after nearly two years in Pittsburgh we were ready for a new adventure. So this Wednesday, May 12, he and I will be moving to La Plata, Argentina, where I accepted an International Program Coordinator (PC) position with the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD).

FSD is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that “supports the efforts of grassroots organizations in the developing world that are working to better their communities, environments, and the economic opportunities around them” (fsdinternational.org — check it out!). A quick way to sum up the work that the organization does is to say that it places interns and volunteers– of all ages and backgrounds– with local organizations in six different countries. In fact, FSD placed me with the health clinic in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua in 2008. I had such a wonderful time working with FSD in that capacity and am eager to continue my relationship with the organization as a PC for the La Plata program.

Being a PC is pretty close to my dream job at this point in my career. It’s a perfect way to combine my interest in strengthening the efforts of small nonprofits with my passion for international development. I will be working with FSD’s partner organizations, which will certainly provide insight into the ways that different organizations address community-level development issues. Another large portion of my job will be volunteer/intern management, meaning that I will get to interact with people with similar interests as me while gaining some meaningful management experience. I’m excited to conduct trainings and orientations for the interns and partner organizations, and, hopefully, I will get some (albeit limited) experience with project design and management. On top of all of the great work, taking this position means moving to a new country and getting to know a new culture, which is always a great learning experience in and of itself.

La Plata, the city where we’ll be living, is the capital of the Buenos Aires province and is home to roughly 600,000 people. Supposedly, the cathedral is the biggest church in the country and the city’s layout is one of the best. For our first month, Tim and I will be living with a host family, as a way to get accustomed to the language, food and culture. After that initial month, however, Tim and I are free to live wherever we choose. I’m sure we will want more independence (and spending money!) than living with a host family will allow us to have, but who knows what kind of accommodations we will find.

Tim does not have a job lined up yet, although the FSD field staff have assured me he will have no problems finding a position in social work or education. Despite not having a job secured (and not really knowing the language!), Tim seems genuinely excited for the big move. He just finished his last days with Gateway Rehab this week and appears to really be looking forward to this new stage. I feel unspeakably grateful to be with someone who is not only willing, but excited!, to pack up our Morningside apartment and move to the other side of the world with me on only three weeks notice. I have no doubt that our time in Argentina will be as wonderful for him as it will be for me.

This is where I conclude the first of our blog entries. We will both try to update as often as possible, especially in the first weeks and months as we get settled. The next time you hear from us though, we’ll be enjoying a cool fall day in La Plata.

Love and besos.

Katie

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One response

28 05 2010
Cristobal F.

Hey guys! I just found your blog through your facebook profiles. Awesome!, I’ll be following you two from here. You are tagged just between ‘Standfors social Innovation review’ andTED talks XD

Tim, you are on mi list of ‘people i’m looking forward to meet someday’ ! I wish one day we well will meet each other.

Love .

Cristobal

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