Why, hello there. It’s nice to see you. I thought that, as life turns a bit of a corner, I would take a moment to introduce myself.
I am unusually lucky in that, this month, the frenetic energy of the past year or two has started to settle. The frantic, perpetually-behind feeling of homeschool has relaxed into benign neglect; a million unrelated projects have converged into a few big ones; ongoing rage about what’s happening in my home country, the United States, grows every day, but there is at least plenty on my to-do list both there and here. Finally, my daily blog has stretched out into a weekly affair. I’m thinking of this space as “Domingueando,” that beautiful Spanish word for “Sunday-ing.” A relaxed drive or trip or stroll. A pleasant wander. A nap under a tree with a straw hat over your face. That kind of thing.
I hope that those of you who’ve had a daily coffee with me over the past year (a coffee that sometimes was served, cold and hastily, at 11:50 pm) will now pour a refill, or maybe a mimosa or a Bloody Mary, and join me on Sundays for a more leisurely conversation.
You can’t do that with a stranger, so here’s who I am in September 2020. I’m a 41-year-old writer, journalist, nonprofit jack-of-all-trades, mother of a seven-year-old who is obsessed with spies, and husband to the most mellow Costa Rican ever to dig into a plate of pinto. These days, I’m focusing in on three main projects. The first is the Costa Rica Corps, a virtual volunteer initiative I launched in April with two other intrepid old friends, Travis Bays and Ana Camacho; we match people who love Costa Rica and would like to donate their time and talent, with community organizations for online service. After some time spent treading water, I’m now gearing up for a 12-week push – with amazing support from Returned Peace Corps Volunteers – to create volunteer trainings and tools that will allow us to “reboot” the Corps in early 2021 and recruit virtual volunteers for specific tasks. Please follow along on our website, Facebook and Instagram, because there’s much more coming from this new initiative.
Second is El Colectivo 506, the new media organization I co-founded last week. It seeks to support in-depth, quality, “slow journalism” while also showcasing Costa Rica’s rural communities through a national directory. We’re trying to raise $15,000 by November 15th to get the party started and launch our website on Jan. 1, 2021. I wrote more about this here and hope you’ll follow us and get to know my intrepid co-founders and old friends Mónica Quesada and Pippa Kelly.
Third and finally, I’m a writer for hire… and for myself. I’m writing grant proposals, websites, and fundraising campaigns – both paid freelance gigs for people and organizations I admire, and work I donate to communities and organizations that need the help. (After all, I’m a Costa Rica Corps Virtual Volunteer, too.) And I’m writing freelance journalism, personal essays, and a pesky old pipe dream of a novel.
So, that’s me. Mucho gusto. As they write so elegantly in Spanish: Without anything else for the moment, I bid you farewell. I’d like to wish you a measure of peace this Sunday. An extra coffee. A spot of sun. I look forward to seeing you next week to rest, ponder, and dominguear.
Featured image by Rebeca Bolaños via Shutterstock.
I run the virtual volunteer community Costa Rica Corps and am the co-founder of the new, bilingual media organization El Colectivo 506. I also work as a freelance grantwriter, fundraiser, and communications coach, and write essays, articles and books. I live in San José with my husband and daughter. Sign up (top right) to receive an essay in your inbox each Sunday morning, perfect a leisurely exploration of a project, changemaker, community, or idea I’ve come across.