Dream Dinner Abroad: Chile

After two years in Ethiopia, I’m beyond excited to try all the amazing food along the way of our big trip. India, Thailand, Vietnam and China are all fairly well known for their cuisines and I can’t WAIT to try them. Sharing a meal is one of the best ways I know to really get to know a culture.

That said, this trip has made me realize the gaps in my travels and the food I haven’t yet gotten try. South America is one of these gaps. Growing up in Texas I had my fair share of Tex-Mex and Mexican food, but I’ve never been farther south than Costa Rica. Lately, I’ve been really wanting to get to Chile and try some Chilean food!

Some of the Chilean foods I am excited to try include:

  • Beef empanadas (beef wrapped in a pastry and friend)
  • Corn humitas (similar to a tamale but using corn found in central Chile)
  • Chilean style stuffed potatoes (baked potatoes stuffed with meat, eggs, vegetable and spices)
  • Pebre sauce (a cilantro-based spicy sauce traditionally served on bread or salad)
  • And for dessert, Cocado (a cookie that is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside)

When I get to Chile, I’d definitely start doing my research on where to find these foods. Although I’d love to try and cook them, I first would want to see how a Chilean prepares the foods. After living in Ethiopia, I know that my early tries of shiro or doro wat were not at all similar to how they are cooked in Ethiopia.

I’d start doing some web research to find a restaurant that serves these different foods. Most Chilean websites aren’t automatically translated into English and, unfortunately, I don’t speak Spanish (yet!). Even though I can pick out the words “empanada” and “humitas,” if the rest of the website is in Spanish, I’d probably just move on to the next until I find one that can be translated. Having translation software with the ability to translate into any language, or at the minimum, English, would be incredibly helpful as I try to find a place to have all these amazing Chilean dishes.

Do these Chilean food sound like something you’d want to try? If not, in what country would your dream dinner take place?


Deep breath. This is my last Peace Corps update post. So many days I never thought I’d make it, but I did. And I am stronger for it.

I leave Bahir Dar Thursday morning and it is my time to go. After everything I have given Ethiopia, and it has given me in return, there is nothing better than knowing that it is enough, that I have given enough, and it is time.

When I was in Addis several weeks ago, all of my friends were leaving. All of G8 was in Addis preparing to COS (Close of Service) from this experience and leave. It was hard, sitting there listening to their excited chatter about how many shoes they managed to get rid of and how many bags of stuff they had, while I knew I still was here for another month. But now it’s my time. I am ready.


Several weeks ago I celebrated my THIRD Thanksgiving in country. The first year we had a lovely G8 Thanksgiving at our training hub and last year I went with about 8 other PCVs to the house of a US Embassy employee. This year, I got to have Thanksgiving dinner at the house of another US Embassy employee and Returned Peace Corps volunteer couple, and best of all, I got to have it with Ryan!

When we arrived at the house Thanksgiving afternoon, a fire was crackling and we could smell the dinner being prepared in the kitchen. It was a lovely day filled with family and good food and I’m so thankful I was able to be a part of it!

Lora Kathleen Thanksgivingthanksgiving2014

COS Trip


I am so thrilled to be heading off on the great adventure with Ryan starting NEXT WEEK! We are spending Christmas and New Year in India, then charting off on the course already planned. We have almost everything logistically figured out, now it’s just filling in the experience of being IN a place. I’m really excited for this adventure and hope you all come along for the ride!

Furthermore, I want to give a huge shoutout to Qatar Airways for their stopover and transit program. I have a 14+ hour layover in Doha and they are giving me a hotel for my layover! After all the trouble we had with Emirates, I wasn’t expecting much but the employees here in Ethiopia have been amazing. So thanks Qatar Airways, I’m really looking forward to my first flight with you!

Henna in Chefchaouen

IMG_9908 IMG_9930

My first henna experience! It was a nice end to our last day in Chefchaouen.

Ethiopia, by the Numbers

Ethiopia by the numbers
Here is a summary of my service, by the numbers:

  • 27 months of service
  • 7 pairs of shoes destroyed by harsh conditions
  • 2 summer camps directed
  • 2 times I (seriously) considered going home early
  • 5 rocks thrown at me (and hit me)
  • 1 broken toe
  • 0 confirmed cases of giardia, parasite, etc
  • 6 other names I went by: Loiya, Flora, Liya (Leah), Lori, Abeba (flower in Amharic), Loraye (my Lora in Amharic)
  • 3 holiday seasons away from home
  • 72 phone and Skype calls with my parents
  • 35 days spent outside of Ethiopia
  • 0 projects still in effect
  • 26 visits to Addis Ababa
  • 2 animals killed by a vehicle I was riding in
  • 4 times moved houses
  • 190 hours on Ethiopian public transport
  • 120 books read
  • 23 people stuffed into a 12 person van
  • 4 American visitors
  • 2 broken down buses
  • 1 cow in my house
  • 138,275 total birr I lived on for 2 years ($6,914 USD)
  • 2 compound kittens I loved
  • 41 days of in-service trainings
  • 3 times I saw “Lucy”
  • 2 cameras stolen
  • 980 cups of coffee consumed
  • 0 gorshas received
  • 47 complete television series watched off my hard drive
  • 23 nights I was awake late enough to hear the church service start at 3:30am
  • 1 love of my life
  • 814 days of Ethiopia.

Mausoleum of Mohammed V

Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Rabat | Lora Kathleen