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Staging, Guatemala and the First 2 days of PST 🇬🇹☮️❤️

Ok, so let’s just start with Staging. Or better yet the morning of staging. Or better than that, a few days before leaving for staging when my mom planned a surprise going away party for me complete with all my favorite foods and people! We ate, laughed, cried and laughed and ate some more, and even had a fire outside to enjoy! It was “one of those nights you would remember forever” directly quoted by my bff Katie. That day was very rough. I had to say goodbye to my little brother and sister that we’re back off to college. It’s hard to say goodbye to people who are in every minute of your life. But I had to remember that it’s only see you later. I cried, took some pictures and sent them off. Then the night before staging, I had to say my goodbyes to my other littlest brother. That was hard y’all. This lil guy is like my right hand. Goodbyes were hard. He didn’t understand because he’s only 12. He doesn’t understand why his big sister is leaving him for 27 months. But the only thing I could tell him was that I was always going to be with him even though I’m not there physically. Just a short phone call away. A simple text. A short video chat. Then the next morning came. Staging day! I woke up (3:00am) from the little sleep I got, showered in my own shower for the last time, cried my eyes out while saying goodbye to my 8 year old Golden Retriever pup, Trigo, slapped my makeup on, had my last cup of morning coffee with my mom and Dad, got dressed in my business casual, finished packing my bag, kissed my little brother on the forehead and told him goodbye one last time, and headed to the airport. Mom and Dad came with me, and on the way we had several encouraging conversations. Just be careful Bailey, we love you so much Bailey, we are so proud of you Bailey. That’s all I wanted to hear. Then we got to the airport, I checked my luggage, and my flight was delayed another couple hours, but my parents had to leave so they could take my brother to school that morning. So I had to say goodbye then. Y’all, that SUCKED. It was a tear fest. In the middle of the airport. I hugged my mom and Dad for the last time for the next 8 months (when I come home for a visit), and I left up the escalator to go through security. After that was over, I was fine! I just had to get past the sad stuff to see the hopefully fun and wonderful stuff there is to come.

I finally land in Houston at like 11:30am, got my luggage and a taxi and went to the hotel where staging was to be held. When I walked in, there were a handful of people with a crap ton of luggage in the lobby and I instantly said “oh ok these have to be my people!” 😅 They all laughed and said “yes that would be us!” From that moment I knew this would be a great experience. A little later we were able to register and then we got our fancy shmancy peace corps passport. Well not really got it, but we got to see it lol. Then we started our sessions and did a bunch of ice breakers and then started with the actual info part of staging. I think my favorite part of staging was that not once did they use a PowerPoint. This was all very real talk, unscripted and honest conversations about what lies ahead for us in Guatemala. It was a mini crash course of what to expect during our time with the Peace Corps as well as a review of the policies and protocols. Then we did a few more activities and then finally we finished. We were given information about our flight to Guatemala, and then staging was complete! Easy peezy! It was not near as stressful as what I was expecting. But everyone’s staging experience will be different so I can only speak for me. We went to eat dinner at chipotle for our last American dinner, and went to room to finish packing once again. Then around 11pm, I was finally able to hit my pillow and get approximately 3 hours of sleep before having to get up in the morning. Once we all were in the lobby at 3:30am, we were given fancy green pieces of yarn that we were told is a Peace Corps tradition. We tied a piece onto both pieces of luggage and were told it was to remind us that we are all a family. *cue tears*. Anyways, we all made it though security around 6:20am. It took us that long to figure out how to send 41 people on a group travel ticket to another country lol. Our flight left at 9:45am, so we had a crap ton of time to kill. So I got a coffee, a sandwich and slept for a while. Then we finally boarded the plane and left for Guate!

When we arrived and came down the escalators there were other currently serving PCVs holding signs, and shouting welcome to Guatemala Bak’tun 12!!!!! There was marimba music playing and it was just perfection. My heart melted!!! We then made it through security and customs, got our fancy stamp in our official PC passport, and loaded our luggage loaded ourselves in little busses to head for the PC office. I sat next to this guy who is also a YiD volunteer and we just chatted about everything about Guatemala and his experiences and it was such a wonderful conversation ☺️ Then we made it to the Peace Corps office. It is BEAUTIFUL Y’ALL!!!!!! It looks like a freaking embassy that’s how beautiful it is. Flowers everywhere, green luscious grass and trees, cool crisp air…. AY QUÉ RICO! We had never ending supply of coffee and then we started our sessions for the rest of the day after we ate lunch. Then at 5 we went to pack a small bag for the next three days because we would be staying in a hotel for the duration of the three days. Then at 6pm we had dinner which was soup and chicken, DELISH. Then we played some name games with the group and then bed time!

Next morning was even more fun filled, but it’s 10:30pm here and I’m exhausted so I’m going to have to tell y’all about this day tomorrow 😅 Bottom line, I LOVE GUATEMALA. Buenas noches mi gente!


Today is THE DAY. Hoy es EL DÍA.

Well today is the day. The day that I say goodbye or rather “see you later” to everything I’ve known and completely hop ship into a whole other world. Am I scared? Not really. Am I sad? Yes. But not as much anymore because all the goodbyes are finally over with. Saying goodbye to my family and dog and friends was one of the saddest things I’ve had to do. But a wise witty soul once told me: “your friends and family will still be your friends and family no matter where you go.” I know that no matter what I have their love and support and that makes all the difference in this transition. Am I excited? ABSOLUTELY. I am beyond ready to begin this journey. I literally cannot believe this day has finally came. It feels like yesterday I was just putting in my application. My brain is having a hard time fathoming that this is real. I feel like any moment I could just wake up and all of this could be fake. But it’s not! It’s real! I’m moving to Guatemala!

I am currently in the Pensacola International Airport and the fun adventures have already begun and I haven’t even arrived to Guate yet! Flight delays are SO MUCH FUN YALL. So now instead of arriving at 8:53am in Houston, TX I’m arriving literally at 11:23am. LOL. It’s a 20 minute uber ride from the airport to the hotel and registration is at 12pm. So this should be interesting 😅 Managing two 50 pound suitcases and a 25 pound backpack while running to the parking area of the airport will be the highlight of the day. I just may get my 6 pack of abs in one day 🤣 Only time will tell. Anyways, I’m looking forward to meeting all of our team and learning a ton at staging! I can’t believe I’ll be in Guatemala tomorrow 😭🇬🇹☮️❤️ God is good y’all. So good. I pray for safe travels for everyone today! Also before ending this blog, you should be freaking ecstatic to know that both my pieces of luggage were UNDER 50 POUNDS AND I DIDNT HAVE TO PAY FOR OVERWEIGHT LUGGAGE!!!!! Like I said, God is good y’all. Alright! More blogs to come after staging takes place!!!! Love you all!

13 days and a Student Loan Crisis…


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WHERE DO I EVEN START. Ok, let’s start with this simple suggestion: GET YO STUDENT LOAN CRAP TAKEN CARE OF WAYYYYYY BEFORE I DID. I leave in approximately 13 days and I just found out today that only 2 of the 5 loans I have are in repayment, which means that the first Income Driven Repayment plan application I submitted only applies to those 2. Not the other 3. SO more bad news… The other 3 that are currently in grace period do not enter into repayment period until February. WELL that’s bad because in order for the last 3 loans to be placed on the IDR plan like the other 2 loans, I have to (brace for it) FILL OUT A WHOLE OTHER FORM AND SUBMIT MY PROOF OF INCOME ALL OVER AGAIN. I won’t be able to come home until May. That was my plan. Wait until May, after being in Guate for 6 months, a small trip home was in my plans. But now I have this to worry about. According to the lovely people at my loan provider, I have 2 choices. Choice #1: re-submit my IDR application again along with the proof of income in February online, pending I have access to internet, pending nothing has happened to my computer (I’ve had bad luck with computers my whole life). Choice #2: Hire a Power of Attorney for them to fill out the paper work and mail it in back stateside. OBVIOUSLY, option #2 is not an option for me. I have less than 2 weeks remaining stateside, I haven’t the time to wait on the paperwork for getting a Power of Attorney. So. My only real choice is to hope and pray for internet in February. Or else I will have a $460/month payment due, which wouldn’t be possible for me to pay on PC salary. I will keep y’all updated on this process, becuase I hope that it helps the next person who is trying to tie up loose ends before leaving for their service. I have called my loan provider at least 10 times and each time they have told me a different story of what I need to do and how I need to do it and when I need to have it done by. I was frustrated. But then I remember once again, my tattoo, déjelo fluir. Let it flow. Just go with it. So I am not going to worry about it. I will hopefully have access to internet that specific month and everything will be hunky dory. Lol.

Anyways, it’s under 2 weeks until staging! Ahh! I can’t even believe it! I can’t wait. I am getting more sad when I think about hugging my dog for the last time until I get to come home again, but other than that, no tears have been shed 🙂

Stay tuned to “la vida loca de Bailey…”

Dear Facebook World…

The past 7 months for me have been a whirlwind of emotions. I am not even sure I can write this post and do it justice after everything that has happened. But now I can finally make it facebook official, so here goes. The best way to make this announcement is to start by saying how grateful I am to have family and friends in my life that both love and support me both in the states and internationally. And because of that, I was able to do something I never thought was possible for me. On December 10th, I did something crazy (thanks to my best friend Marie Adkinson for being an amazing example and role model). I applied for a position with the Peace Corps. On January 5th, I was extended an interview for a position in Nicaragua to teach English that would depart on August 5th, and I accepted the interview. On January 24th, I was offered the position! And I was given 3 days to make my decision whether to accept or decline the position. This has been something I have wanted my whole life, to have the opportunity to live in another country and work with the youth somehow. I didn’t need 3 days to make my decision. Because what if this opportunity never came again? Would I regret it? Would I wish I chose differently? What would I do with all my stuff? Would I sell it? Would I have to give up my apartment? Sell my car? Quit my beloved teaching position at RHS? There were a lot of doubts that initially crossed my mind and tried to flood my perspective. But then I said enough is enough. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that the Lord has placed in my lap. I decided to put my trust in Him instead of my doubts. So of course I accepted it! But then recently on June 1st, we got an email from our placement officer in regards to the civil unrest that is going on in Nicaragua and that unfortunately we would not be able to continue with our training class as scheduled. I was heartbroken because my mind was so set on being in Nicaragua and teaching English at a local high school and for the fact that it was a short bus ride away from Costa Rica, my home away from home. So we were given the option to be reassigned to another country, but with that comes a whole new departure date, and possibly a country that doesn’t speak the languages you know. I was excited but also nervous to find out the country they would offer me to serve in, but I told myself that regardless I would love whatever choice they gave me and I would serve the people whole-heartedly. On June 5th I received my new assignment to be a Youth in Development Facilitator in Guatemala! I was ecstatic to find out that not only would I still be getting to work with the youth, but I would still be in Central America (where my heart lies) and I would still be able to use the languages I know! After a long dueling medical clearance process that started in January, on June 26th (the day I arrived in Costa Rica to complete my last study abroad program for my Master’s degree) I received medical clearance and resigned from my teaching position at RHS on July 3rd. As of right now, I am officially all set to depart for Guatemala on September 25th, 2018 for a total of 27 months. Words cannot describe the level of excitement that I have for this incredible opportunity. I am honored to have this chance to work with Guatemalan Youth while also serving with the Peace Corps.

To my students-

You have made my 3 years at RHS some of the most exciting and best years of my life. I will be forever grateful that the Lord chose me to be your teacher. You all are such a blessing to me! Saying goodbyes were never really the easiest things for me to do, so I’m not going to do it. We’re just going to say “hasta luego”. You all have such bright futures ahead of you and I cannot wait to see you grow and prosper, and graduate! Never stop following your dreams no matter what anyone says. If you want something in life, and you know this is the plan God has for you, then you go after it and don’t stop until you reach it! There will be times and people in this life that are discouraging; and that is just life. But if you always know deep down who you are, what your goals are and what you stand for, there is nothing that can stand in your way. Love you all so much! Take care, and keep learning Spanish 🙂 Hasta luego!

To my siblings, Carly Cincotta, Noah Cincotta and Adam Cincotta-

I love you all so much and it makes me really sad to think about spending 2 years and 3 months without seeing y’all. Thank you for always sticking beside me regardless of all the many tons of arguments we get in. You are the best siblings anyone could ever ask for. I love you guys and I didn’t want to make this post without letting you all know how important you are to me and how blessed I am to be your big sister. Try not to kill each other at college Carly and Noah, lol…. Adam, you’re finally going to be the only child in the house! Haha, congrats love monkey! Be a good cousin, uncle, dad to my sweet boy Trigo while I’m gone, ok? 🙂

To my parents, Lisa Cincotta and Chris Cincotta-

Also, I can’t make this post without giving my parents a shoutout for putting up with me being their newest housemate again! Since March I have been living with them in order to build a savings for when I am out of the country. They have been beyond tolerating, hospitable and loving to me and my sweet pup Trigo. I know I don’t tell you enough, but I sincerely appreciate all you do for me and for your favorite granddog (sorry Carly Cincotta) 🙂 I know you both are nervous for me to be doing this “extreme” thing. But I also know that no matter what I do, I will always have your love and support through it all, no matter how many grey hairs I give you both 🙂 Love y’all so much!

Future Bak’tun 12 PCV,


Finally in the ‘teens’! Expectations and phase 2-3-4 of packing continues…

Wow. In 19 days I will board a plane and fly to Houston, TX. Then on day 20, I will be on a plane to begin the next 2 years and 3 months of my life in the beautiful country of Guatemala. Many of you are probably wondering the same question. “Aren’t you nervous?” And to answer that question, yes. I am about 45% nervous, 5% scared, and 50% excited/anxious. Whenever I think about leaving for 27 months, I physically give myself a stomach ache. Must be the 45%… Glad we covered that. Moving on!

Since about day 50, I have been filling my brain with every page of the PCV Handbook, all billion pages of it. And the one thing that really stuck with me after reading a thousand pages and what really made me feel confident about my decision was this: “Together, Volunteers and staff form PC/Guatemala. We are one team working together to maintain an effective program of grassroots development that provides sustainable results for the people and communities of Guatemala. Good communication, mutual respect, and trust are essential components of an effective team and are attributes expected of all Peace Corps Volunteers and staff.” Peace Corps is all about unity and world peace! Yes! Just like Miss Congeniality! I am so thrilled to dedicate my time and serve with such a prestigous and unified team of volunteers and staff.

Given that said, one thing that all volunteers have said NOT to do, is arrive with expectations. I’ve read and been told by current PCVs as well as staff that if you arrive with expectations, you are opening yourself up to be potentially disappointed. Peace Corps is NOT a joyride, nor a vacation. It is a professional position and should be treated as such. Yes, it will be a marvelous adventure filled with unforgettable experiences, but some people tend to forget that this is a 2 year committment. A lot can happen in 2 years. And that is something I keep reminding myself. To go into this adventure with an open heart, an open mind and with zero expectations. Recently I got another tattoo in Costa Rica, and it says “Déjelo fluir” which means “let it flow”. Thankfully that has been a constant reminder throughout this entire process. No matter what happens, just go with it. Let it flow. Take it as it comes. There is no need to worry! I know the Lord will protect me, and that my friends and family will continue to support and encourage me through this process, and that makes ‘not worrying’ so much easier!

Next topic: Packing… Phase 2-3-4

FUN STUFF. DÉJELO FREAKING FLUIR BAILEY. Packing is a fun process. Don’t get me wrong. But it is also one of the most time consuming, stressful, frustrating processes in the entire world. Especially for a 27 month trip. I’ve really been focusing on remembering about me. What do I like? What will make me smile on bad days? What will help me get through a rough day at work? Self-help kit people. For those of you reading this and are considering the Peace Corps, or are packing yourselves for this grand adventure, remember to bring things to take care of you! I love zumba. So I’m bringing a zumba DVD to play on my computer. I love chili, so I’m bringing some chili packets to make on cold rainy days where I miss home. I love my dog, so I’m bringing some pictures to keep on me at all times and in my room. I love music, so I’m making a kick butt playlist on spotify to listen to later. Little things that bring me joy.

I started packing clothes today. Gosh this is so fun, and by fun, I mean not fun at all hahahaha. I bought these fancy vacuum sealable bags to try and save space, but they are not cooperating as planned, so I’m now resorting to rolling them like I originally planned. So yeah. I planned to use a carry on sized suitcase for my clothing to help limit the amount of clothes I would bring. Yeah, that’s not working either. I’ve jam packed it, got it to zip, and still haven’t put in my socks, underwear, bras, sweatshirts, or shoes. SO back to the drawing board once again…

I’m truly sincerely trying to not overpack on clothing. I’m really only trying to bring the absolute essentials. Business casual attire, underwear, bras and shoes. Those are the most critical. The rest I can find in Guate when I get there. Because guess what! They have Walmart!! Bet y’all did expect that 🤣 So I’ve decided instead of using a carry on sized suitcase, I’m going to use a duffle and hopefully have enough room. If not, I’ll break out my super huge suitcase and make it work. I’m just trying to avoid it like the plague lol. Because whatever we bring, we need to be able to carry from place to place by ourselves. Stay tuned for the official packing list in phase 5-6-7!

I went to the dollar tree yesterday and stocked up on cute little kid toys and a toooooon of stickers. I’ve read that’s something that the kids have loved so I have a lifetime supply now. Watch me get there and not use one sticker lol. I’ll let y’all know!

Also, another recent bummer, no mail can be sent to Guatemala right now *insert sad face*. But that’s ok. I guess I can survive without Reese’s peanut butter cups 😭😭😭😭😭😭

Ok, that’s all I have right now. But omg I leave in 18 days! Ahh! So excited! I can’t wait! Stay tuned for the next update on this crazy fun process 🙂

Fun kid toys! *Billion stickers not pictured*