Sunday, February 21, 2010

COS Conference...the aftermath

Last week was my COS Conference. It was really cool. The first thing we did when we arrived was check into our rooms. I stayed with Naima and Cristine. When we were in our room, Naima and I were looking out the window and a dog ran by and she said, "there goes dookie!" That was our dog friend for the next few days.

The first thing we did as part of the conference was all the M22s stood in a circle and our PTO Margaret read us things from a list and if any of us had done something we took a step in the circle and then a step back out after. One of my contributions was if anyone had gotten a mullet since being here, and I of course stepped in myself!

We spent the remainder of our time talking about how to say goodbye to this place, we received instruction on paperwork, and how to (hopefully) re-enter American society.

I wouldn't want a volunteer who hasn't experienced his or her COS Conference to learn all the secrets about the conference so I will spare you all that I learned.

I am now back in Floresti for my last 50ish days, and I have a ton of work to do. I must close out my SPA project, close my bank accounts, start my goodbyes, and figure out some if not all of my post-PC plans.

I can't believe that in just 3 days it will have been 2 years ago since I came here!

Here's to the future.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happenings around the Floresti

Today I went to piata with another volunteer and guess what I found? A pair of boxer briefs. So I bought them. Boring, right? Yeah, unless I add in that on this particular pair of boxer briefs is a hammer and sickle. That's right, CCCP and the communist symbol! They are my new favorite thing I own. Lately I've been trying to figure out what to take back with me to America when I leave here. You know, things that will really remind me of the good old days in Moldova. Well I can for sure mark one thing off my list, former Soviet underwear. Whoop! As another volunteer so eloquently put it, "In Soviet Russia, Underwear wears you!" Help me decide what other souvenirs I need for my journey far I have the following in mind..

Romanian Bible (got it)
Cloth Punga (if you don't know, don't ask)(got it)
Orthodox Church Icon (got it)
A nice bottle of Moldovan wine
CCCP Underwear (got it)
Cool Moldovan jeans (got it)
Picture with me and my host family

Today marks my final 60 days in country. I mean to be honest, 60 days isn't anything to write home about. It just happens to be the amount of days I have left when I wrote this entry. There is a lot left to accomplish in these last 2 months.

First, I have to finish a grant I am currently implementing. My partner and I got some money to replace some windows at an elementary school. The school director seems really happy about it. I went to the bank to do a bank transfer from the grant account to the window company only to find out that I couldn't do that. Instead, I had to withdraw all the money and then just hand it to the window company representative, Andrei. It would've been very stressful, but I've learned to just roll with the punches here.

Next, I have my COS Conference. I won't say I've necessarily been looking forward to it since I came to Moldova, but I've been curious as to what would be like. Well, at any rate, I will find out in about 9 days. I really can't believe we've come this far. I did a countdown calculator on the internet of the day I came to Moldova until a projected day of leaving in April 2010, and it came up with 800 days. Wow! 800 can a person make a difference in 800 days? Oh let me count the ways. I must say though, I think Moldova has changed me more than I could ever change it, and I am very thankful for that.

Last, and the thing that has me the most worried. I need a job or a Law School to accept me! Please! I've sent out all the prayers I can to all the entities of which I feel comfortable praying. I guess, though, at some point I just need to realize that even though I might be broke and jobless in the states that all I can really do is just sit tight until an opportunity comes along. Um, that sounds like bad advice but it's just the way it is going to have to be. In the meantime, I can just keep applying for stuff and see what materializes. Please something, materialize!

Ending transmission

Monday, December 28, 2009

Last 100 days...

If someone had told me in February of 2008 that I would make it to the end of my service, then I probably would have laughed in that person's face. I'm sorry to those people in whose faces I laughed, because here I am staring down my last 100 days as a Peace Corps volunteer. I have no idea where I'll go after, or what I'll do, but the future is bright. In my last 100 days I will...make corrections to a grant proposal, finish a Peace Corps video, celebrate, new new year, old Christmas, old new year, Easter (of the living), unfortunately not Easter of the dead, and Post, Martisor, Opt Martea, see my host families one last time, say goodbye to MD friends, wait out law schools, and I'm many other things.

Good luck and may the road ahead of you be lit with dreams, and those dreams be your road ahead.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What happened? July 2008-December 2009

I will give you a run down of all that has happened to me in the last...what is that like 17 months?

I went to the 4th of July party and lost my cell phone
I got a "new" cell phone
I became the new Mentor Coordinator for the ARBD Project
I got off of lock-down
I went back on lock-down
I attended a Democracy seminar
I turned 24
I had my first fight with my partner...he cited "language reasons" as to why I sucked
I got off of lock-down again
I did a team-building day with some volunteers
I had another fight with my partner...again language reasons
I learned the "secret" of my town
I went to Transylvania for Halloween!!!!
I started work with a new organization
I moved out of my village and to the Raion Center of Floresti
I started a business club
I had my first thanksgiving without my family, but with my new Peace Corps family
I made some Moldovan friends!!!!
I saw my first snow on Christmas day!
I had my first Christmas with my Peace Corps friends and prayed by the Christmas tree
I spent new years with my host family in Moldova and celebrated their Russian heritage
I had my first All ARBD-COD big fun family extravaganza
I went to Venice
I celebrated a year in Moldova
I co-taught a lesson on budgeting
I celebrated my 2nd Easter in Moldova!!!
I went home and visited my family in Texas
I helped welcome the M24s to Moldova
I started studying for the LSAT
I started co-leading Gender Workgroup with another awesome volunteer
I submitted my first grant with my partner...we lost but had fun doing it
I led a leadership session at a camp for Moldovan youth with some Flex students
I turned 25
I took the LSAT
I got my score back
I applied to law schools
I led a leadership seminar with some Winrock volunteers in Balti
I started an English club with my site-mate
I had a wonderful thanksgiving with some Peace Corps friends in Cahul
...and now I am on my last leg of my Peace Corps journey.

I am sorry to my dear friends who were once my loyal readers. I know you read my prose and it was decidedly funny yet I know me and I know that I can't stick to anything or really commit to anything...besides living to be 25, finishing college, manhandling this Peace Corps experience...etc, etc, altceva, altceva. I have about 120ish days left in the lovely Republic of Moldova. I have had many trying times, and I have had really awesome amazing times that I wouldn't trade for anything. I have been annoyed with people but I always seemed to have the exact person in my life that I needed, when I needed them. Over the last 2 years, at some points I felt like it was only me and god, and other times I knew and felt that the world was with me. I've eaten a lot of interesting things, and likewise, thrown up a lot of interesting things...yikes. Peace Corps is definitely not for the faint of heart, and even though I still have about 4 months left I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. I started with approximately 800 days and I am almost down to my last 100. I will try and remember to keep up the blog because my brain likes to forget things and I would hate for my wonderful stories to be lost to inescapable "mind melts."

This journal entry, although very late, is dedicated to my Aunt Marie. She died of Leukemia since I've been here. However, before I left to come to the Peace Corps, she gave me a journal to write all my thoughts and stories down over my 2 year experience, and I started keeping a journal but then stopped about the same time I stopped updating this blog. Now she's gone and I realize the importance of that keep a memory of everything that is important to me, how I see it, because in the blink of an eye what's important to us can be gone but our memories keep things important to us, such as our loved ones, alive.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I was walking around Green Hills and the music flowed into my ears. Tengo La Camisa Negra started playing in lieu of the Romanian music. I couldn’t believe it. Also, I couldn’t tell if people were looking at my like I was crazy because I was singing along or just because I was American. The latter is what usually happens anyway. The reason I was in Chisinau was because I had a migraine a couple of days before. It all started on a beautiful Thursday morning: I was awakening to a brand new day in the Republic of Moldova, and I had a headache, but I thought it was just a sinus headache, I went to the office and my counterpart wasn’t there so I came back home. On my way back, my head started hurting more so I took some Tylenol and then after lunch I took a nap. I woke up like 4 hours later with a pounding headache so I took some more Tylenol and then called the Peace Corps Doctor. He told me some stuff to do and that he would send a car to my village to get me. By that time, I wasn’t even able to move out of my bed and I could barely talk and I felt like I was going to throw up. I finally got to Chisinau around 1:30 am, and the doctor gave me shots for the pain and I’ve been sick ever since! So you know what sucks about trying to keep up with this blog? I’ll tell you, like I really feel like a lot of amazing things happen here to me and when they do I’m no where near a computer to write my thoughts down. Dangit! Like the other day, I saw this place like I had never seen it before and might not ever see it again. I was so depressed for some reason, probably because I had no phone, no computer, and no Internet, and I was bored. So I went for a walk, and it was a weird day because it was cold for some reason, so I put on a jacket, grabbed my iPod and left the house. I went to edge of town and sat on a bench and started playing solitaire, and after losing several times I decided to go back home. On my way back home this storm came out of nowhere and it started raining on me, which would have made things ever worse, but it was crazy because the rain caused me to have one of those life realization moments, like I am really here in Moldova and my little spirits lifted right up. Also, I keep having moments where my perspective on the way I view the world changes, and at present I can’t think of any, but just know…when you talk to me again in the future, I swear I’ll be smarter…lol, well at least sassier. Speaking of sass, I’ve actually become somewhat able to sass in Romanian, so…yeah watch out. One other thought, so I really miss food from the states, for instance Taco Bell, in fact I’ve almost decided that I will own a Taco Bell one day kind in remembrance of the days when I had to do without and the one thing that got me through was thinking about a juicy taco with some fire sauce, anyway, I always see these chickens running around the village, and they look so tasty. I know they are tasty because my teeth ache to bite into one of them, kind of like some sort of antenna that knows about food. So yeah I bet when those chickens get killed and fried, they are gonna be so good to eat.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's too late to apologize

Don't let the title throw you, I just felt like singing that song, you know the one. I played frisbee with the kids in the village, it was great because they sucked at it, and I was really good. If you know me at all, you know I'm not very good at sports, so it made me feel special. After a while, the kids decided that rolling in the dirt would be more fun, so that ended the frisbee game. I lost weight. Again, if you know me, you know that me losing weight is not a good thing. I think it's just stress related, you know still trying to adjust to the Moldovan lifestyle. I'm becoming a lot better at the language, so good in fact that I want to start learning Russian. Haha, well not that good. Oh good news, I'm all caught up with Lost, The Office, and Scrubs. It's been a long time coming, but the great thing is, "time" is what I have the most of. Well that's all for today. Only like 20 or so more days of lockdown! Then I'm free, sort of.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A mullet-esque haircut makes me happy

So, I've been just rolling right along with the summer. As I'm sure you already know, I think my village is a hard place to live in. I've gotten used to showering outside, or afara, and using an outhouse has become quite enjoyable. I've been going to my tutor everyday, so that's always fun, but that only lasts for an hour. I'm so incredibly bored in my village, and it's because I don't know the language very well so I can't really talk to anyone. People yell, Vii in coace, which means come here, but the verb to bake is "a coace" so I keep thinking the people want me to bake something with them. The other day I went fishing with some kids in the village, that was pretty fun, and then we played volleyball. Oh also, I saw a woman breast feeding out in the middle of the street, normal right? Oh yeah so my computer charger is broken, so my mom's sending me a new one so as soon as it comes here my life will be complete again. I have been trying my hardest to keep up with LOST, which is actually gonna get to happen this afternoon, I think. I'm gonna have to watch it on my IPOD but no big deal. Now for the biggest news of all, I have a Moldovan feauxhawk slash mullet. I don't know what else to say in this blog, just keep in mind, I'm trying to figure out a way to reverse the process of the international mail system.