The old country

Sometimes I have dreams at night about people and places in Ukraine. They seem to be some of my most vivid dreams. I don’t usually remember my dreams, which is why these really stand out. I wake up, and the feeling of the dream really sticks with me. I wake up and feel sad. I never in a million years would have guessed that my time in Ukraine would have had such an impact on me. I knew I would change but I didn’t think Continue reading →

Welcome Back

I sent a message to a railroad company the other day to see if I could get an idea about the number of and frequency of trains in a particular area. I got a response as from a customer service representative saying they forwarded my request to the appropriate person . They ended their email with, “Welcome back to the States!” When I saw that, I did a quick double take followed by a brief racking for my brain to understand why they would say Continue reading →

Fighting off the Demon Spawn

In Peace Corps, I learned a valuable lesson during my run to Russia. Okay, well technically it was after we got stopped at the border we were trying to cross illegally wanted to visit and after the border guards told us to get into a van that had just crossed the border and dropped us off at the edge of town. Small details really. Since we were dropped off at the edge of town, we decided to run back to the Peace Corps Volunteer’s place Continue reading →

Peace Corps Fundraiser Lunch

I did it finally, I took the leap. I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I was planing on getting more involved in the RPCV community around where I live and this past Saturday, I took the next step. This past weekend I went to the Spring Peace Corps Fundraiser lunch hosted by the Milwaukee Peace Corps Association. It was fantastic and I fell silly for worry about meeting people and trying to fit in. The lunch was to raise money to support Continue reading →

Milwaukee Peace Corps Association

Ever since I’ve gotten back from the Peace Corps, I wanted to do more with my life. I wanted more than a job and an apartment and a car to get between the two. There was this need to be doing something that helped the community, no matter how small or large. It was a feeling of fulfillment in what I was doing with my life, a feeling I had come to love while in Ukraine. I struggled with the get up and go, however. Continue reading →

Whitewater, WI and the Peace Corps

So get this, Peace Corps announced their “Top Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas for 2013” today, and it’s surprising, but my tiny hometown barely made one of the lists. At first, I got really excited thinking it was me who made the list, but it’s for 2013 and it’s been over a year since I got back. It makes me wonder if I know the person serving. Probably. I did the math, the 2010 census states the population of Whitewater as 14,390. The numbers are based Continue reading →

Reasonably Priced Beer

I’m the only American in Konotop, everyone else has left me. It’s a weird feeling. It’s almost hard to think back to September two years ago when we all met each other at once. It was a blur. Jacque and I go back the longest. As I’ve mentioned from time to time, we’ve been together from the point we planned to catch a taxi to the hotel in D.C. together (though her plane was delayed). From there we’ve sat at the same table at staging, Continue reading →

Cleaning an Apartment

Bear with me for a moment, this might get confusing. So my landlady came over earlier this week to collect rent and utility bills. She also informed me the woman who owns the apartment (is she my landlady?) will be coming back to Konotop sometime in the next week. She doesn’t know when, she just knows she’s coming. I asked, “Doesn’t she have a ticket?” She responded, “да, наверно.” (Yes, probably.) Then both of us shrugged our shoulders in confusion because if she knew she Continue reading →

Halloween Costume 2012

I know this is at least a week past relevance but I thought I’d share it anyway because it made my laugh and be uncomfortable for an entire day. Jacque and I have been stuck together during our entire Peace Corps. We planned to take a taxi from the airport together (her plane was late so I only traveled with Dave). She randomly came into the conference room and sat at my table. We both decided to find a reasonably priced beer in Georgetown, and succeeded Continue reading →