Tuesday, April 29, 2014

After you're done with the Peace Corps, could you ever see yourself going "back on the grid" with a normal, 9-to-5 desk job?

I don't think I have ever had a normal 9-5 desk job. The closest would be the hospital job I had before Peace Corps. I worked 12 hour shifts delivering food to patients. I got that job after I decided to apply for Peace Corps and knew it would be temporary so I didn't mind the rough hours. I was just getting myself to fly out day.

I made a promise to myself when I was 14 that I would always love my job or get out of it within 6 months. Keeping this promise to myself is one of the reasons I have been able to enjoy a lot of the work I have done.

I use a lot of the free time I have in Peace Corps looking for unexpected jobs I could love after Peace Corps. I want to use the skills I have to do something I am going to LOVE. Being as I don't think I would enjoy a desk job, I probably won't ever go to a desk job unless I need the money and can find a way to love it. The one real money concern I have is that I won't get my student loans paid off. I plan on hitting my student loans hard as soon as I am done with Peace Corps and I need to have a job that will afford me to get rid of them as fast as possible. I am hoping to be out of debt three years after I finish Peace Corps. If I am able to accomplish that, I want to do Peace Corps a second time*.

This is a statement I am making 1/2 way through my initial Peace Corps service. Please don't hold my wants later to my wants now. I don't know if this will still be true. Remember, life happens.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

How many hard boiled eggs do you eat each day?

Exactly three egg whites and one egg yolk every morning.

It's probably healthy or unhealthy. I've heard both. What I know is, it's delicious, cheap, and easy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How did your family react when you told them you were going to join the Peace Corps? Were they supportive?

My family was supportive.

As far as Peace Corps is concerned, my Mom had a cousin who did Peace Corps back in the 80s so it wasn't a new idea. She always spoke highly of him and his service. 

As far as the distance is concerned, my family was used to me coming and going. I had already spent time away in Germany so they weren't new to the idea of my being over and ocean away. My family was used to me getting wild ideas in my head and then following through with them and then not seeing me for a while. 

I have had some people tell me they were envious of the opportunity I have to experience a different culture in this way. I think overall they were excited for me and very supportive of my decision. 

Monday, April 14, 2014


I am officially on vacation from the Peace Corps. I don't have a flight until later this afternoon. I decided to come to the airport early and mess around on the Internet. I am going to blog about my road trip with my sister, but I am going to do it in my other blog. It felt more relevant there.

For now, I will say goodbye, but I may back log some posts about my recent R&R spent cleaning up a beach and visiting some great PCDR southerners. The trip also sparked a possible new work thing, so wait for that (but also remember not to expect it, because I suck at blogging sometimes.)

Till I'm back,

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Is it lonely being in the Peace Corps, being so far away from home?

It can be.

 I decided not to go home for Christmas in 2013, and while I don't regret that, I definitely want to go home for 2014 if I can afford it. 

To be honest, I could talk to my family everyday if I wanted. The site I live in now has pretty good signal and my old site, while it didn't have great signal, still worked. I could spend the pesos to call my family on my Peace Corps issued cell phone. I could buy Skype credits and call my family. I could use any of the many texting apps to chat with my family. 

The options I tend to use are as follows:

1. Viber. If I want to call and hear my family, but my internet isn't going great I use this app. I only need a 2G signal for it to work, and my Mom and sister both downloaded the app. 

2. iMessage- I use both my iPhone and my computer to iMessage with my Mom, sister, and best friends almost daily. I even use iMessage to chat with fellow PCVs in different parts of the island. Actually, I've used iMessage many times to chat with other PCVs in the same room. 

3. FaceTime- I use FaceTime on my Mac and my iPhone usually to talk to my sister and best friend, but I have used it with my mom sometimes as well. 

4. Facebook- I use it. I creep on my distant family, exactly as I would if I were in America. 

That said, I CAN NOT WAIT, to go home. It will have been over a year since I was in the same room as my mom and sister and I just don't like doing that. I am going to cross the southern states with my sister and hit up the Grand Canyon. It really is nice to talk to my family, but it is much different when you are in the same space. 

There are times when I wish I could just go sit in a room with my sister and complain about my love life, or her love life, or the future, or the past, or the present. I want to sit around a table with my mom, having just finished a great meal, and catch up about my future plans. I'm in such a nice place in my life, and I am lonely to share that with the two most important people in my life. 

My final thought about the lonely factor is to simply point to my Peace Corps friends. I have some people in my life that I am so close with and when I think back on this time I know they will be in all of my memories. We use and abuse our flota minutes calling each other, and I wouldn't have it any other way. We have to use this time now, because Peace Corps is one of those adventures that is timestamped. Most of the great friends you make here are only going to be this close for so long. I won't be able to have a beer on the roof with 10 other PCVs for the rest of my life. In the end, it'll be one or two that we keep in our forever daily. The rest will be wonderful reunions and Facebook stalking. At least until we realize Facebook is no longer a thing. I'm fine with this. It has to be this way. But because of this, I am going to spend all of the time I can now not being lonely without my family, but rather being happy that I have such amazing friends to talk to. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Today, in life

A few things happened today. 

First, I spent the morning washing laundry. I had three loads hanging in the sun by 7:30. 

I spent a few hours putting tags on products. 

I made quinoa.

I went to a meeting on the beach with some people from the batey. 

I finished Downton Abbey and accidentally watched the season finale before the rest of the season and didn't notice until the second to last episode. (I thought it was some kind of flash back thing.)

A cat peed on me while I FaceTimed with my sister.

Between it all I was crocheting. 

And now, I Internet. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

The bookcase

I've made a few updates to my living space since moving out on my own the very first time. Usually I think about the purchase for at least a few weeks before I go ahead and buy. In this case I've thought about it for years.

I love books, and I admire bookshelves. Since living in the DR I have become very aware of how I can collect books. I should have known when I went to Germany and had a 37 pound carry in... That was only holding books. 

Yesterday, I took the plunge. I went into an actual furniture store and allowed a shop worker to help me find a piece of furniture. She showed me a few pieces. One was short and cute and only $4000 pesos, but I went with the one below because it helped more books and was didn't cost me as many pesitos.

I've wanted to get my things better organized, because the house I am in will sometimes hold other people, and it's not fair for me to overtake a table because I have a trillion books. It also makes it easier to study Spanish when my study books aren't sitting under 30 other books. 

I was also finally able to find a place for all of my crafting things and all of those manuals we collect as Peace Corps Volunteers. 

So, I say it now, invest in things of value for your life. Also, sometimes it's easier to let someone else build and sell you something, than thinking you must always make from scratch. 

To my new bookcase! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Escojo Enseñar

I learned what it was like to be an education volunteer in the Dominican Republic the other day when I found myself at a teacher training conference. I'm probably not going to talk about that very much other than to say it was great and those volunteers work hecka' hard. Really, get it guys.

What I am going to talk a bit more about it how Peace Corps determines what sector you get into. The answer: I haven't a clue.

In my group we always joke that Peace Corps must have checked the wrong box when they put me in the business sector. All of my background is in education. My volunteer work was mostly education based, and I studied Library and Information Sciences. Not that I wasn't qualified to be a business volunteer, I just think I was more qualified to be an education volunteer.

It was fun to look around at my friends to see what my life could have been.

As much "pouting" as I did in the beginning about not getting a library project and not fitting in my sector, I really appreciate where my path has taken me. Most of my close relationships came out of CBT, and if it weren't for the Business sector I would have been in a different CBT that those wonderful people. I also get the chance to hang out with some of the lovely people in education sometimes and I appreciate that.

But really, I don't know where I would be if I didn't have those 7,500 hours of Spades under my belt!

If you want a more in depth post about the conference read and education volunteers blog, check out their Facebook, or as me a question and I'll get around to it. Really though, it would be a bunch of me talking about all the cool supplies and people those volunteers get to work with. Also, I would wine about free books they get sometimes and I don't.

Also, Education Volunteers are awesome. Almost as awesome as business volunteers1 ;-P.