All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.

Robert Kennedy

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The living is easy...

It's been a strange summer here in Post-Soviet Union land. One thing that is hard to get used to is that people here take their summers SERIOUSLY. Work is SO not a priority. The summer is for being with your family, vacationing, going to the seaside and relaxing. I have to say, it is something I can get used to. I have been traveling pretty much every weekend to Chisinau to be with the new group of trainees that have arrived. It is so weird to see it from this side now. I remember last summer and it seems like 10 years ago. It's a good group of people. The first weekend of July, the US Embassy threw their annual Fourth of July party. I decided to take Viktor with me. He likes to be around Americans, God knows why. His English is so good, he had me introduce him to everyone as Albert from Philadelphia. Naturally, everyone fell in love with him. How can you not? It was a great night.
Me and my friend, Michael from training.

Having a long awaited hamburger.

Viktor and I illustrating our cross cultural friendship.

Me and my friend, Rich from HS. Two HHS alums celebrating Independence Day in a foreign land.
The following weekend, a bunch of us headed to Odessa, Ukraine for a day at the beach. It was so fun and beautiful and just wonderful to get away. It wasn't too far away and I never thought I'd be able to say I went swimming in the Black Sea...but I did it. 
Love European beaches.

Me and my COD homegirls. (Just missing Maria and Andrea)

Our sunburned, beach hair'd group - Jessica, Me, Lyndsey, Chris, Conrad, Lindsay and Jenn (Kitsy).
When I came back from Odessa, Viktor and Alex went on a week long trip to Poland. While they were gone, it was super hot here, Holly was on vacation with her friends in was quite lonely. It was not a great time. Also, since I had spent money on my beach excursion, I was really looking forward to getting paid. We usually get paid around the 20th...yada yada yada...we did not get paid until the 28th. This resulted in a very cranky week of eating bread. When Jenn is not eating good food, she is a VERY angry and cranky girl. That on top of all my friends being was not a good time in my life. I am very glad that it is over. It was definitely the lowest I have felt since I have been here. 
In the past 2 months I have said goodbye to these people:
Erin and Ryne (Erin moved to Nepal, Ryne back to Chicago.)

Dima (Moved to Moscow)

Adam (to Monterey for Grad school)

Brad (moved back to Georgia) and Dylan (moved to Nepal)

Monika (moved to Boston for grad school)
It has not been easy. I knew saying goodbye to people would be a part of this life but I didn't think it would be this hard. With all these goodbye, people are constantly asking me, what's next? What is next for me. I am technically done with the Peace Corps in July, 2013. That is 11 months away. Do any of you know what you're going to be doing next July? Neither do I. So please stop asking. I have 11 more months in this country and I am going to do my best to make the most of them. I am not in American mentality mode where I have to concentrate on what I WILL be doing instead of what I AM doing. I will figure that out then. Thank you for your concern, let me worry about it.
In 3 weeks, I have to say goodbye to this guy:
Viktor and me.
He has been accepted as an EVS (European equivalent to the Peace Corps) in France for a year. Meaning I will be gone by the time he gets back. He is my best friend that I have made here in Moldova and the thought of doing this without him is only comforted by the fact that he is doing something with his life and seizing an opportunity. I don't know what this place will be like without him. I'm scared to find out.

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