This brings back so many memories of when I served in the Peace Corps in Eastern Europe more than a decade ago. So many days, particularly in the first nine months or so, were filled with the nearly constant ups and downs of navigating another culture, things I’d taken for granted in growing up and living in the U.S. There were days during service when I’d stand at my window, fighting back tears and wondering how much further I could bend without actually breaking and heading home. But after about the first year, I began to make some dear friends on-site who made all the difference, and after more or less settling into a routine and learning enough of the language to get by—and working on projects that my counterparts were excited about and I felt fulfilled in doing—the second year was so much better for me. One of the great things about teaching English to these kids is realizing how much they take what you bring to them to heart, even years later. I’ve had former students find me on Facebook and be all, “Do you remember me?? I hope so, because I remember you.”

** Let me preface this post by saying that I have shied away from going into major details about my current ‘job’ and living situation to avoid wrong impressions, misunderstandings, and bias opinions, that and I am required to attach a disclaimer to anything I write about it… which becomes a bit annoying… but that being said, please know that the writings and ideas in this post and blog in no way reflect the views and opinions of the United States government or Peace Corps. They are mine alone and should be viewed as such.**  

After college I went through a very LONG phase where I didn’t know what I was doing with my life, I didn’t understand about the real world, and things that presented a challenge were easier to run away from than deal with. Then at age 27, I found myself single, living on my own…

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