The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of Elon University, the U.S. government, or the Peace Corps.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not enough consistent internet at this point in my travels to keep this updated... But track my whereabouts on Facebook if you are interested!! 

Thus far: Sofia, Bulgaria -> Belgrade, Serbia -> Sarajevo, Bosnia -> Mostar, Bosnia -> Dubrovnik, Croatia

And I am writing this to you from Korcula, Croatia before I move on in the morning via Adriatic water taxi!

I am loving the freedom and independence I have to move at my own pace, plan my own interests, and combine wanderlust with forethought.

I may never be able to vacation ever again after this...


God is good and faithful.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

And so it begins.

Next stop - Belgrade, Serbia.


(Sent from my Palm Pre on AT&T)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

And so begins...

... my last week as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer. In just a few short days, I close my service and will board a bus to explore the rest of the Balkans before meeting up with my brother and sister in law in ITALY in less than a month. For those of you that keep in touch, I'll have access to my email whenever I can pick up wifi, so don't be strangers!! I'll probably not be posting lengthy updates on here or posting pictures for awhile since I won't be traveling with my laptop, but I intend to keep people apprised to where in the world I am - so stay tuned to my adventures! 

Until then, more goodbyes and lots of emotions to deal with... Bulgaria? Ve4e mi lipsva6. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I HATE goodbyes...

And I've certainly never been very good at them, despite the fact that I think I've had more than my fair share of practice. But seriously, other than excitement revolving around the next step, who really likes to say goodbye to people they care about? Until my dad retired from the Navy, I moved every 2-3 years growing up, and I remember how awful it was each time we left "home" to move to another. I never quite caught on to the fact that "Home" was a feeling that developed very quickly for me. But still... this time things feel different. My investment and relationships here are deep and grounded, and I've been dreading these goodbyes.

Even though I had my last day teaching in the kindergarten last week, I went back yesterday for what I thought was a celebration of International Roma Culture Day. I knew it was also going to serve as a pointed platform for goodbyes, but I had no idea how amazing the morning was going to be! The teacher I've been working with opened with an address for me, then the kids sang songs and did a couple of poem repetitions before singing a few Roma songs. Then I was presented with a certificate and some gifts (2 Samokov folklore cds and some little keepsakes :)) and a whooolllleee lot of hugs. I nearly fell over a few times when my knees would get attacked by my fav kinders. :)

Singing during the program. :) So cute!
I can't get over how adorably sweet these little ones are.
Katie-Kinder pile! I'm down there somewhere... I LOVE this photo.
Me, the chickens, Iskra (on the left - the teacher I work with most directly), and then the director of all of the kindergartens in Samokov of Lili, the other teacher for my class.
This was probably taken about 30 seconds before I almost capsized.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

T Minus 7 days

In exactly one week, I'll be on a bus to Belgrade, Serbia for the first stop on the whirlwind tour of Europe I've been saving for since the beginning of high school. It also means that I'll no longer be a Peace Corps Volunteer, and will be soon facing goodbyes to the people who have become my family and the place that has become my home.

Never were there more mixed feelings... 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hey Look!!

Actual photos with ME in them! I had an "order" from both my mom and Katya that I needed a photo in the new computer lab with the kids. There are VERY few photos of me during my time here... a few from various trips with friends, but I can almost count on two hands the number of photos I've had taken of me and my work here. Most of that is because I absolutely hate having my picture taken, and partially because after I broke my leg I splurged on a pity gift for myself - a Nikon D60 DSLR. And... very few people feel comfortable enough actually using it.
"The woman behind the camera."
I like it that way. And with almost 4,000 pictures representing almost three years of Peace Corps service, my time here is well documented. I just have very little proof that I was actually a part of any of it... So here you go. For all you "doubting Thomas's" out there who question my Bulgarian existence...
I can't believe that the tiny, shy, timid 6th graders I met 2 and a half years ago are the mature, confident, vibrant kids in this photo!

My last day with the kinderbabies. I can't express how much I'll miss these little guys. And if I'm still single in 20 years, you better believe I'm returning for the little stud in the blue under my right cheek.