Tag Archives: friends

Being Social

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I have developed a system of hibernation and studying Sunday-Friday and having fun on Saturdays. So far, this has been going well for me and i’ve been able to hang out with friends, get to know my school friends better, and start building some great memories here in Dublin. I know I know…took me long enough, right?!

Tonight (I know it’s Thursday and not Saturday but it was a special occasion) I had a social night and it was noteworthy enough to blog about. After a torturous 2 hours class on dissertation design and then spending about 7 hours in the library writing an essay, I headed to the village of Stillorgan with Lisa, Tim, and Mahmoud to watch a band called The Klares play. What is so special about this band that would drag me away from precious paper writing time in the oh so comfort of the UCD James Joyce Library, you ask? Well, maybe the fact that this band is a group of 15 year old Catholic school kids and the drummer is the son of one of my friends from my human rights module.

The Klares played an hour long set with songs ranging from The Killers, The Arctic Monkeys and Jimi Hendrix, as well as their original works. I am absolutely amazed as to how talented these kids are and want everyone to check them out. If you are a fan of The Arctic Monkeys (read: if you are not, I might reconsider our friendship) then you will enjoy these “lads” as well. You can check them out by clicking the link below.

REVERBNATION

In other news, things are both kicking into gear and winding down in regards to school. I only have 2 weeks of classes left. At the same time, I have 5 essays to write that average 4,000 words which is about 15 pages double spaced. I just finished one today so that means I only have 16,000 more words to write! WOO HOO! Also, In exactly ONE MONTH I will be home.

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Back To The Grind

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After an amazing week at site, the last thing any of us wanted to do was go back to technical and language sessions. Luckily, the PC Staff was already very well aware of this and took it easy on us. We had a site visit debrief in the morning and then the self picked language/cultural sessions started after lunch. These types of sessions are so much easier to handle than regular classes because we get to choose what we get to learn and when talking about the cultural aspects, the classes are all in English so it’s a nice break from being forced to speak Romanian. Friday night was filled with the usual activities of  getting dinner and then hanging out in the center.

Saturday was one of my favorite days so far. I spent the early afternoon having a picnic in the park, eating avocado and cheese sandwiches and listening to music. The picnic was followed by a peer support session which was for the two new peer support people of our group and anyone else who wanted to join. Peer support is basically just like it sounds. These people are the ones that the groups elects as the people whom the individuals of the group feel the most comfortable contacting about any issues we may be having. The session was followed by a group dinner and then a night spent in the park. It was so nice to just sit in the park and hang out with the volunteers in my group and the many others that came into town for the weekend.

Sunday I woke up fairly early and got ready for a new adventure. Theron and Sarah’s host dad offered to take them and two of their friends up to the Bran Castle outside of Brasov. For those of you that are not aware, Bran Castle was the alleged home of none other than the famous Dracula. The 3 hour car ride was absolutely beautiful and when we got to Bran I was stunned. The castle is MUCH bigger than I expected it to be and we had a lot of fun trying to figured out the layout of it and what floor we were on at any given point in time. After getting very little sleep all weekend, I was ready to crash as soon as I got home. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depends on how you look at it, this country has a spell on me and I can’t fall asleep until very late and I still manage to wake up very early. I decided to head to the center and meet up with a friend. We hung out a little bit and then went to one of the cafe’s where I met up with my host family. Coincidentally enough, the PCVLs were sitting at a table right next to them so it was nice to hang out with them and get to know the PCVLs a little bit better.

Hopefully I rest up this week because my host family already planned out most of the upcoming weekend for me!

Until next time, VA PUP! (ljubim vas/kisses to you all)

Staging: Complete!

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First off, I would like to thank every single one of my friends and family that came to my going away party on Friday. I had a blast seeing all of you and I hope you all had fun as well! I know my dad had fun too since he always ends up being the life of the party with my friends and stealing my thunder! haha

I spent this past weekend hanging out with my best friends as much as I could. Visitors came and went all day Saturday and then again on Monday. My closest friends ended up dropping by again on Monday and I hosted a little “dinner party” catered Chela’s. What else would I want to have as my last meal in the United States other than the best Mexican food ever with the world’s most amazing salsa (yes I am aware for those of you who eat at Chela’s that you don’t enjoy the food nearly as much as I do and you think I’m crazy for liking it so much.) I said some of my hardest and most tear filled goodbyes Monday night which made my last night at home that much more special.  Kevin ended up being the last one to leave around 2:30. After double checking all of my paperwork, packing my backpack, and showering I finally fell asleep at 4am only to wake up an hour later and head for the airport.

Saying bye to my parents was much harder than I anticipated. I expected my mom to cry and me to cry along with her which we did but when my dad’s face turned red and tears started streaming down his face I lost it.  I know it’s never easy leaving family but I feel like my situation is a little bit different from most. Being and only child and what my parents consider “a miracle baby” has naturally made our family extremely close-knit.  They aren’t fluent English speakers and they depend on me for a lot of things. I know I have plenty of family and family friends around that will help my parents when I’m away but knowing that I am personally not there helping them with various issues doesn’t give me much peace of mind. 

My flight was supposed to depart from O’hare at 8:35 am but didn’t leave until 10:05 due to late crew members coming from connecting flights and then a mechanical issue that did not allow us to take off. Coincidentally enough, I ended up sitting next to a girl who was headed to staging for PC Guatemala at the same hotel ours was being held at. We talked for a while and it was interesting to learn about some of the similar and different anxieties we have about our service.

Staging officially started at 2pm and lasted until 7pm. Within that 5 hour time frame, all 40 PCRO trainees introduced themselves to the group and told us where they came from. We played some icebreaker games, learned a lot about our country and found out A LOT of new information that we were not aware about before.  Since the country’s initiative this year is to enter into smaller, more rural areas, there is a chance that I may not have constant internet access once I move into my post like most of the current volunteers do. It seems like everything will be up in the air for a few days until we meet our host families on Saturday.

I want to finish this post by sending out a few shout outs and letting my favorite people know how much they mean to me:

Danijela: You are my family and my friend. I could have never asked for a better person to have in my life than you. It is next to impossible for me to even put into words how much love, respect, and admiration I have for you. You are such an amazing and strong individual in so many different ways. You have always been there for me and I have shared my best memories with you.  You know the perfect things to say in every situation and you are truly irreplaceable. I can’t wait until you finish up your graduate degree and hopefully head on over to my part of the world!

Kevin: There is so much history between us and that is why you hold a special place in my heart. You have been such a wonderful friend to me and have supported me in everything that I have ever taken on. Thank you for always being there for me and consistently offering a shoulder to cry on.  You are such a strong person and I know no matter what curve balls life throws at you, you will always come out on top and be the victor.

Vedrana: You are my most…unique friend :). Good luck in the corporate world now that you have realized it isn’t all that it is cracked up to be and I hope one day you get those business cards you deserve!

Ro/Luis: Your letter was beautiful and it spoke the truth. Even though we sometimes go extended periods of time without talking, we both know that the other is always there for her no matter what. Good luck on your CPA and no babies until I return. I love the both of you and Rosie, take care of Luis.

Danny and Kimmie: You two are such a great couple and I am so heartbroken I won’t be able to attend your wedding, well in person at least 🙂 Danny you always know how to put a smile on my face and I am so happy that you picked such a sweet and wonderful girl to be your wife.

Stefi: I plan on you being one of the main people who goes and hangs out with Branka at the pool during the weekends. I can’t wait until you come visit my “village” so I can find you a cigan.

Joanna: You are a lot stronger than you think! I wish you luck in finding another class of eager little ones to teach for the fall and don’t forget to start saving that 2.87 a day so you can have enough for next summer!

Darc: You will be the most passionate guidance counselor Indiana has ever seen! I believe in you! Just remember to LOCK IT UP!

Davey/Matt: Yes even though you two are your own person, since you are twins, you get to share a shout out.  I consider the two of you my brothers and love you, and your entire family so much. Dave: Go Hawks!

Star: Remember; everything comes down to poo 🙂 I love you and will miss your blondeness.

Sinki: don’t get married until I get back! If you do, have the wedding in Srbija. K thanks.

Lil: Even though I won’t have my phone on all the time, you are still more than welcome to give me a call and vent to my voicemail. I’ll listen to them eventually 🙂 Good luck with whichever direction you end up going and don’t stress over stuff too much.

Saying Goodbye and Tying up Loose Ends

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Last night I had my first goodbye with Jess. A bunch of us went to dinner at BW3 and since she won’t be in town this weekend for my going away party, we hugged and wished each other the best in the Bdubs parking lot.  As I was walking to my car, Kevin asked me how it felt and all I said was “Fine.” The realization that I’m not going to see people for a very long amount of time is just now setting it.  I’m scared of saying goodbye, I’m scared I will be left out or even forgotten, and I’m mostly scared of the homesickness that I, without a doubt, will experience. I already went through it once when I moved to Dallas and it was awful.  It took about 3 weeks for it to set in and when it did, I cried every single night for a solid two months. If it hadn’t been for Kevin skyping me almost every night, my homesickness probably would have lasted even longer.  I don’t want to feel that way again. It was one of the worst emotional experiences I’ve ever had to deal with. I know that this isn’t my first realization that I’m leaving nor is it my most emotional. I can’t explain how this one is different but it is affecting me a lot more…maybe it’s due to the fact that I only have 6 days left until departure…

On a brighter note; I am almost fully prepared for departure. I received my flu shot yesterday and packed up everything but my 2nd carry on which is a backpack that will contain my laptop, paperwork, and other electronics. After packing and repacking each bag at least 3 times, I have finally made it so my biggest carry-on is at 45lbs and has a lot of unused space for what I’ve heard is a mountain of various training guides, books, and items that the PC office gives you during training. The only forseeable issue is with my rolling carry-on. It is very densely packed and I hope I can find someone kind enough on the plane to lift it overhead for me.  I tried lifting it overhead myself and it nearly gave me a concussion!

The black one on the left is the carry on of death that almost killed me today. It holds school supplies, GRE books, my jeans, some shirts, straightener, curling iron, and my change of clothes for the international flight along with my PJs. The black and green rolling duffel has my business casual clothing, dresses, and basic t-shirts for the most part and has a nice amount of room left over. The blue and gray one holds all of the heavy stuff such as shoes, more school supplies, and random hygienic products and comes in at around 35lbs. I’ll also have a carry on backpack that will hold my laptop, paperwork, and other random electronics.  I thought that I was all set but now, listing everything that I am bringing, I am worried that I will end up forgetting something that I won’t be able to buy overseas.

Lastly; the weather makes me sad. It has been raining all day and will continue into the night. Danijela and I were supposed to go to the Cubs vs Padres game today but as of now that is postponed and will eventually be cancelled.  I am happy to see the glorious weather that will be waiting for us at our training site in Targoviste! LOOK! It’s actually spring there!!!!

Just some rambling…

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As I’ve been counting down the days, I’ve realized I am getting more and more emotional. I was driving to the airport to pick up a girlfriend that was visiting and while driving I let my mind wander. Before I knew what hit me I was in tears. I was thinking about how hard it will be to say bye to everyone, some more than others, and how difficult it will be not being able to talk to the people who I converse with on a daily basis.

I always go through this before any big change in my life. I start second guessing my choices when it comes close to go time but I know that I made my decisions for the right reasons and after the initial shock of leaving and homesickness goes away, I will be happy with my choice.

I know I’m going to make friends in Romania and it will be an amazing experience that I will greatly enjoy but deep down inside, there is a part of me that is afraid that everyone is going to forget me. Out of sight, out of mind…right? My biggest fear is being forgotten. I know it’s silly but I can’t help it. So many things are going to happen in the next two years that I will miss out on and it pains me to think of that. My two good friends Danny and Kimmie are getting married in August which I will miss. Rosie and Luis just got married and might end up having a baby during the time I’m gone. My cousin is getting married soon as well. I haven’t even left yet and I already have a list compiled of the events that I’m going to be missing out on. sigh.

Thinking about these things is a huge bummer, I know that there are many many good sides to all of this as well, they are just very hard to focus on right now. Tensions have started rising within my household. My parents and I bicker about the most random stuff that doesn’t even matter because we are all passive aggressive and we all know why we are actually upset and just pretend it’s something else. I know I’m supposed to be using the last few months to enjoy time with the people in my life as much as possible but the tension is making things extremely difficult.