(All opinions and descriptions of life in Ukraine contained herein are mine. I do not, nor am I qualified to,
express the official opinions of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last few days in D.C.



So this is really it now. Last day in the U.S. for a while. However, I'm more ready than ever. After a crazy day of journeying starting at 3am last night, I made it to the Holliday Inn that we're staying at in D.C. at around 5pm local time. About a 12 hour trip all together, from home to the hotel. I was beat to say the least. However, it definitely helped to have two fellow pc's that had the same flight as me. After we arrived to the hotel, we went out for a walk around the town. I must say, i'm pretty impressed with this place so far. It's quite beautiful. The weather however is kinda insane- super hot and humid- reminds me a lot of Tel Aviv in the Summer/Fall. Later on, we met up with some more pc's and went out to dinner at a little Spanish restaurant downtown. The food was bomb! I ordered way more than I could eat knowing that it would be one of the last exotic meals in a while. The Beet salad and seared Ahi tuna that I ordered were pretty bomb, to say the least.
PC group 40 1/2 (as we self proclaimed ourselves)
Beet Salad and spicy potatoes
By the end of the day I was really really beat and just crashed. I got a great night sleep last night, and had the room to myself due to the fact that the guy who was supposed to share my rooms flight got delayed big time, so he ended up not getting her until about half an hour ago. Today we are going to do the actual "staging" and get to know all the pcv's (peace corps volunteers) so that should be cool. Hopefully i'll make out to the monuments this evening.

I'm realizing now that this could be my last post in the states. I'm really excited to get overseas finally, this is it. I'm finally tasting the fruits of my labor over the past year, and let me tell you, they taste very sweet indeed. Thanks again to all the support from my family and friends. Without you guys I don't think I would be here in the position that I am today. I feel extremely fortunate.

I will try and keep you all posted once I get to Ukraine, so stay connected.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Technology!!!

As the title so aptly advertises, this entry is all about technology. Yes it's all around us. It doesn't stop advancing either. Recently (in the past 20 years, i'd say) it has been advancing in leaps and bounds, and from not having any internet until I was about 12 or 13, to having a cell phone that can tell me which way to turn in order to get to my doctors office, I'd say humanity has come to a cross roads with technology.

I'm writing this, because i'm down at my grandparents house in southern california right now, and these past few days has opened my eyes to how we relate to the world. Don't get me wrong, my grandparents are the types who don't know how to use a fax machine, they are very capable. But, the scary thing is, they have more gadgets than I do. I mean, I consider myself a pretty big geek. I tend to have top of the line stuff, like laptops, cameras, phones, etc. Well, they beat me.

It turns out that my grandma has a 54" plasma screen t.v., a brand new 4G Iphone, a brand new Ipad, a brand new macbook, and a crap ton of other camera equipment that i won't even start to name off, because it will make me more jealous.

Anyways, not that I need any of her stuff, considering I'm leaving to go to Ukraine now for two years, but it's all made me realize how "connected" we are to this imaginary tube of information floating out there somewhere. I mean, i guess it's not floating, it's all in servers scattered all over the world, but still, you know what I mean.

I have come to realize, that we are all getting sucked tighter and tighter into this imaginary web that we call the internet, and I start to see how this may be very comforting while overseas. I mean, getting in touch with my family through communication portals such as skype and facebook are going to be extremely instrumental. I can't imagine what it would have been like 20 years ago before the internet as a PCV. I mean, I can imagine, but this technology is definitely going to soften the blow of isolation.

It was pretty funny watching my grandma use skype for the first time the other night. Watching her eyes light up when she saw my moms face on the other side, as if she could just touch her, feel her, just because she was there on the screen. She comes from a whole different generation, so for her it isn't for granted. Maybe that's why she's loading up on all the goodies. Good for her.

Anyways, yeah, just thought I'd share my insight on the latest craze of technology in my life, I mean, I feel like there are like 10 computers for every person in my family, if I count all the computers my family has in our house and garage, I think it amounts to about 20 (this is including Ipads and smart phones... yes they count as computers). So that is about 3.5 computers per person... I guess we just want a lot of thinking power. Let's just hope I have some kind of decent connection in Ukraine, or else: DARK AGES!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Last Few Weeks in the States


I just typed the title, and realized: holy crap... less than 3 weeks 'til i leave for D.C. It's kind of a crazy feeling. I don't even really know how to describe it. I'd say it's something like an ecstatic insomnia combined with bouts of miserable worrying about random insignificant tid bits.

To say the least, my last few months have jetted by with insane speed. From packing up in San Francisco, saying goodbye to everyone, and getting my "stuff" in order, there hasn't been too much downtime in life. I just came back from an 8 day trip with my family to Oregon and Washington. To say the least, the trip was an enormous success. I had never visited Portland or Seattle before, so getting to venture around was great. I learned a lot about myself and my family, and i'd say a lot about this country i've grown to love so much. I will truly be missing it. On the way up through Oregon I think it was, I saw a barn with a big American flag on the roof, stating "God Bless America". I chuckled at first, but now that I think about it, i feel the same way... i truly love this place, and feel extremely blessed that I can call it my home.

Barn With Flag- Somewhere in Oregon

However, I am extremely eager to embark on what I believe will be one of the most rewarding two year periods of my life, and realize that these last few weeks will be bitter-sweet, saying goodbye to family and friends. I am going to go visit my grandma this next week for a few days, and i'm starting to realize there might not be all that much time left with her. So i'm realizing the value of every little moment in life, and see the benefits of living in the moment and loving every little thing that come my way.