I'm off (soon anyway)

As I sit here attempting to load every possible song on to my iPod that I might want to listen to in the next 27 months, I find myself confronted with a lot of unknown. I have no idea what I'll want to listen to when I am feeling totally overwhelmed with learning Ukranian, frustrated with fellow teachers, or sad because I miss my family and friends. All I can do is totally prepare the ultimate music collection. I've included a bit of everything: Bing Crosby's Christmas carols, Motown, the Monster Mash, some golden oldies, some new stuff I've always wanted to listen to, and the songs that remind me of the people I love.

But what I'm really most nervous about is that I'm not stressing about the pressing issues posted on my Peace Corps group's blog thing. Issues like: Have I packed the right clothes, shoes, music, medicines, coats?...it all just makes me want to vomit, really. Because the things that I won't be able to get there, the things that don't fit into my two bags (which have to weigh under one hundie lbs) are people. The people I love so much. This is the hardest part to me. Everything else is replaceable.

 I am hoping to keep in touch with all you wonderful people as much as possible in the unpredictable-internet-providing country of Ukraine. I will do my best to update this with some stories (probably with me as the butt of most of the stories), anecdotes, and observations of my new home. Please write me (those who have my address), email me, or just send some good vibes my way, because I will need that from you. I will miss you all terribly and you will be in my thoughts, especially when I'm rocking out by myself to Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree".



A Drunken Rant

My trip to Spain has been interesting.   I made it to Barcelona after a long, long flight.  Richard and I walked around Las Ramblas and the city and it's quite an enchanting place, but I can't help but compare it to Southern Spain and Andalucia- where my heart is.  The landscape, food, people, and culture is much different here.  It's much more cosmopolitan and European than the low-key ambience of Granada.

I'm here in Cadaques- which is more reminiscent of Andalucia for me.  The cabos and coast is very similar.  The rugged rocks kissing the blue Mediterranean never fails to impress me and put me in place.  The lifestyle seems so simple and enjoyable.  It seems to fit my philosophy of working to live- and this is living.  The Mediterranean is so precious and to think of the history the waters have seen- the love and hate that has happened on its shores.  I see people in love and it's so romantic, but at the same time it's impossible to forget all the hate and war that has occurred here and the memories of this are evident in the scattered castles and ruins along both the Spanish and Italian countryside.  All the power-hungry people fighting for religious and political control over land that has no choice, bot to grow its life.  For sure you can cut flowers and cypresses, but spring will come again and these Napoleons will never realize that.  This belief carries over in so many ways.  Perhaps even with me being here with Richard.  I'm just fortunate to be able to experience this on an extremely conscious level.  Or not?