Saturday, March 15, 2008

Out of Office Response
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

Hey all - I had high hopes for being more regular with updating my blog but this past week - well past two weeks have been very busy, although busy and productive. After meeting a new group of people I see as potential project partners just last week, I did a lot of devloping of ideas and research only to discover the way I had originally envisioned the idea just can't happen in time - before June.

And after some soul searching I realized it's not all my fault. Even if I weren't leaving for four weeks of traveling I don't think the project could have happened the way we orginally pictured it. So it's back to the drawing board - we have a new idea already and when I return in April I have a grant to write.

All that said, later today I'm leaving on vacation. Well, today I'm leaving to take Bella - her toys, over 10 pounds of cat litter and two pizzas on the train to the villiage where Bella will be staying while I go meet my mom in Germany on Monday. (See below for a list of ridiculous things I've found myself traveling with and cat.)

We'll be spending 10 days touring Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary - then mom and I have a weekend trip to catch up with some distant family in the Czech Republic, a day in Budapest and then we're on the train to Timisoara to spend two whilrwind weeks traveling in Romania.

We will be back in Deva for two days - or at least 1 day + 12 hours so maybe I'll have a chance to send you some updates.

In the meantime Kwarou is still sick with the blinking monitor I sent him to the US to be repaired for last time (Damn that company that begins with the first letter of Hal, and the second word begins with the first letter in Pig). But since Kwarou is a good computer and he's mostly well behaved i may just to decide to ignore the problem since it hasn't been too big a deal so far. I haven't yet decided what to do - so you may not be hearing from me as often as I'd like.

In the meantime Big Birthday wishes going out to all the people who may or may not read this while I'm on my trip. Happy Birthday Sam! Happy Birthday Andy! Happy Birthday Brent! Happy Birthday Matt Herzberg volunteer coordinator at Camp Victor. I will do my best to send you all postcards from where I am on your special day! Even though I'm pretty sure Brent and Matt don't even read my blog!

Take care, y'all. And cross your fingers Kwarou is in good enough shape I can post a lot of pictures when I return!

List of ridiculous things I find myself traveling with
1 a cat in a cardboard box inside a shopping bag before I had the carrying cage. She was surprisingly good when small enough to lay on the floor of the box. She slept all through her first maxi taxi ride.

2 a cat in her travel cage and in my other hand a pumpkin pie which has lost its aluminum foil

3 a bag of clothes, a computer, a two liter bottle of hyperconcentrated coffee and a pumpkin

4 a cat, all her necessary cat equipment and a wreath center peice (this was easier than I thought it would be because even though she wanted to eat the wreath when we were home, when it was on the luggage rack she didn't much care.)

5 a cat, a two liter bottle of scwhepps biter lemon, a liter of milk, and my knitting

6 and now a cat, three weeks of cat food, one 10 pound bag of litter of litter attached to the outside of my bag (and about half that inside the bag), four outfits for me for me, two pizzas to eat tonight in the village and a bag of books to drop off in Bucharest at the Peace Corps office.

What will it be next? keep reading to find out....

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Grab Bag
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

Here is a grab bag of pictures I've been waiting to post. Starting with New Year's Eve...

Volunteers from France, Belgium and Argentina who also live in Deva.

Having a party, that's right that's Taco Dip and homemade tortilla chips. The chocolate chip cookies weren't bad either. Obviously those empty wine bottles are just candle holders. (really, they are.)

Music and dancing...

and a concert, sort of thing in front of the Casa Cultural.
A rocket a guy lit here on the security fence. I'm sure he didn't mean for it to go right towards the stage. The guy operating the sound board appreciated it none too much.

Not bad for an almost totally random show of fireworks...

Ringing in the new year

with our dance moves.

Can-can 2008 be the year we hope it will be? (ok, that was lame even for me.)
Jan 1st 2008 we hiked up to the citadel despite some seriously inconvenient frost.

This is my "Join the Peace Corps" photo.

Deva after our second snow fall. I really want to take a nice picture like this where you can see our "Hollywood" style Deva sign.
Oh, poor baby. Bella convelesces on a hot water bottle in a pillowcase.
And still looks cute despite having to survive the agonies of the funnel collar.

After a full recovery she quickly resumes getting into mischief.

On a trip to the village Baru Mare, Laura experiments with soya tacos.

Further proof that Peace Corps volunteers will go to any lengths to find "Mexican" food.

My friend Dru and I in Hateg, outside Pizzeria El Sombrero. The pizza is good.