30 Days Straight: #7,8

– Writing a blog post titled #7,8 for a series called 30 Days Straight is hypocritical.

– I received some pretty great advice from a fellow Peace Corps volunteer about the attitude I carry at site. I told him some days it is very difficult to be in a positive mood based on the gray atmosphere that can surround me on certain days. Not everyone walks with a smile or carries a very energetic disposition. He reminded me that I can be that change agent. Continually I should try to stay upbeat and empower others. This is not something I have not heard in the past but his reminder definitely helped to reawaken the fire from within. I look forward to encouraging others tomorrow and being part of the solution.

– The best comment I received at Peace Corps Prom came from my friend Chris. Chris and I both stayed up in Medical with one another for a week dealing with leg injuries. We watched movies, ate together, helped each other out, and had deep conversations. Last night, she caught me out on the dance floor and we shared a dance. She put her hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes saying, “You know, when I first met you I thought a lot differently about who you are than the guy you really are.” Confused and obviously rather curious I asked her to proceed. She followed up by saying, “When I first met you it seemed that you carried this attitude… somewhat of a arrogant jock/frat boy. But once I got to know you, I must say, you are an excellent human being.” Her saying that made my night. It was powerful. Not only because I respect what she thinks of me but the way she delivered it to me left me speechless and flattered. Few people have the power to be so candid. I responded with a “wow”, thanked her for telling it to me straight, returned to her that she is a great person, and that I am really happy that we met here and became friends. It does make me think though that there has to be a first impression I give off to people that rubs them the wrong way. I do not know if it is an arrogance, directness, ability to be a rambling jackass, or what but I think toning it down may be helpful. Either way I am glad her first impression of me did not ruin our relationship at the outset. Writing people off is pretty simple. I think it takes someone real to dig their feet into the sand and give someone more than one shot before making a final judgment.

– I really want to pick up swing dance lessons. I was trying out some amateur moves at Prom and had a ball. I kept twirling my partner, trying to find her hand in the process, and when we connected and were fluid it was incredible.

– My dance partner proceeded to kick my ass in a one-on-one dance off. At one point she ended her dance by giving me the hand right in the face. I was humbled, props Laura.

– I saw an apartment today in Leova and am pretty ecstatic about signing the lease. The place is refurbished with new wood flooring, heat, new furniture, appliances, bathroom, and kitchen. I did sign a contract last week for a 3 room shack across town but I will be calling my manager tomorrow to have her verify the new location and have the current contract voided. I am sure she will be more than happy to have me staying there seeing as she told me that the shack barely passed minimum requirements for Peace Corps’ standards. Besides the updates made to the place I also like that it is right behind the bus station for when I need to travel and that it has a view from the 6th floor where I can look out over the city. Granted there are no mountains or skyscrapers but the view itself is refreshing. It sure beats living in rooms without windows or with breathtaking views of shrubs in the backyard.

– Skyping with my cousin tomorrow morning about our trip to Switzerland this July. I cannot wait to buy tickets for the Openair Frauenfeld concert we are going to and deciding on the other countries we plan to visit during her stay. The concert features hip hop/R&B artists and DJ’s from across Western Europe and the United States. Snoop Dogg, A Tribe Called Quest, and Wu-Tang Clan are booked with more to come. Last year’s concert featured Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Ludacris, so I am excited to hear who will follow. Moreover, we will be camping on site so the weekend should be pretty nuts. Clothing optional I would assume.

Openair-Frauenfeld_04

– Listening to Romanian rap now courtesy of a group of volunteers that sent me a folder of MP3s through Dropbox. When I find something I like I will post a sample on a future post. It is funny but with Romanian it seems that every word ends in lui, lor, oare, or uri. Word play made easy.

– My niece Carly is 2 years old. I spoke with her on Skype today and she showed me her stuffed animal friends. The way she said piggy and teddy was adorable. She is growing up in front of my eyes. I really like how she can identify who I am when I appear on the monitor. It seems that she understands the concept of Video Call and that I am in fact a real person on the other end of the screen. The next generation is going to be horrifyingly sharp at programming their entire lives using 5, 6, 7G devices.

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