Right Way v. Being Flexible

Understanding which projects to implement or specific partners to conduct business with is extremely difficult to gauge for Peace Corps Volunteers in Moldova. I have had both incredibly positive and very underwhelming experiences when working on projects with counterparts. All of which have been performed with transparency, integrity, a central focus placed on skills-enhancement, and…

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Timp de Reflectie XVII

Two months of service now remain. I reflect on a day of hosting international guests at the Business Incubator of Leova and detail what life is like in our town.

Leova Basketball Court makes National News

Thank you to an incredible network of donors from the U.S. and an active local community, the city of Leova was able to raise enough funds to refurbish the local basketball court behind the Russian school. The project took six months to complete and was accomplished primarily through crowdfunding donations on Indiegogo from personal contacts. An amazing…

Hit Refresh

Relationships are construed as finite. They are not. Instead, they need to be viewed as muscles. In order to strengthen them, they need to be flexed and worked continuously. Sometimes working them hurts, but pain does bring pleasure. It took me 26 years to learn this. I have always viewed relationships in my personal and…

Merry Orthodox Christmas!

As a member of the steering committee and mentor for Diamond Challenge Moldova, a business competition for high school entrepreneurs, I made this video to not only wish all participants a Merry Orthodox Christmas but also to give them some words for encouragement heading into 2014. Baftă!    

Thanksgiving Abroad

Another year down in Moldova and yet another year of missing one of my favorite American traditions and holidays: Thanksgiving. Nothing makes me feel closer to (or further from) home than the Thanksgiving parties I normally have with the Millers and Purtells. I cannot wait to reunite with you all this summer and hope that…

Quail Eggs and Trust Issues

Over the past three months, I have been working with a local entrepreneur who is growing a quail egg and meat production business in a poor village in the southern region of Moldova. He came to us at Incubatorul de Afaceri Leova in order to receive financial assistance through a small financial grant program managed by…

Another Has Left

Over the weekend I visited my former host family in Cricova, Moldova. I spent the summer of 2012 studying Romanian and receiving plenty of business and organizational trainings on behalf of the Peace Corps while living there. In that time I became very close to my host parents Slavic and Svetlana and especially their two…

Orphanage Visit in Straseni, Moldova

I received an email in early December mentioning the idea of volunteering at an orphanage to put on an event for them around the holidays. Immediately, I became intrigued. I enjoy working with kids and given the fact that this will be my first Christmas away from home it really inspired me to serve. The…

Timp de Reflectie XV

I recently found myself in a general feeling of unease, being lethargic, agitated, and alone. After taking time away from sports to deal with an exercise related injury, I became pretty sick. With one week in isolation my mood plummeted rather quickly. Too much time left in my own thoughts became quite dangerous. I kept…

Startup Weekend Moldova

The weekend came and went so quickly. I remember arriving through the doors to an open room of tables, sign-up sheets, and guests, to a sea of food and photographers as I moved slowly through the crowd thereafter. For the majority of participants the mission seemed clear: present the best business idea possible to a…

Cribs Moldova

Just like on MTV, I am giving you a full-on tour. I am happy to have moved into my new residence. After 10 months straight of living with families, I am back on my own again. I can make the rules, cook my own food, wear what I want, use the utilities how I please,…

Harness the Ego and Be Free

Your chest feels heavy, heart rate increases, you are stressed, nervous, thinking in everything you have to do by the day’s end, growing impatient. You keep replaying the same conversation, tragic event, disappointment, situation in your mind over and again. It leaves you angry, frustrated, and unfulfilled. You see an “undeserving” colleague get a promotion,…

Timp de Reflectie XIV

Limba Română Pînă la acum traeam în Moldova 4 luni. A fost un drum bun și doar pot fi emoționant pentru care se va întâmpla. Partea de excitarea mea ca eu imparțesc astazi este localizarea mea noua a locuința. Inca nu m-am mutat, dar eu sper ca contractul va fi semnat urmatorul luni. Afla-te despre…

Three Elements to Strong Peace Corps Service

There have been plenty of Peace Corps volunteers here in Moldova that have terminated their service early. For reasons unknown many have decided to leave. Possibly there were problems with work, home life, social interaction, or put simply, better opportunities outside of the Republic of Moldova and the Peace Corps. In some cases health was…

Timp de Reflectie XIII

Definitely fumbling over some Romanian words at the beginning but still making progress “pas-cu-pas” (step-by-step). I really feel like I have come a long way in Moldova, but I am not even close to finding true success here yet. All of the successes I hope to actualize will come through the accomplishments of my business…

To The Greatest Man I Know..

Starting at 3922 Hull Street, moving to 8041 Kildare Avenue, to Berea, Naperville, Chicago, Columbia, Northbrook, Zapopan, Cricova, and now Leova you have been there for me. Physically, mentally, and most importantly emotionally you have been the best father a child could ask for. I love your personality, morals, work ethic, loving spirit, and knowledge…

Moldova Mercy

Just me, myself, and the rock. Coming to you live from an unidentified (by Google Maps) blacktop in Leova, Moldova. There were a couple of parts in this video where I felt like bumping my chest, ripping off my shirt, and/or screaming in celebration after a shot made. Luckily, I chose to do otherwise: Credits (Music): “Mercy”…