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…

How to Utilize Facebook in Moldova

I have now served two years in Moldova as a small enterprise development volunteer with the Peace Corps. Social media has been the key instrument for marketing and advertisement of any of the institutions, programs, or projects I have worked on, but particularly Facebook. I utilize it to create pages and events; post videos, pictures,…

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…

On His Way to the States

Playing basketball with the guys one day after work, I was approached by Alex. He and I were acquaintances through a family I spent quite a bit of time with in town. He waltzed over to me on the court and asked if I could help him to improve his English. Based on trial and error, I…

8 Ways to Change Your Approach

I had been struggling through college and thereafter to limit the distractions in my life and find true direction. It was not that I was an epic failure by the least. I managed to earn high marks in college, dedicate myself to all responsibilities, and make financial ends meet. The one thing I did not…

Storytellers

A project which started in the cold, frosty month of February in the capital of Moldova is now receiving its finishing touches as eight volunteers of the Peace Corps in Moldova, otherwise known as the (self-proclaimed) Dream Team, will collaborate with 20 government and business officials to put together the event titled Storytellers. The event will…

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…

Combining Peace Corps with Masters

Peace Corps  The first motivating factor of my decision to look into graduate school programs was directly linked to our organization, the Peace Corps. In June 2010 after graduating from DePaul University in 2009 and accepting my first job with Vibes Media in Chicago, I realized that I wanted to serve others, learn a new…

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…

Twenty Five

25 years old, thank you. An incredible year that started in the Chi, took me to Istanbul & Paris, and allowed me to set up shop with the Peace Corps in Moldova. Thank you for teaching me how to feel like a minority, to experience incredible lows get crushed by incredible highs, to develop a…

Bring Your Words to Life

I have a very strong need to communicate with others, more than most. I enjoy hearing people’s voices, seeing faces, learning from others, and getting my point across. Admittedly I can be a pest, though I have acknowledged that many of my colleagues and friends are alike. Over time I have realized that many people…

30 Days Straight: #28

– Rise in chicken feed prices will lead to 60% of the Moldovan poultry industry to go bankrupt in 2013. An estimated 15,000 jobs will be lost and $20 million dollar monthly losses will hit the agricultural industry. Reports say that the existing 40% of producers will dominate the domestic market along with increased poultry…

30 Days Straight: #27

“The difference between the individuals that leave a footprint on this world and those who simply walk in those steps is that there is no unattainable goal. There are simply adverse avenues to greatness and smooth roads to mediocrity.” – A pack of cigarettes costs 6.5 lei (approximately $.50). – I spoke with the grandfather…

30 Days Straight: #26

12-26-12 Dear Pat, I dug out these old Christmas cards I bought in 1994, thought you’d get a kick out of it. You were 7 years old when I bought them. Boy have you come a long way. This Skype technology is wonderful. I think I would have a much harder time with you so…

30 Days Straight: #25

One thing that has really tested my patience here in Moldova is the differing norms on privacy and relationship building. At home and in Mexico locked doors are not uncommon. You would not offend someone if you did lock yourself in somewhere. It is simply a sign that you want to be left alone, are…

30 Days Straight: #24

As evidenced by the picture I posted, I made a visit to the doctor’s office. I was not a patient but an invite. My new roommate Eugen is a general practitioner and offered to let me job shadow him for a few hours after lunch. He dressed me in a laboratory jacket and gave me…

30 Days Straight: #23

– Translated a 7 page business document into the best Romanian I could muster. It was extremely dry to begin with so going through it in another language made me feel like a zombie upon completion. The funniest part is that I am not finished yet. I now have to find a native proofreader to…

30 Days Straight: #20,21,22

– Welcome to the first day of Spring and Mărțișor (pronounced Mart-see-shore)! I walked into my business partner’s office only to be greeted with a gift. I was handed a pin-charm with two threaded snowflakes, one white, one red, and a woven leaf dangling from a metal pin. It is believed that the red string…

30 Days Straight: #18,19

– Just 11 more days until I will not feel guilty about missing another day. As you can see I am really motivated with sticking to my word here. I think by missing a post on three occasions I further prove to myself and peers that motivation and content are two things I desperately need.…