1. Namibia Smokey The Bear Says Only You Can Prevent Snakebites

    Everyone has a phobia.  The fact that I made it through life immune to childhood fears gave me an overblown sense of victory.  That was before I moved to Namibia and realized that poisonous snakes don’t live behind thick walls of glass at the zoo they live in nature. As in the tall brush that I walk through every day.  Fortunately Namibians share my fear of snakes and are prone to taking any means necessary to kill a snake regardless if it’s a black mamba or a garden snake.  One morning I l...

  2. Namibia Peace Corps Narnia

    “Namibia, huh.  You sure it’s not Nambia? I’m pretty sure it’s Nambia.  Or Narnia.  Is Peace Corps sending you to Narnia? I bet Africa is full of lions, witches, and centaurs.  Will you bring me back a centaur?” While my friends and family are geographically and fictionally challenged at times they supported my decision to quit my job, sublet my condo, uproot my life, and move to another continent.  In all truthfulness, they knew protesting my decision was futile as I had set my mind on movi...

  3. Namibia Winning at Life

    Anyone who knows me also knows that I am most at home curled up reading a good book.  I was not one to tromp through nature and the closest I ever came to camping was a drafty wood cabin for a Girl Scout weekend retreat at the age of ten.  However, anyone who knows me will also say I’m not one to back down from a challenge.  For me, Africa was that challenge.  When I first found out about my placement to Namibia I emailed a friend in South Africa to share the news.  It went a little something...

  4. Macedonia Can you spare a square?

    During the first few days of our Pre-Service Training a few of us got together for a much needed pizza break.  I quickly became friends with another PCV, a CA woman who was older and wiser than myself,  except in one area...the Macedonian bathroom (or the hole-you-pee-in room).  We went to the ladies room together and I did my buisness, but I heard a not-so-soft gasp coming from the other stall.  I finished and came out to see her doing the bathroom jig in her long, flowing skirt. 'What?!  Ho...

  5. Macedonia Kids will be kids!

    It just goes to show you that no matter where you are, kids are kids!  Who needs fancy, new, brightly colored toys?  After a gift was received by our Macedonian family, the grandchildren quickly put their imaginations at use with the box.  They had fun for hours!!

  6. Macedonia Girls just want to have fun!

    This group of girls became very special to me, very quickly.  As only children can do, they welcomed and loved me before I could even get my newly learned and practiced Macedonian 'hello' out of my mouth. We spent a great deal of time together and always, always laughed  (I wonder if most of their laughing was at my attempt to speak their language!?). They proved that language does not bond people together, it's the special connection that occurs after your first shared smile.  They continue ...

  7. Macedonia Rakia

    Rakia is the local 'moonshine' and is used for many things besides toasting special occasions (think of it as an all around product - household cleaner, shines your wooden furniture and cures what ails you!).  This is Tosho, our Macedonian father, with his great friend and neighbor, Baba Vera, making Rakia on a chilly Fall day.  Baba Vera always had a smile on her face!

  8. Macedonia Peppers and tobacco

    This is a typical house in Macedonia, but I hadn't seen one this colorful with drying peppers and tobacco.  I came across this house on a walk and didn't know the people living there, so I shapped the picture quickly before I was questioned about why on earth I would want this picture. 

  9. Ukraine Meeting My Host Family

      Within my first six months in Ukraine I lived with threedifferent host families. They were all great and really helped me to get adjusted to life in Ukraine. However that doesn't mean it was always easy to live with them, often it wasn't. I particularly remember when I got to my training site of Rokytne; a town of 15,000 people, three hours south of Kyiv; I was unsure if I'd be able to handle living with my first host family. There was my first impression of four members of that family...

  10. Ukraine Pig Statue

      I found it amusing that someone decided “You know who needs a statue? Pigs.” It seems particularly odd to me now that I live in a Muslim country where people are revolted by pigs.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.