:hot pie: Moscow

For a while now I’ve needed this poem that would channel me into that little piece of my mind where i am wise and i’m floating and I know to create.

For a while now I’ve been needing to have a man touch me low, on my back, and walk through the streets of new york city and eat really fresh fruit.

For a while now I’ve been damned to find my own time to drink wine and breathe and scribble a letter to a friend and salute to the sun in the morning.

For a while now the waist of my denim cuts in too tight and I have avoided memories where I met him and the reasons I allowed him to walk away.

For a while now I’ve sat in stillness and I’ve listened to my mother and I’ve known right from wrong and I’ve not yet gained the courage.

For a while now my lense has hung still and my hair has curled to the scalp and the greens have been illuminated with the rain.

For a while now these shelves have been hiding holes and my battery has been drained and the heat outside has not been that inspiration that I remember so well.

For a while now I’ve been planning and I’ve been sitting in the dark like some families do and I’ve been nourished and I’m fine.

This weekend I’m staying in a house and snuggling with a dog that’s not mine. I am going to order pizza, and I am sincerely appreciating the time of simply spending identifiable time with myself, absolutely alone.



// 2/2 in Puke//

“Oh great, every seat has a plastic bag on it. That’s a good sign,” Emily laughs. She chooses the seat without a bag.

So, it happened again. Puke in Puke is perhaps funny the first time, but Puke in Puke the second time around is just absurd. I think the region is cursed, or that Sam Bell is trying to poison me. Or maybe it was something in the ferociously blue Funfetti cake we ate the night before. Or too much Dance Moms. Or too many dried beans. Or the water. Or karma. Or perhaps, once again, my body is just letting me know that my Albanian lifestyle is still an unpalatable and grave annoyance to it. Either way, I find myself on the 8am furgon.

I sit down and immediately my stomach starts to quiver. A very familiar and terrifying quiver, one that makes me feel freezing while I am producing clammy sweat beads on my forehead. As we commence our journey on the partially paved, windy mountain road, things only get worse. I attempt to create, as 30 Rock would call it, a “designated fart dampener” with my cozy winter coat, but it is no use. It is obvious I am having corporeal issues. The phrase, “I have never been this uncomfortable in my life,” (apparently my general Peace Corps mantra) is running in a loop through my head, and all I want to do is find a bathroom and have an unfortunate, but necessary, 10 minutes of intestinal agony. I am not so lucky.

The little boy next to me is stoically, and silently, vomiting yellow bile into a thick, green plastic bag. Albanians were generally not allowed to own cars until the post-Communist 1990s, so the Albanian stomach has not physically evolved to be able to handle even straight roads very well, or so my liberal arts degree tells me about science. I used to have personal pride in a strong American stomach and ugly, self-righteous annoyance at people throwing up on busses and furgons. The noise was awful, the smell noxious, and sometimes the roads just were not even close to bad enough to justify vomiting. However, the past two years have not only been a hit to my bowels, but also to my pride, and vomiting on a furgon was in no way my proudest moment. The little boy did it a lot better.

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A great little video put together by a fellow PCV with advice for the new group! 

In the Peace Corps, you often don’t know if your work makes any difference. It is deeply meaningful and exciting to hear that it does.

In the Peace Corps, you often don’t know if your work makes any difference. It is deeply meaningful and exciting to hear that it does.

// DAY6//

Katie Day6: I never think that I’m something I am not. May I not seek and want to be better, or separate, or smarter or wiser or more loved or more valuable than another, for the sake of vanity. May I always be truthful. May I not use others to elevate myself or feel special or glamorous. May I act from the reality of true caring and love, for the highest blessing of all. May I embody benevolence, for myself and others. May I give joy. May I be the understanding underneath words.

Non-attachment as Love. Not forcing or controlling. Pure, direct seeing.

I commit to trusting this Living Now. I embody this commitment. I am willing to change.

Laura Day6: If I am still and present, i can feel a big bright light in my chest, extending through my finger tips and placed gently on the crown of my head. I know that’s something, and I’m okay with not knowing exactly what it is.

// Oh the Places We’ve Been! By: Kamuel Cordingbell//


May 24th is your day!

You’re off to the United States!

You’re off and away!


But as we go we cannot forget,

Nena Shqiperia, we owe her a debt.

She has taught us and gave us so much without thought.

We humbly offer her the small seeds we have brought


Oh the places we’ve been!

From Syri i Kalter so crystal and blue,

To the Malsor mountains, majestic and true.

You laid claim to the mosquito-filled swamps of Divjake.

Turkeys, food and fun for 20 hungry people?

Your door you did not lock.

The golden team of  Bajram-Curri, who could ever fill the shoe?

You opened that site in the dangerous north—good for you. 

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// DAY5//

Katie Day 5: What is the space within which I take place? Thought, perception, happenings—seen and felt. Here. Where is here? How is here existing? In what is my mind placed; where is it located? What is the space for that? What holds the space for me to be?

Laura Day 5: The feeling of a clenched heart is what tells me I am real, and that my soul is the color it is for a reason. I wonder who can see the color of my soul. I wonder what power my energy has and who feels it more than others.

// DAY4//

Katie Day 4Now, live fully, without holding back. Your life already is fully here. Aligning to the presence that is, find out what you sing.

Laura Day 4: Remembering that I have the right to be so, so happy and proud of myself. To laugh myself to the next century. To brush through the clearing and enjoy sharing my own space. To keep discovering, always. To lie in bed all day, listening. To tap into old mixes on iTunes and allow myself to feel. To blend strawberries, mangos, coconut, flax, and banana together and enjoy it in the sun. To not know, and to feel bad about that. To not know, and to grab inspiration from it.

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