peace and a passport

Your awesome Tagline

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Anonymous asked: Have you tried any new or interesting foods lately?

I found some maggots in my lunch at the school cafeteria, and then again in the dried lemons that I put in my water every day. Turns out Ive been eating maggots for wees! 

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Anonymous asked: Is your glass half empty or half full?

Half full. Most of the time I exude optimism and idealism to the point where it annoys other people, Im sure. 

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Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
Ernest Hemingway (via h-o-r-n-g-r-y)

(via icantfeeeelmyface)

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Why Peace Corps?


On July 7th, 2012, I was in South Africa freezing my butt off and fighting the flu. I was volunteering for the International YMCA in Cape Town, helping out with the Global Teens program as part of the Intl Y, and the Y-Zone program as part of the Cape Town Y. When my friend Tracy and I weren’t…

Great post! I always want to know why people join the Peace Corps, and I have gotten so many different answers.

You’ll be amazed at how the months sometimes fly and sometimes creep by throughout your service. It’s surreal that I’m nearly halfway done with my own service and preparing to welcome your group in. Try to soak in every moment of it. Hold on to the excitement you’ll feel during PST and keep it going to the very end. 

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Anonymous asked: Wishing you Happy Birthday Kayla all the way from US! Have an awesome one!

Thank you! My birthday was beautifully sunny, and I spent most of it teaching but I didn’t mind at all. Today I celebrated with some teachers by going out to dinner and watching a dance performance at the hospital where I teach English. Pictures and a new post to come soon!

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Anonymous asked: Dear reader, care to elaborate on what "peace and passport" really means? Sincerely, a blogger with no life whatsoever.

"Peace" for Peace Corps, "Passport" because I live abroad and you need one to do that.

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Anonymous asked: I'm considering the Peace Corps but I'm torn between the culture and cute Chinese guys of China and the idea of something completely different in the Carribbean. Any advice? How did you narrow down your choices and what are the things you love about China?

I’m not sure how the application process works now, but I didn’t choose China. They asked me for preferences during my interview and I said South/Central America or Eastern Asia. I know they take your skills into account more than where you want to be, and they value flexibility. 

I personally think that Chinese guys are nice to look at, but usually too skinny and too shy for my liking. But 随便你, to each his own! 
Some things I do love about China: the food, the greater sense of hospitality to newcomers, the language, the mountains. 

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Anonymous asked: Wanna know a word that has lost meaning, it's love. Yup it's so overused nowadays and in general(love your neighbor, love yourself, etc) What's your definition and opinion of love?

I disagree, in part. In fact, I don’t think love is used enough. I do agree that it’s sometimes said without any genuine love coming from the person saying it, and in that case it shouldn’t be used. But we should try to express our love more and really try to feel love when we say it.

 I probably express my love for things and people more often than other people do, but I’m passionate and over the top. To me, everything is beautiful and deserving of love.  I say “I love you” to my friends, my family, my students, drunk people at the bar, food, animals, coffee. I’m a bit more selective when it comes to expressing my love for romantic interests, but once I’m sure about that kind of love I don’t keep it in for long.

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chinstahappy asked: Hello! I'm a future PCV China and I am currently filling out the PST Questionnaire. I'm currently on this question:"What is the single most important factor that we should consider in placing you at a site? Please explain." What did you put and reflecting back on it now, what would you say?

Welcome to China! We are so excited to have you.

If I remember correctly, I mentioned something about wanting to be at a site that has retained a lot of its traditions. I have a background in Anthropology, so seeing traditional aspects of Chinese culture was important to me.

They ask this question again during your site placement interview, and for me I think it was the deciding factor for them to place me at my site. I remember saying “I want to integrate to the point where I can really feel the culture and the history of the people who live there,” and then they started writing vigorously. I got placed at a site that is definitely more on the traditional side, but looking back, I would have added wanting a site with a lot of (Chinese) minority groups, because the culture here is pretty homogeneous.

Ultimately, its up to you. Take a little while to reflect on what really makes you happy and what kind of experience you want to have in China. I know it’s hard to answer that question having not come to China yet (or maybe you have), but just think about what circumstances would aid in you being happy and successful at site. Is there anything you absolutely can’t deal with? Intense pollution, big cities, small cities, etc? Are there any secondary project ideas you already have in mind? Do you want to teach a specific class like creative writing, art, speech? Do you absolutely want to be at a university or maybe at a secondary school?

Hope this helps!

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and then kayburry yelled “hey, I know you… I follow you on Tumblr” and I had a kanipshin

haniemarie I was too excited to finally meet an online friend in person! Your energy is uplifting and infectious. COME TO WULONG!