Dreams and schemes

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

I am fun-loving, a dreamer, but not much of a schemer. I try always to be a good friend, and a good mother, daughter and sister. I am a hard worker, and I like to work hard and also to have a good time. I am serving in the Peace Corps, in Moldova, and the insight and opinions in this blog are mine, and do not reflect the opinions of the US government or the Peace Corps. "I cannot do great things. I can only do small things with great love."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The end of April

In two days, April, 2011, will be over. When I updated this blog last month, I was wanting to make a stronger commitment to regular writing. That has not come to pass. Instead, my days have been busy with work and family, struggling to figure out how to do the same things with continued enthusiasm. I am content most days, but there are parts of almost everyday that encompass some sort of struggle. Here are the big highlights of the past month, not one of which is really mine to own, but each highlight is listed because it is an accomplishment of someone that I care about. My daughter and son-in-law have moved out of my home and are moving into their own apartment. This was not really an easy decision for any of us, and it is now feeling more comfortable than it felt a few weeks ago. Moving out. My friend and her husband will be moving to Azerbaijan, where she will become a Country Director for Peace Corps. Moving up. My grandmother is now safely back in NY, and doing phenomenally well once again, at 93, after another health scare in Mississippi. Moving on. My days are busy with work and worry, friends and fun. Just keepin' on, keepin' on. Short and sweet, and I'll try to get back to you all sooner. xoxo, Jami

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Last night there was an amazing full moon, and today is the first full day of Spring! The days are longer and the sun is warmer. Its all good, and very welcome. Last week was stressful for me, on a couple of levels, and the time to think and relax this weekend was so welcome and needed. I have moved back into a job at Sweetser that is very similar to the job that I had before I left, supervising case managers. I like my job, and I am always grateful to be working. That doesn't mean that it doesn't get stressful sometimes. I am spending more time in a vehicle than I have in probably close to three years, and I have to say, that as much as I have always loved driving, I really don't seem to like it as much as I used to. For so long, and the whole time I was in Moldova, I spent most of my time walking, or riding on public transportation. Maybe it would be a little less stressful if I had a vehicle that I loved to spend time in, but I am not convinced that it would even make much of a difference. Walking just seems to be my preferred way to get around now. Oh, it would be wonderful to have a job that I could walk to everyday!

So, the past week was stressful. Driving, combined with the weather, which was not Spring-like at all, worry about the sorry state of affairs all over the world, worry about Japan and the feeling that Armegeddon is near, all contributed to a really stressed out kind of week. By Friday afternoon, after being tired and grumpy for a few days, I was ready to just collapse. I spent the evening totally alone in my own home....something that has not happened for over three years. It was heavenly!! It was an opportunity for me to remember how wonderful solitude is for my soul. I love my life, my family, my man. I need quiet to restore my energy. I had spent time being upset that I felt that I was not being included in an activity that I thought I wanted to participate in. My emotions had been feeling hurt. People at home were not treating me as I felt I needed to be treated...what I came to realize in my solitude is that what I needed was not to be with others, but to be good with myself. Its good when you get what you need for yourself. So now, the beginning of the first week of Spring. New growth, new life, warmer sunnier days on the horizon. All is good in the world, or at least in this little corner of the world. Hope all is well with you! xoxo, Jami

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Where to begin?

It's a rainy Sunday afternoon, the first Sunday in March, 2011. This week it will mark a year since I have been home, a year of change back to my "normal" life, and a time of re-adjustment back to my familiar routines. I last wrote on here just about 10 months ago, in the middle of May. After coming home, I spent a little over two months living with Bob, and his family, on Bailey Island, before being able to move back into my own home. We went hiking, took long walks and spent an unseasonably warm Spring enjoying life along the Maine coast. By mid-June, I was back at work with my previous employer, this time as a per diem Assessment clinician. The Summer and Fall were punctuated by visits from my PCV friends, Macie and Craig in early July, and Renell in mid-September. Fall went by quickly, with LL Bean seasonal work, third shift as a "picker" to accompany my regular work, leading to the holiday season. The first Christmas home was poignantly sweet. It was everything I had missed over the previous two Christmases'. There was no special gift, either given or received, that could replace the happiness of being home.

January and February have brought nothing special to write about. The days are getting longer, the sun is higher in the sky, and I am now a full-time, salaried employee, back doing the work I was doing for the same organization as I was when I left three years ago. The more things change, the more they stay the same. But, I have changed. I have been writing to the new volunteer who is placed in my old village in Moldova. I have a new friend who just left last week to start his Peace Corps service in Madagascar. I am proud of my service. I am even happier to be done with it and home than I had imagined I would be. I am wondering what the next adventures might look like. I am back to writing, and hope that I will be able to do this more consistently. Keep in touch. xoxo, Jami

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back again!

It's hard to believe how time has flown by...I've been back in the US now for just over two months and the time has gone by so quickly. I have spent time with family and friends, visiting, hiking, and now it is time to get down to some serious job searching.

The time visiting has been so wonderful. Being away from my family and friends was, by far, the most difficult part of being away for over two years. I've not done anything spectacular since being home, but just getting to spend time with the people that I love most in this world has been spectacular. I have spent some time in Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire and most of the time in Maine. This past week, my beloved Uncle and Godfather, Harold, died in New York state. I was not able to be with him at the very end, but I was glad to have been able to see him a few weeks ago. My grandmother is doing well, and continues to be such an inspiration to me. My father-in-law celebrated his 90th birthday this week, and the family is planning a party for later today in Pennsylvania. Even though I have not been present at some of these events, I do feel more connected by proximity than I have in the past few years. It does feel so good to be closer to the pleople that I love. Yesterday Linnea and I spent the day with my parents, and my sister and her youngest boy, Daniel. I was able to talk to my brother before he set sail this morning from St. Croix to Boston. It is priceless to me to be able to do that.

My home in Maine has been rented to some Bowdoin students who are ending the semester this week, and it will feel so good to feel settled back in my own space. It has been a bit of a challenge to have been "floating" from place to place for an additional two months, but the end of the nomadic life is within sight. I know I am feeling the pull to get back to the routine of home, job, family, and regular daily responsibilities.

Some of the time these past two months have been spent hiking on the Appalachian Trail in Maine with my good friend, Bob. It has been a time of exploration of some of the most beautiful and challenging landscape in the the country. We have hiked through snow, ice, and thawing mountains. We have seen the earliest signs of Spring in the hills, and spent quiet times by the fire. It has been the adventure that I imagined it could be, and I am so grateful that we have been able to do this. It is much more abbreviated than I had originally hoped, or even planned for, but even the best of times exist within the reality of expense and time constraints.

So, now it is time for the return to my "normal" life. I can't wait to see what comes next. I will continue to write here, perhaps more sporadically. There are still observations and musings that I imagine that I might want to share with all of you. See you soon. xoxo, Jami

Monday, March 8, 2010


As I am winding down, ending this part of my life here in Moldova, I have found myself to be very busy this past week. Its not been anything major, just a lot of little details and long trips on the bus which have filled my days. Last Sunday I was in Chisinau, returning in the afternoon. Monday I was here in the village and updated this blog. Tuesday and Wednesday brought a trip back into Chisinau for medical appointments, and a last night with Macie and Craig. Wednesday afternoon it was back to the village, work on Thursday, return to Chisinau on Friday morning for the weekend, returning last night to have a pizza party with my co-worker at the Center, Nadea. Nothing major, but a lots of running around.

The events of this past weekend included a wine tour on Friday afternoon, a visit to my training village on Friday night with Toumil and Veronica, and a party with Teresa and about ten other volunteers on Saturday night. It was good to go back to my training village. Maria and her daughters, whom I lived with during my training time, have moved to Italy and were not around, so it was a little sad not to see them to say good-bye. Veronica's host family hosted the three of us for the night, and we had so much fun! We woke up to about 6" of wet, Spring snow on the ground. It was pretty, but I am ready for Spring! It has been cold since the weekend, so the warm weather of last week was a tease.

For those of you who remember the pre-service journey and time it took to get medically cleared for this service, it should come as no surprise that I am once again having some trouble with getting my medical stuff in-line to go home. As it was then, there is not a big problem, just lots of little things, and an ongoing requirement for more information before all the signatures will be given. This is not a huge thing, as I am healthy now as I was healthy then, but it does require more attention than I thought it would, and in this case, might require some follow-up once I am home. Just some details that need to be attended to when I thought an easy sign-off might be forthcoming. I'll still be home on Friday!

So now I am in the process of letting go, saying good-bye, moving on and back to my more familiar life and options. It is a contemplative process for me, as many things are. It is not as much about the packing, or the worry about what is next. I am mostly packed, and have been for a while. I don't worry too much about what is next. This experience has reinforced my existing values and taught me in new ways to be grateful for all that I have and not to worry about the details of my existence so much. I can't wait to be home with all of you, and I am trusting in my own self-perseverance that I will be happy and busy where I need to be. This has been a great experience, I am so fortunate to have been able to do this, meet the people that I have met, and pushed myself out of a comfort zone into a new experience. While I haven't loved every minute of it, that has had much more to do with missing people from home than not being useful and productive here. I am glad that I have done it, and I guess more importantly, I am proud of myself that I have stuck with the difficult things when I wanted to quit. I am leaving here with a sense of satisfaction. That feels good.

This week is shaping up to be busier than last week, and the next post here will be from home. I can't wait to see all of you! See you soon...FOUR DAYS!!!!!!!!! xoxo, Jami