Returning to the U.S. on January 4, 2013, so no more contact information in Suriname!
Karin- what an incredible experience you are having so far. If you ever need anything sent to you just let me know, happy to send care packages. Love the blog and getting to stay in touch with your adventure. Sounds like the experience of a life time.
Hi, sounds awesome. Love reading your blog. Take care, Kathy
Please clarify the mailing instructions –
1. What service will get to you? USPS? UPS? What is best? Since you are in a village, this post makes it appear that it may be difficult for you to retrieve it?
2. Is a padded envelope truly better as PC recommends?
3. Is it adequate to write address in English, not in Ukrainian, or does one need to write both?
4. How long has it been taking to receive a package (indicate what service) into your hands?
Lisa – Thanks for the questions. I actually do not live in a village, I live in a city, an oblast center (like a state capitol in the US) which has a population of almost 300,000 people. That being said, any package that is sent to me must have my address in both English (for the US service) and Ukrainian (for when it gets here). I have had absolutely no problems getting packages thus far, as long as the address is there in both languages. I can send you a PDF of the addresses if you want.
People will argue as to which is the best way to get something here. I know someone who sends things here on a slow boat with Meest (cheapest way). My mom sent me something with Meest via air, and it still took a month. People also send things through the USPS all the time and I have been told they have some sort of “flat rate” envelope people can stuff full, up to a certain weight. BTW my friend got a package from his parents through the USPS and it took two weeks (costs more than Meest). Much of the answers will depend upon what you want to send (envelope versus package), how much it weighs, etc. I think that whichever service you use will depend on how much you want to spend, if you want to know the truth – they all get here.
Hi! Great reading about your experiences in Ukraine–I think the honesty is very helpful to those like myself who are considering signing up for the Peace Corps. I have a question: As somone looking to do community/ngo development, I’m concerned about whether there’s actually enough work to be done to keep you busy. Your work thus far sounds quite interesting. Have you found there to be significant downtime, or periods where there wasn’t much for you to really be doing? I’ll have my JD and don’t want to end up spending 2 years doing something totally irrelevant to that. Any thoughts? Thanks!
Hi Ariana. Thanks for the comment.
As far as your questions – it depends. I have my JD/MBA, and there are a number of others here who have their JD, and others still with Masters degrees. How you define “irrelevant” I do not know, but Peace Corps, in my opinion, is always relevant.
Regarding downtime – I happen to live in an oblast center, so it has not been difficult to find things to do. However, I have friends who are in smaller areas, and they also have no problem finding things to do – it really depends on how much you want to do, and how hard you want to work. I also know people who seem to actively go out of their way to avoid working at all. It happens – you have people here across the spectrum in that respect. So – what you get done depends entirely on you. However, if you are the competitive lawyer type, you may need to readjust how you think in terms of achievements. You will not be able to work at the same speed and intensity as in the U.S., and that is not a bad thing, because Peace Corps is not ALL about what you can get done – it is also about cross-cultural exchange and sharing. However, there is plenty of work to be done, believe me! The program is still growing!
If you want to correspond further, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
I just sent a package to you via USPS. I used a flat rate box. The postal service recommended that the entire address be written in English as there is not enough room to write both addresses, which by the way is a challenge. I tried to do a combination of both. I’ll be interested to be notified when you receive it.
Peace and love, Lisa
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