The interview below is the fourth in the series of interviews from current Peace Corps Volunteers in Moldova. This series was inspired by Kate, the girl whose interview is below.
My name is Kate. I was born and raised in Richland, Washington – better known as the Tri-Cities. I have dual Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Philosophy from Gonzaga University (GO ZAGS!). Three weeks after graduating from GU, I boarded a flight for the Republic of Moldova to begin my Peace Corps service as a Community and Organizational Development volunteer. Currently, I live down south in Cahul, Moldova and work with both governmental and non-governmental organizations on human rights development for persons with disabilities.
I enjoy Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha (especially in red cups), towels straight from the dryer (or the radiator), political debates, Harry Potter (I genuinely believe I was screwed over being born a muggle), and, contrary to Sports Illustrated; I believe Washington is home to the best sports teams on the planet (Go Mariners, Seahawks and again… Zags!).
- How did you end up here? In this moment, in this time, in this place?
I wanted to join the Peace Corps before I ever really knew what it was. I had a friend from middle school email me while during my service saying he remembers me telling him in the 7th grade that I would join the Peace Corps. I have always had a strong sense of altruism; I believe it is our inherent responsibility to serve others in need. I was sick and tired of reading and studying the world’s conflicts and problems instead of physically trying to make a difference. So when it came time to make a choice after undergraduate, it was either law school or Peace Corps and VWA-LA…. Now, I live in a country that I didn’t even know existed when I was applying.
- What’s your favorite thing about Moldova?
Tough choice, but I would have to say the opportunity to be a part of the fundamental growth of a country. I am 23 and Moldova is just a year younger than I am. This is such a pivotal period in Moldova’s history, both geopolitically and in regards to internal growth. Getting to be an part of that, watching this tiny country make history: it is extraordinary.
Plus, tocana de pui and mamaliga cu smintina. MMM Moldovan food.
- What’s your least favorite thing about Moldova?
Easy: transportation. I dislike the public transportation here and it dislikes me right back.
- A story or lesson from your service?
You definitely have to learn to pick your battles to win the war and there will be times when you must concede and compromise. But, if you believe wholeheartedly in something, with every fiber of your intrinsic soul, you fight for it and you stand by it.
- What do you miss most about “home” wherever that may be?
Starbucks… drive-thru… in my own car… in my sweatpants and Uggs… early in the morning… just driving… with my jams playing. Ah, the freedom.
- Knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again?
If I was able to turn back time, yes, I would still do it all over again. Would I do it AGAIN in the future for 27 months, probably not.
- Quote or song or picture that sums up your service?
“If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” Elizabeth Gilbert