Note: This piece is a continuation in the interview series, I am publishing from Peace Corps Volunteers in Moldova.
Well my name is Adam and I am originally from New York. I studied International Business at Liberty University and I love trying new things, meeting new people, learning about different things and experiencing life in unexpected ways. I am currently serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Drochia, Moldova.
1. How did you end up here? In this moment, in this time, in this place?
It really all started when I was about 10 years old and I went on a cross-country road trip with my cousin. I was able to experience so many new things, see new places and meeting a lot of new people along the way. I was even able to hike the Grand Canyon and that ignited my passion for adventure/traveling. Not long after that I heard from some family friends that their grandson was joining the Peace Corps and that was when I was first introduced to what Peace Corps is and does, so ever since it was in the back of my mind. After studying abroad, finishing university and traveling to different places in the world. I started looking for something I could and that was international. I spent a sometime researching and applying for different things but in the end. I turned down a job offer to pursue joining the Peace Corps because it was something I could be passionate about and I knew that I would never regret the decision. It was a fairly logical step in my mind to join the Peace Corps to take on a new adventure and step things up to a new level. I had been to Eastern Europe, specifically Moldova before and I found it to be a very interesting place. It is partly why I believe I was selected to be a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova.
2. What’s your favorite thing about Moldova?
My favorite thing about Moldova is that it isn’t the easiest place to live and things don’t always work out how you expect them too. It might seem weird but I love the fact that there is less structure here and more freedom in a way. The easiest way that I can say it is that it makes life like an adventure every day because you are not sure what is going to happen or how something is going to work out. Something that might be simple in America are everything but simple here in Moldova. Getting from one place to another is sometimes a very interesting adventure in Moldova or trying to schedule a meeting with someone. You might think you have it all figured out and something will happen or maybe the person will just not even show up because you didn’t call them before the meeting to confirm it. Needless the say that life isn’t always going to go according to a plan but that is the fun part of improvising, trying new things and getting outside of your comfort zone to get things going. There is plenty to learn here and much it of it will be about myself.
3. What’s your least favorite thing about Moldova?
My least favorite thing about Moldova is in fact my favorite thing about Moldova which can at times be incredibly frustrating, difficult and downright depressing but that is part of life and something to overcome. It also allows you to learn a lot about yourself and how you handle things when you are put in some difficult circumstances that challenge you and test your ability to overcome.
4. A story or lesson from your service?
I think that one of the biggest lessons that I have learned so far in my service is that your view and outlook on things has a major impact. You need to stay positive no matter what happens and you need to be a self-starter because you can’t expect others to come to you. You need to set the tone for your service and that is done by going out and doing something, anything. This means asking questions, talking to people and getting to know what is happening. Here in Moldova there are plenty of things to work on and opportunities for improvement. You might make a lot of mistakes and things won’t always work out but getting out there and trying is the best way to get something going. This isn’t a competition and shouldn’t be treated as such but it is serious business where life of people can be changed forever because of something you were able to be involved in. That might be the biggest motivation of all.
5. What do you miss most about “home” wherever that may be?
I do miss my family but honestly I believe the thing that I think about most is food. I miss a good steak or just a high protein diet in general. I love Moldovan food and interesting things that they enjoy eating here but just not the same. I would also like to mention that Thanksgiving and Christmas time is the hardest because there is so much good food (and people) during these times. I will add that I am not missing all the snow!
6. Knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again?
Of course. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat and I think I would be even more excited than I was the first time. I can honestly say that things aren’t exactly how I imagined them to be and things haven’t always gone my way but I have had some amazing, life altering experiencing that I wouldn’t change for the world. I have learned a lot about myself and the world in general. The bad is what makes the good so worth working towards. Plus I have made some amazing friends along the way!
7. Quote or song or picture that sums up your service?
Never, never, never give up. – Winston Churchill