Katie's Peace Corps Blog

I'm going to Ukraine with the Peace Corps!!

FYI: This in no way represents views of the Peace Corps or US Government. It also doesn't represent any views that are other than my own.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'VE MOVED!!! (well not really yet but my site has)

http://keb121984.scrapo.com <--- blog, scrapbook and photos all in one!!

K Thanks Bye

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


In case I haven’t told anyone this year. I have the most amazing boyfriend on the planet! Yup! I do! He sent me flowers at work, which brightened up this Tuesday morning. I have a little more than a year to go before I get to see him but I think it will be a year well worth it :o)

On different news- 81days until I leave :o) Written like that, seems like a long time. But knowing the long list of items I still need to buy and the longer list of things I still need to do along with the working until Jan 31st 81 days doesn’t feel like enough time. I really want to do soo much and see everyone before March 25th. I know all of it isn’t going to happen but I’d like to try. I think I’m going to finish the shopping aspect first. Well mostly b/c I’m still getting paid now and well shopping is just fun. And I’d rather do the fun parts first. I have an IKEA trip planned for Thursday with some of my favorite girlies :o)

Tentative plans- I think right now, although my parents might or might not know it. I have going to have a going away party the weekend before I leave which is the weekend of the 16th-18th. Write it on your calendar!! (It might change to the weekend before if that is better for more people)

People with TIVO (and well everyone else too) - FYI: You will be burning me copying of TV shows and movies. If you want to know what to get me know before I leave. The answer is burned copies of every movie and cd you own. (Mirs- those Sex and the City DVD you have, yup! those too) I’m not joking. I will be bored (HELLO – remember the million hour flight I’m going to take) and I will love you forever for it. (Not as much as Justin though, b/c nothing can beat flowers at work)

Emily, Elyse and anyone else that wants to come- June 2009 (yes, I know it is super long way away but I’m telling you to start saving now!) A 6 day trip to Vienna, Prague and Budapest (2 days in each city) including airfare from NYC is about $1200. (So 8 days total, 2 for flights) And let’s say $300 for spending while we’re there so that’s a total of $1500. Yes. That is a lot of money for all you people saying it’s too much to come see you. But think about it this way. June 2009 is 2 ½ years away. That is 30 months. $1500 divided by 30 months is $50 a month. You need to save $50 a month to be able to spend 6 days in 3 countries with 1 amazing friend :o) If you would like to come before then you are also welcome :o) (p.s. that might beat flowers at work)

Christmas and New Years went great for me and I hope it was for you too :o) byes

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I looked up some Ukrainian customs and traditions. I’m not sure which ones are out of date but better safe than sorry. Most are good manners but some are completely off the wall. Take a look on what I’ll be dealing with:

  • Never drink your host under the table [shouldn’t be a problem, cough I’m a lightweight cough]
  • Always give an odd number of flowers (even numbers are considered unlucky) [ok, not too hard]
  • When passing through the aisles of a theatre, always face the people sitting down
  • Always greet and say good-bye when visiting [something everyone should do]
  • Women often greet each other with a kiss or a hug
  • Always say please (bud’ laska), thank you (dyakuyu), and you're welcome (proshu) [again, something everyone should do]
  • When you are invited to a Ukrainian family, it would be courteous to bring a small gift or flowers. [but not an even number of flowers]
  • When you enter a Ukrainian home, it would be better to take the shoes off. You will be offered special slippers for guests. [Will they have penguins? I want slippers with penguins]
  • Ukrainians don’t place empty bottles on the table. When a drink is over, the bottle should be placed under the table. Otherwise, it will be bad luck for money. [might be hard to remember]
  • In Ukraine, women don't sit at the corner of a table. That's considered to be bad luck for marriage. [I’m not sure if avoiding corner seats are really going to help marriage]
  • Don't shake hands across the threshold (door entrance)
  • If there is a child in the house, it is appropriate to provide him/her with a small gift as well
  • Do not whistle; some believe it will "blow your money away." [well, I can’t whistle, at all]
  • On public transportation, give up your seat to mothers with children, the elderly, or the infirm.
  • At the entrance of upscale restaurants and theaters, expect that your coat, briefcase, or baggage will be checked.
  • If it is possible, have business cards printed in Ukrainian on one side and English on the other.[nice tip]
  • When eating dinner at someone's home, casual dress is accepted unless otherwise specified.
  • Be ready to give toasts at dinner, for guests are often asked to do so.
  • Offer to share your snacks and cigarettes with those around you.
  • Be prepared to accept all food and drink offered when visiting friends. Turning down food may be considered rude. (If you find you cannot eat it all, keep something on your plate to avoid having it replenished!) [gosh, I’m going to get fat]
  • For business, dress should be conservative. Men should not take off their jackets unless asked.
  • In Orthodox churches, women should wear scarves or hats, and men should take off their hats. [but I’m catholic]
  • Be careful when complimenting a host's belongings, he or she may offer them to you.
  • Don't put your thumb between your first two fingers; this is a very rude gesture [YES! I now know how to give the finger]
  • Restaurant bills normally include a 5 percent service charge. You will often find, however, that a few extra hryvnias can make your dining experience a lot more pleasurable [good to know]

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Ok So this is super early, but after my first 3 months you can mail me things to where I'm staying directly. As you all know I love flowers. So to help everyone out.


Yes! Even though we will be uber far away you can send me flowers and other fun items. There are a ton of other websites also if you google "Ukraine flowers". (gosh I love the internet) Its Ukraine custom to send only an odd number of flowers. It is unlucky to send an even number and I don't want to be unlucky. Thanks, kbye


p.s. Daisies are my favorite

Countdown to the birthday- 1 Hand and 1 finger.

For all you none crazy people out there that’s 6 DAYS and I’ll be 22. The birthday and Christmas are almost bittersweet. I’m so excited (as I always am) about them but it’s an indescribable feeling knowing I won’t be around from them next year. I’m just trying to take in the complete Christmas spirit (without killing people at the mall) It’s hard that Justin’s gone for it too. Last year was so much fun. Besides the birthday dinner, I was great to have someone help me walk after the bar (turning 21 is rough on your liver). I really wasn’t in the yay!, Christmas spirit last year until he dragged to get stuff for a tree and we put it up together. That almost makes this year that much harder but I’m enjoying being home while I am.

As usual, I’m making a million Christmas cookies (yes more than I’ve already made this year). So far the list of cookies to be made is:
Peanut butter blossoms (my favorite)
Sugar cookies with stained glass windows (I watch way too much food network)
Triple-Chocolate mini cups
White-Chocolate Cherry Shortbread
Peppermint Snowball Cookies
Snow-Capped Tree Cookies
Chocolate-Mint Thumbprints
Gingerbread people (a classic)
And also the ever famous, peanut butter squares and rice crispy treats (but those can’t be mailed). Oh and I’m making chocolates just because :-p So if you don’t think you’re on the to-mail list and you want cookies- let me know ASAP and you will be added.

Well, for those who I haven’t told. Come December 31st I will not have a job anymore since the site is closing. I need the money for all the trips I want to take (see previous blog) but it will be nice to have almost 3 months off to relax. I haven’t started the to-pack list yet but we all know that will happen soon after the 1st of the year.

So the Russian/Ukrainian is slowly coming along. So far I know a few useful Ukrainian words (yes a very few). Most recently - Добрий Вечip. Pronounced “Dough/bree Veh/cheer” meaning good evening. The Russian is coming along a little better. Although I really can’t accurately say too much, I can understand a lot of words, including numbers and telling time. Now the time was a hard one since I’m used to a digital watch so remember how to tell a normal clock in English was a task in itself. I’m going to keep working on it.

Well that’s about everything going on in my life. I’ll post more soon. :o)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I guess its time for another post. :o)

Well I’m super excited about leaving in March. I’m trying to get everything in order so I’m not running around crazy come February. I started looking online for things I need/want and YES the spread sheet has started. I am getting the pink luggage because we all know I need it!

Work well is work, the site might close so no one has any idea what’s going on here. It kind of sucks because I don’t do much all day. No one brings down samples for me so I sit around A LOT. Seems fun right? Yeah maybe for 2 days but not 2 weeks. Good news, I can now get on myspace and facebook while here. So maybe that will cut down my online shopping. (hahaha doubt it) I hate how everyone is always in a bad mood. It just makes me cranky too. I think we’re finding out tomorrow. So maybe I’ll have more info on that then (and well hopefully I’ll have a job. YIKES!)

Other news, I’m going to visit Justin’s parents this weekend. There is this big veteran’s day thing that I told Maura I’d help out with. That should be a fun time and it will be nice to see them and Meg and Dave. Hopefully after that I’m going to visit Michelle for her birthday and see Cheryl on the ride home. So surprisingly eventful weekend. Now I just need some sleep before then.

Ok, I’m going to do it. I’ll talk about Justin being gone. It SUCKS! But I’m dealing. It’s hard to explain more than that. I wish he could talk more or was in a happy mood when he can talk. But I also want a penguin and that’s not happening anytime soon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that once he leaves Germany he’ll be less cranky. I’ve been mailing packages and letters so hopefully that helps too. Other than his crankiness and our lack of talking on the phone (IM is ok but hearing his voice is so much better) things are going well between us. I’m so glad that I can go to Ukraine and do what I want and he’s still there supporting me even though we’re far away. Its nice to have a relationship like that. I know he doesn’t want to think too much about it much since it’s so far away. But I can’t wait to go traveling with him more (traveling and days off will be discussed more) June 2008 we have a trip to Ireland, England and France tentatively planned. Traveling with Justin is SO much fun, I can’t wait. Hopefully we can meet up in September or something if he has time off then (So then its only 12 months since the last time I saw him). Not seeing him for 16 months might really suck but hey what’s another 4 months if it’s already been 12? Always looking on the bright side :o)

Traveling and time off – (I guess I’m itemizing things now) I have 48 days off. Yeah NOT that much. I’m definitely coming home February 2008, then traveling with Justin June 2008 and coming home for Pumm’s wedding (incase you haven’t heard, my wonderful old roommate Ms. Amanda Pumm is getting married!) Other than that I’m not sure how I’m going to use the time off. I want to see Prague, Vienna and Budapest (hopefully in one trip) and go on a Mediterranean Cruise (hopefully if my dad comes to visit). I’m thinking of traveling June 2009 when I’m done just to be able to get everything in. I want to see so much while I’m there.

I think that’s it for right now. I’ll try to keep everyone posted on what happening in the mind of Katie. :o)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


That is it for today! I'm just excited about it!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Well this is my first post in my blog. And I think I'll start with some of the basics:

  1. Why did I start a blog?

    As everyone (most everyone) should know I'm leave for 27month as of March 25th, 2007. I am traveling/moving to Ukraine for that time to become a Peace Corps Volunteer. I'm hoping this will help me keep in contact with everyone: Friends, Family, High school classmates, College classmates, other PCV, . . ect.
    Also I'm lazy and I know I'll end up telling having to tell the same story over and over again for facebook, myspace, emails blah blah so if its posted here I only need to write it once and everyone can access it. I'm a smart kid aren't I?
  2. Why join the Peace Corps?

    This is a question I seemed to be asked every time I tell someone I did. (Well except Mom who kind just flipped out when I told her. ) And its a question I ponder everyday with the ups and downs of committing to 27months away. Basically, college was great. I made life long friends, better than I could have even hoped for. I learned everything and more about science, forensic science, life, myself, other people, the list goes on and on. But I still couldn't figure out what exactly I wanted to do with my life, I don't know where I want to live (sorry Berlin you're just not cutting it right now), and I'm not exactly sure what I want to do. Or if I'm qualified to do anything in Forensic Science. That's where the Peace Corps comes in. Over 2 years away from home, will not only prove to myself I can be on my own successfully, but also help me answer all those questions (well at least I'm hoping)
    Along with that, I want to travel. I want to see everything. Europe, Asia, Africa South American, the rest of North America. And the PC (Peace Corps) is a start. I'll get to live somewhere that not many other Americans get to live. I get to experience a culture completely foreign to my own. And well you might think that makes me crazy but I think its exciting. Hopefully, that answered the question on why.
  3. Details on my departure.

    a) I will be leaving for DC (I think) on Sunday March 25th 2007. Three days later on March 28th, I will be leaving the country for Ukraine. Exact time to come later.

    b) I will be living in Kiev, Ukraine for the first 3 months I believe. I do have my address already but send me an email if you would like it. (one stalker in my life time was quite enough for me thanks)

    c) I will have a cell phone while I'm in Ukraine. I do not have the number now since I haven't bought the phone yet. But I found a website that has a prepaid phone with free incoming calls to me not matter where in the world they originate from. In other words,, people its time to buy some phone cards and you get to call me! I will keep you posted on this one but I think I won't be getting the phone until my arrival.

    d) I really need to stop being so anal and organizing everything in little groups and tabs. And for all you asking NO I have not started a spreed sheet on what I'm packing yet and YES I am planning on doing it soon.
  4. Seeing Everyone

    I want to see EVEYONE before I leave since I might not see people until I return home June 2009. Right now I'm working Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00ish. Other than that most weekends I am free so hit up the cell, aim, email, facebook, myspace whatever info you have and plan some visits. The long process of goodbyes have already started with saying goodbye to Justin last weekend (to be discussed in a later post I think). So make sure you get your making Katie cry time in!

    Ok I think thats it for now, I'll try to keep everyone up to date on whats going on in my life.