Sunday, February 3, 2013


Hello World!

I'm back on the interwebs, after a long and not-so-easy hiatus, and I'm sorry that I've been gone so long.  Leaving Kenya was definitely one of, if not the, hardest thing I've ever done, because it wasn't just leaving Kenya; it was leaving my town, my friends there, my house, my school, my cats, and most importantly, my kids. They are still the most wonderful people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting and knowing that I wasn't going to be able to see their beautiful smiling faces every morning from here on out was the toughest part.

But I'm stateside now, and trying my best to keep going. SO, what's happening now, you say? Well it took me a few moths to get back into the swing of blog-posting because it took me a while to be happy with life again. That's not to say I was majorly depressed for two months, but it wasn't easy coming back home with no job and no income, no home in Maryland anymore, and no deaf kids to hang out with everyday. I was in what I called my "Mid-Twenties-Post-Peace-Corps Angst-y" period and on a day-to-day basis the lack of job was the hardest. I'm a person who likes to be busy. I thrive off of having a schedule and things to do. I like to relax, but relaxing with nothing to do for months at a time is not ideal for me. So after flying into Michigan and a few days later driving to Maryland for the holidays, I spent the next month 'sleeping around' as they say. Even though my folks are no longer in MD, there are still lots of people who were willing to put me up for a few nights. I spent the majority of the time in Maryland at my cousins' house in Frederick. So I'd like to give a very gracious shout-out to the Nylec family for putting up with me for a whole month. Thanks for letting me take over the basement and for consuming all your food and coffee. I love you guys :)

So a month into moving in with the Nylecs I decided to not overstay my welcome and, trying to find something fun but also something to keep me busy and remind me of Peace Corps, I applied to volunteer on a farm. One online application and unexpected phone interview later I was accepted as an Education Volunteer at Heifer International's Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts. Heifer International, if you've never heard of it, is an awesome organization that focuses on working with communities to end hunger and poverty and does so with donations of livestock and the appropriate education connected with the animals to make families and communities sustainable. Heifer's headquarters are in Little Rock, Arkansas and Heifer has a few self-sustainable farms in the U.S. called Learning Centers. The biggest Learning Center is just outside Little Rock in a town called Perryville, a place where I took my church youth group kiddos a few years back, and the next Learning Center in line is where I reside now in Rutland, Massachusetts.

The farm here is called Overlook Farm because of our view of Boston from the hill, and we sit on about 270 total acres. We have everything from guinea pigs and bunnies, to goats, sheep, cows, llamas and yaks. Pretty much every farm animal, save for horses, resides on this farm. As a new volunteer on the farm (I got here four days ago) I'm learning the ropes to the twice daily animal feedings, the temperaments of all the livestock, what food I am allowed and not allowed to eat and/or give to the animals, and the ins and outs of Heifer International as an organization. We'll be laying low for a few weeks at least, while it's still cold and while there are no guests to accomodate. However starting in March the groups will begin showing up and apparently things are busy until the next winter. As an Education Volunteer I will be doing what seems like half Peace Corps and half Maryland Images Tour Guides, both of which I LOVE. As groups and guests start to show up we'll be giving them farm tours, Global Village tours, and sending them through all kinds of programs that we have. I'll be spending the next few weeks memorizing all the things I need to for the tours and programs and trying to stay warm.

I live in a house on the farm with five other volunteers and we have a big kitchen and living room, fireplace, huge basement, and state-of-the-art VCR player. The house itself may be a little dated but the stories behind it and people inside it are pretty awesome. The farm has about 20 volunteers in total and nine full-time employees. Volunteers come and go every six months or so and the legacies passed on from group to group seem much like Peace Corps. And speaking of which there is a good number of other RPCV's here as well, some volunteers and some employees. Hooray!

So I'm still alive and finally doing something with my life again, even if it isn't benefitting me financially in any way (again!). I guess at some point I'll have to get a real job so I can sustain myself for the rest of my life. Meh. I'll worry about that later.

I still miss Kenya like nobody's business and wish more than anything that I find a way to get back there. And I thank goodness everyday that I decided to join Peace Corps and that I ended up in Kilifi. Rutland is a decent substitute for now, however, even though the difference in weather is unfathomable. Another plus of living here is that I am only an hour away from my wonderful brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law in Providence. After two years of not seeing each other often, this is a real treat.

ALSO, as a tiny gift to myself after getting back in December I went out and bought something I didn't think I deserved at this time in life. Now, though, I've totally and completely fallen in love with her.  :)

Just my size right?

Ok everyone. To those of you who still read this silly thing: Thanks and you rock.

And as they say on the farm,
"Love and Llamas,"

~ Shub :)

PS. The name of the blog is going to remain the same, because even though I'm not in either of those places currently, they both have a big place in my heart.

Ok bye!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, sounds like a cool gig! I'll have to come and visit the next time I'm in Boston. Sounds like you're pretty busy, but if you ever need a place to stay in San Francisco, my apartment is always open!