My New Life in the ‘Big City’

I debated for a while if this blog would continue, then today I looked around my apartment for something that would keep my mind. That’s when I remembered the blog… Of course. So, without really any direction of what to write or inkling towards a solid purpose, I thought this would be a good time for me to get back on the key board since leaving the Peace Corps and put into words what pops into my head. What will it be like to write something without having to add a disclaimer that detaches my thoughts from the US Governemnt? And, where to start?


Perhaps I could begin with the process of becoming a citizen of Kyiv, which just finished after 2-3 month. Something that began even before I got my new consulting gig with MSI. A lovely lady from our office was tasked to help me throughout this process, ‘the first contact’, I like to call it. Before we get into some difficulties with the process, let me tell you a little about the setting, the immigration office is about 20 minutes outside the center of town, in what was once an old kindergarten. A hilariously ironic start to my new life in the big city, much to learn. After all the paperwork was filed by (what I think was) a Turkish lawyer/ guy who sits at the immigration office all day, we needed to wait a month for my new card to arrive. All normal at this point, until it is time to go pick up my card. I go back to immigration alone and get my card, but from there I had to go to the city to register (I guess it was too hard to match the systems). This is where things got complicated because they never gave me a stamped copy of my old registration card, which caused a problem, because email or fax ‘allegedly’ does not work in Ukraine, only the all-powerful stamp.… Long Gasp. So, 2 months into the process, I am thinking that this process will never end; however, the story has a happy ending because we got the paper and brought it to the people. Hurray, I am a temporary resident of Kyiv. 


Half way through the last paragraph I realized two important points. First, I forgot to talk about what it felt like to leave the Peace Corps, and second, I forgot what a great feeling it is to write for myself (and, for those of you that are still reading, of course) (highly recommended). A moment I will never forget was my Country Director calling me a colleague. And, the fact that I was living my dream did not sit in until a month later. Shortly after I was a part of a judge’s panel (as seen in the highlighted photo), I reflected on where I was in my life. To be honest, I was a little ‘down and out’ the month before this moment, but then I realized that I am representing America abroad. I know this was what I was doing for the past three years, but I proved myself in the field and am now getting paid to do this work. There is really only one thing sweeter than realizing a goal has been accomplish, and that is, having a dream come true. Although, it didn’t truly click at the time, I am now a colleague to those in the International Development realm. Those who know me well will understand that my life has been an uphill climb. And, will also know that I am being honest when I say that I will keep climbing and encourage those who stick around me to do the same. 


I am a dreamer that lives in the clouds and will never change this side of me. Even writing these words makes me want to put on the ‘armor of the day’ and take the ‘field’. Nonetheless, I would rather not go on a philosophical rant, in fact, I just deleted three sentences detailing my perception of chasing dreams. I will spare those who are still reading by ending with the simple reminder that I love all those who made it until this point in my story.


One thought on “My New Life in the ‘Big City’

  1. Happy that you’ve started writing again Rich, I miss reading about your adventure. I have only one complaint, you stopped writing too soon. Maybe the objective is to keep your audience wanting more. Take care Rich, wishing you a belated Merry Christmas as well as a happy and blessed new year!



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