Roller coaster

If I had to describe my Peace Corps service so far with one word; this one would be it…

Roller coaster.

roller coaster2

Some days I physically and mentally feel like I have been on a roller coaster. Personally, I am not a fan of roller coasters. To be honest, I don’t like them at all. They make my stomach do somersaults and my heart feel like it’s going to leap out of my chest. However, this experience is a whole new & different kind of roller coaster for me though…

There are some days that I feel like I am literally, physically on a roller coaster. I find this to be true when riding in a car, a ruteiera or a trolleybus. The roads can be a mix of flat smooth pavement and deep potholes and ruts that make me wonder if something fell off the vehicle after going through them. There have been moments we were driving in places I didn’t realize could be roads, oh and don’t forget the sidewalks too – you can drive & park on them here. It’s always an adventure when traveling in and around Moldova.

On the left: a bus and 2 rutieras. On the right: Cars parked on the sidewalk.

However, emotionally & mentally I feel like I am on a roller coaster daily and I find myself embracing it… joyfully… through laughter… and even sometimes with tears.

I find myself embracing the ups and the downs knowing that I can’t have the upward & exhilarating, flying-high moments without the downward “Lord, help me” moments… and even after those down times when my stomach is in knots, my face is stunned, and I can’t breathe, I know that I’ve got to keep looking up. It’s only a temporary moment in time… and then life will go on.


As soon as I make plans for something, the possibility of it actually happening the way it was “planned” is very unlikely (at least from my experience so far). Each week day is full of windy turns – not knowing what is ahead. Do I count the blessings or do I look at all the negatives and get frustrated? I want to choose to focus on the positive and be thankful for the moment at hand. Some days I feel like I fail at that…

BUT… I am reminded that no matter where you are in this world or what you are doing, each day holds in it an adventure… all unknown. It’s all just a matter of my perspective and how I handle each crazy turn and bump along the way.

So, am I willing to approach each day by throwing up my hands and embracing the adventure as I look for the things to be thankful for along the way?

roller coaster

I hope so. I want to choose to say YES, even when I know it scares me… and enjoy the ride along the way.

Life is too short not to.

*And yes, I did get on a child-sized roller coaster located in the children’s park one afternoon at my Peace Corps site in Bălți, Moldova. Why not? I think each Friday for the next month or so we should come here after work and ride one new ride to celebrate the end of the roller coaster week behind us. Who’s in?!


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