Today was one of those days….you know those days. One of those really hectic days where you feel like you’ll never get it all done and wonder if you will actually get some sleep on this night. It was a day where all I wanted was a big hug from one of my parents. I’m very close to my family. I talk to my brother every day, my dad at least once a day and my mom about four times a day, if only for 30 seconds. The only time I’m radio silent with them is when I’m traveling! Although this is a great city, it was SO difficult to move here from Chicago. Most of my family still resides in Poland and we’ve had to sort of create this patchwork family in the years we’ve lived in the U.S, so as you can imagine, leaving my family and living 800 miles away can wear on a girl!
Last year, I only got to visit my family one time all year. And it’s looking like one of those years again, which is hard to take. It killed me to look at my schedule and not see a time when I can visit my fam until September. Because I was so upset with this and had one of those days...I broke down, ate a sandwich from a street vendor, probably 500 calories and then went to Trader Joe’s and ate a icecream cookie, which was around 420 calories.
I guess we all have breaking points where we falter with our diets. But, this is day 17 and I’ve got my whole life ahead of me to stay on track. Time to just get back on the wagon. On my way home, I passed this crazy van. It’s not a wagon, but it will have to do! I made it all these wild colors to make it look like I feel today! Time to get back on the wild colored van-wagon!
My friend, Monia, accompanied me to a Women in Microfinance meeting this evening to give me a bit of the Polish culture that I miss from Chicago and made me feel a bit better today. She distracted me with her stories of her huge romance and made me laugh a lot. We had fun meeting several people and learning more about volunteer opportunities in microfinance in Ghana and Peru. For those that aren’t familiar with microfinance, it’s a movement to lend money to projects or people in developing countries where bank loans or credit is not easily available. I remember becoming interested in this topic a while ago. My friend, Tony Senese, got me involved with Kiva. I had heard of Kiva, but had never participated until Tony and his beautiful wife, Keri, got Ray and me a gift certificate to this fantastic organization. Forever grateful!
It’s incredible how many countries exist where credit markets are not established–I guess it’s no surprise, even my parents grew up in a system without credit. My father was telling me today that he first saw a check book when we moved to the US in the mid-80’s. He had to learn what a mortgage was, how to balance a checkbook and what interest rates were, just a few years ago. It was only in recent years that credit has become prevalent in Poland and even now, the interest rates are so high, the incentive is low to get credit.
Breakfast: Blueberry Granola and Skim Milk.
Lunch: Tofu and Sweet Potatoes.
Dinner: Badness that is not pictured, since I was falling off the wagon and not thinking about staging and photography!