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To learn as much as I can, with an open heart and mind. To experience life fully, in all of its comedy, tragedy, irony, wackiness, and serendipity.
I am a friendly, smiley, and silly gal who loves kids, animals, bicycles, sunsets, subways, photography (esp photos of all the above), music, dancing, recycling, singing in the shower/on the streets, [vegetarian] cooking, learning new musical instruments, and especially my kitty Noodle. I am also nocturnal (I won't say insomniac b/c I love sleeping -- just not at night!) and chronically late (I run on "Latin time" or "African time" though I'm not from either of those backgrounds). So expect me to not sleep at night and be late to mostly everything =P
I was born in Kishinev, Moldova (tiny country in Eastern Europe). It was part of the USSR so my first language was Russian. I came to NYC when I was 3 and grew up in the city. And no I'm not Latina, even though everyone thinks I am! I speak fluent Spanish though and love Latin dance & music so I guess I give people reason to think that lol. I grew up in Washington Heights in the 90s in a run-down apartment building that was about half Russian Jews and half Dominicans... so that kinda gives you an idea of where I'm coming from. Among my NYC friends I'm "la Rusa Latina" =D
I graduated from NYU in Jan 2010, with a BA in Psychology and minors in Child & Adolescent Mental Health and Music. One of the most defining experiences of my life was living in Accra, Ghana for 4 1/2 months (I studied abroad there in Spring 2008). Another was traveling and living in South America for 4 months after graduating college -- I volunteered with children & teens in Peru and traveled around Bolivia a bit as well... overall it was an INCREDIBLE experience.
After working in New York City and saving up for 3 years, I went back to South America for a backpacking trip in summer 2013 that included Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru (for the 2nd time!). Backpacked around Southeast Asia for a month in summer 2014, and returned to South America for a third time in summer 2015.
My goals (traveling-wise, and in life) are to learn some more languages, to meet lovely & inspiring people, to teach and to learn, and (yes, I'll admit it) to "save the world" in my own little ways. On that note, I am an ardent environmentalist and try to conserve and live/travel in as eco-friendly & frugal a manner as possible. And yes, I may lecture you about our impact on the environment and take your plastic bottle home to recycle myself if you won't.
Ultimately I want to become a child & family psychologist and work in the US and internationally with children and their families who are survivors of abuse, war, violence, or other types of trauma (my dream employer would be something like the International Rescue Committee or UNICEF/UNHCR/etc.). I am currently a PhD (doctoral) student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Oregon.
Oh yeah, I'm also an avid photographer, check out a (very small & old!) selection of my photos here: https://picasaweb.google.com/Miss.Sly.419
Don't do something if you know it'll hurt others, but aside from that - try everything! No regrets!
I think that embodies the CS spirit, global interconnectedness, music as a universal language, etc. etc. so beautifully!
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I've hosted a handful of people and surfed a bit, but more than anything I've met up with tons of travelers and local CSers around NYC for meals/drinks/coffee/tea, museums, performances, events, picnics, & esp going out to DANCE =D
Just getting back into hosting in Oregon.
I've Couchsurfed primarily in Peru and a few other places as well. I've also met some awesome NYC CS folks through various events and meetups all over the city. In fact, some of my best friends in New York I first met through CS!
While I was not able to host much in NYC due to various living situations that made it difficult/impossible, I showed many people around New York which is always fun for me =) I've also met up with CSers during my travels for various fun activities. I'm just recently getting back into hosting in Oregon.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Spent almost a week exploring the Colombian/Peruvian Amazon rainforest... incredible, indescribable experience and lifelong dream come true.
Teach, Learn, Share
Hmmm let's see... I love to cook! I'm really into photography (and spent a summer teaching digital and B&W film photo to kids at a camp). At one point I had a little photo instruction/photo shoot business venture -- so if you want low-cost photography classes or a photo shoot, contact me! Really good with computers (esp. things like Photoshop) and a pretty good writer. I've done some translation/interpretation work, proud to call myself fully trilingual! =D
On that note, I love languages and am dying to learn some more (French is next on my list! If you can teach me some, I'd be very grateful!). I'm terrible at sports, if anyone (who is VERY patient) would like to teach me to play whatever, but especially soccer (aka futbol), I'd be down! Oh yes and like a true New Yorker, I don' know how to drive! haha I have my learner's permit but still never learned... so I'm open to driving lessons =D
Countries I’ve Visited
Benin, Bolivia, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Puerto Rico, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Togo, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Ghana, Moldova, Peru, United States