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Research, read, write, explore... eat!
I completed a PhD in Russian / Middle Eastern history in 2013 and recently started working at a small intercultural consulting firm in the Bay Area. Normally, when I'm not reading or writing, I'm out hiking by the Pacific or at the farmer's market overdosing on citrus. I grew up in a mountain village in Vermont where my friends and I used to lie in the middle of the empty road at night and count the stars.
Learn as much as you can from the world and help others to do the same.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I had a wonderful time couchsurfing through the Baltics and the Caucasus in 2009-2010. I have landed at last in the Bay Area. (I'm an hour by public transport away from San Francisco, closer to Berkeley or San Jose). My husband and I are happy to host when we can.
How else would I have gotten a private tour of the Estonian Parliament, witnessed midnight bonfires on the Baltic shores, spent 18 hours on the Armenian-Georgian border with a Polish gynecologist, enjoyed dinner with an Italian tourism specialist and a Dutch environmentalist, where we discussed the travails of establishing eco-friendly hazelnut picking tours of western Georgia and the installation of self-composting toilets, and danced past dawn with a Canadian researcher in Yerevan?
reading, writing, studying foreign languages, listening to / singing folk music, traveling the world, making dinner with friends, sharing a beer on the porch on a lazy summer evening while the crickets hum in the background.
Music, Movies, and Books
David Mitchell Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Edward Jones' The Known World, Murakami's Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, Gogol's short stories, Harper's Magazine, Margaret Atwood, Julia Alvarez, Joe Stiglitz
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I've been lucky to find ways to travel a lot. My mother started me traveling early: after she finished her Ph.D. (I was 12), she drove with me around the United States for 9 weeks and 14,000 miles. I'm hoping to plan another big trip with her when I graduate 20 years after that adventure.
My good friends got married in Bolivia in December, which was the first time that I visited South America. One of my "aha memories" involves walking into a church and seeing how the Spaniards had attempted to put a friendly face on Catholicism for the natives by painting Jesus eating a guinea pig (the local Peruvian delicacy) at the last supper.
Teach, Learn, Share
At 18 I found myself responsible for translating a nuclear physics research report from Russian to English. I hope that went okay. I teach creative and essay writing to folks ages 8 and up, mostly to university students but also to young child novelists. It's lots of fun to encounter these literary worlds. Love to cook.
Countries I’ve Visited
Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Bulgaria, Georgia, Germany, Russian Federation, Turkey, United States