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Ashley
18 December 2008 @ 11:35 pm
Dear friends,

Many happenings since I've seen you all last. I'm applying for WMU's Masters of International Development Administration Program - Peace Corps Option. Which means that, if I'm accepted, I'm going to get a Master's degree...and then serve 27 months in the Peace Corps (that's 2 years and 3 months for those of you that are calendar-math challenged) for the remaining credit requirements. Hopefully, if all goes well in the next few days, I will start class(es) next semester.

Basically, the degree is this: instead of working for NGOs and whatnot, I will be running them. It works out pretty well considering that during my time in South Africa I decided that I wanted to help organizations streamline their infrustructural processes.

I quit my job on Monday because I couldn't take the bullshit anymore. I'm currently looking for a full time office job. Lots of places are hiring, but no one is hiring me. Bah humbug.

I am very excited about the future.

I am very proud of my aspirations.

I am very satisfied with how things are taking shape.

Love,

Ashley
 
 
Ashley
28 November 2008 @ 11:23 pm
So I just realized that though I lived in the South African epicenter of HIV/AIDS infections for 5.5 months, I never once noticed. People weren't dying all over the place like the TV and documentaries show. This certainly goes to show that HIV/AIDS has an incredible stigma attached to it and that it's prevalence resides more in the rural areas....the places you don't see on the way to work or school. Or in the case of many South Africans, the places you never see even though you've lived 10 minutes away from them your whole life...

EDIT: On Nov. 18th 2006, I noted that I wanted to sew my black sweater but only had grey thread. I finally sewed that hole a few weeks ago....almost 2 years later. But I got to wear it on Tgiving so that's all that matters!
 
 
Ashley
08 September 2008 @ 11:39 pm
So I left the country for 5 months. Tonight I discovered that while I was gone Lindsay Lohan became a lesbian and Ashlee Simpson got married and pregnant.

Huh.
 
 
Ashley
14 May 2008 @ 10:49 am
Is anyone interested in teaching Brandon HS's guard this fall? Or know someone who would be?
 
 
Ashley
13 May 2008 @ 10:11 am

So I'm torn over which high school guard to teach this fall. Right now I have Brandon HS and potentially Crestwood High School. They run their band camps the same week, which is shitty. Even more shitty is that Crestwood holds camp on the day of DCI Finals. Not ok.

Fuck.

Brandon HS is a commitment to a high school friend, but I'm more interested in the Crestwood job. Any thoughts?

 
 
Current Music: Iron Lung - Radiohead (in my head-damn you Adam and your alarm song!)
 
 
 
Ashley
23 April 2008 @ 02:23 pm
Sometimes, I miss the way it used to be.
 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
 
 
Ashley
01 April 2008 @ 10:38 am

Winterguard is wrapping up and drum corps season is almost upon us. I'm getting restless.

I've been seriously considering staying in SA for an undetermined amount of time after the semester ends, I love it here that much...

But then I listen to some drum corps and know I have to come home. 

At least until next April.

State of Arters: I wish you great success this weekend at States!!! Know that I am always thinking about you and wishing I was there performing with you! I'm tearing up in the computer lab, so that's all I'm going to say.

I love colorguard so, so much. Why can't South Africa have drum corps?

I am sad now, that is all.

 
 
Ashley
18 March 2008 @ 01:44 pm
Hey-ooooh, I'm going to start sending out a weekly email I think...because I'm just bad about blogging and updating people. Post your email addresses and I'll try to figure out how to make some sort of mailing list.

Cheers!
 
 
Ashley
17 March 2008 @ 12:21 pm

Movie quote thing. You've probably seen the rules already. Here goes. I don't think I have 10 favorite movies, but I'll just throw in ones I know I don't hate.

1.  "I don't love you anymore.  Goodbye."
2. "You changed my life. You changed my life, and I've known you four days. This is the start of something really big, but right now, I gotta go."
3. "Things don't have to be extraordinary to be beautiful. Even the ordinary can be beautiful."
4. "I find it poor logic to say that women should vote because they are good. Men do not vote because they are good; they vote because they are male, and women should vote, not because we are angels and men are animals, but because we are human beings and citizens of this country."
5. "What's the décor, early Mexican brothel?"
6. "What's this guy supposed to be, the ultimate badass?"
7. "I think if people see this footage, they'll say 'Oh, my God, that's horrible.' And then they'll go on eating their dinners."
8. "I can't believe you just called me a butthead. I don't think anybody has called me a butthead since the 9th grade."
9. "Boo, you whore."
10. "A wedding? I love weddings. Drinks all around!"

I need to start watching better movies and I've alreay begun the mission. Oh, and I might be going to Mozambique over spring break? Who really knows.

 
 
Ashley
27 February 2008 @ 11:13 am
South Arica has some of the biggest leaves I have ever seen. True story.

I have seen 2 monkeys on campus. One was huge and walking on all fours. I thought it was a dog, then realized dogs don't look like that and then hoped it didn't come after me. I saw another, a small one, eating out of a garbage can. Apparently I was lied to when I was told there are monkeys everywhere. Then again, some people just say I'm not looking in the right places.

The trip to Zululand was awesome. I saw a ton of animals (and monkeys...good riddance) and some cool Zulu culture.  Well, culture that has been immersed in a modern world, that it.

Durban life is cool. I live really close to a bunch of sweet shops and it's really easy to get downtown or to the beach. It's hillier than hilly  too, which makes me dread walking the 30-40 minutes it takes to get to campus up said hills. They are big. Ugh. There is this street near downtown called Florida Rd. There are a lot of cool clubs and restaurants on it, such as Taco Zulu. Need I say more? The Botanic Gardens are BEAUTIFUL and have a lovely little cafe that serves delicious crumpets (aka pancakes) with ice cream or jam on top. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. 

The food here is pretty good, but it's hard for me to find food that doesn't burn off a layer of my stomach. Those Durban Indians like their food hot. I've more or less gone vegetarian because of the abundance of fresh, healthy, delicious food here...and the fact that South Africans don't seem to mind meat that has chunks of fat in it. They have this stuff called biltong that is like beef jerkey, except it's made out of things like kudu (google it, they're enormous). Just like in the US, there are different varieties, but here one of them is "wet and fatty". Honestly now, who would eat that?! 

Nobody here has heard of colby, colby jack, or monterey jack, or pinto beans. Tragic. I miss you 99-cent-pinto-beans-and-cheese from Taco Bell.

I think the weather might finally be cooling down, because it's getting less humid and the nights are cooler. Maybe it's all in my head. Nobody seems to mind wearing a sweater and jeans in 90 degree weather. And they don't even seem to sweat! What the hell.  Everyone seems to dress up to the nines to go to class, so that's annoying. I've pretty much hit the point of "screw it" and look like what I feel like looking like. It's too hot to care.

Classes are chill. I'm only taking two, but one counts for 2 courses, so it's really like 3. I've started working with some orgs, so that's cool. Things are still getting adjusted, for sure. We'll see what kind of research, if any, I end up doing.

Well, this is long and I'm sure few have made it to the end, so this will have to do.

Adios.