Peace Corps Volunteer

Numerology: Calculating Your Life Lesson Number

Originally posted by traceloops

Numerology Basics

Each one of us has four personal numbers that carry a specific vibration. They are the Life Lesson Number, the Soul Number, the Outer Personality Number, and the Path of Destiny Number. In this post, we’ll be focusing on the Life Lesson number.

The Life Lesson Number represents lessons one must learn in this lifetime and is most significant to career choices. It is derived from your full birthdate. 

Though this post will be focused on calculating one’s number using the numbers in your birthday, I’m including information on how to calculate the numeric vibration of letters as well, because it’s intrinsically related.

To work with the value of letters beyond “I”, which is 9, we reduce the value to a single digit. For example, “O” is 15, so we reduce the number by adding the first digit to the second: 1+5=6. The number 15 is then written as 15/6. The letter “T” is 20. We reduce the 20 by adding the first digit to the second: 2+0=2. The number 20 is then written as 20/2.

Number Values of the Alphabet

A   1       J   10/1       S   19/1
B   2       K   11/2       T   20/2
C   3       L   12/3       U   21/3
D   4       M   13/4      V   22/4
E   5       N   14/5      W   23/5
F   6       O   15/6       X   24/6
G   7       P   16/7       Y   25/7
H   8       Q   17/8       Z   26/8
I    9        R   18/9

We can reduce any word to a numeric vibration by using the above table. Before we move on to calculating one’s Life Lesson number, lets experiment with a few words:

3  +  9  +  6  +  5  =  23/5
C     R      O     W

We reduce 23 by adding 2+3=5, which is written 23/5

5  +  9  +  2  +  3  +  8  =  21/3   
W     I       T      C     H

We reduce 21 by adding 2+1=3, which is written 21/3

3  +  9  +  7  +  8  +  2  =  29/11
L      I       G     H      T  

We reduce 29 by adding 2+9=11, which is written 29/11

There are four double digits which generally are not reduced. These are referred to as master numbers. Master numbers offer more opportunity for expression, yet demand more effort from the person or thing in question. The master numbers are 11, 22, 33, and 44. Whenever you arrive at one of these numbers in your calculations; retain the master value. 

Because the word “light” vibrates to master number 11, it’s written as 29/11 instead of 29/2, which would be the case if reduced entirely. The number 2 is still acknowledged as the base number as the word will fluctuate between the vibrations of 2 and 11.

An individual will fluctuate between any master number and its base digit because the vibration of the master number is too intense to live under continuously. Living under the vibration of one’s base number offers respite while preparing to work with the master number vibration again. 

Calculating Your Life Lesson Number

To calculate your Life Lesson Number, add all the digits of your birthdate together and reduce the sum. Here is an example of how someone with the birthdate of 24 October 1948 would calculate their Life Lesson Number:

10 + 24 + 1948
10 + 24 + 22 (1 + 9 + 4 + 8)
10 + 24 + 22 = 56/11

Since the reduced sum of their birthday is a master number, the sum is not reduced further. 

Now that you know how to calculate your Life Lesson Number, read on to see the description of each numeric vibration. All number descriptions come directly from Numerology and The Divine Triangle (1979) by Faith and Dusty Bunker, the reference material for this post.

Life Lesson Number Descriptions

1: You must learn to be original, strong willing, creative, and innovative. You should have the courage and drive to go ahead into new fields of expression and be a pioneer. You should always go forward, never turn back. At times you may be dictatorial and stubborn because you do not like to be restricted or directed. You are a good executive and work best alone. You are usually efficient and well organized. You are not naturally domestic but can manage well in any situation. You usually like sports and athletics and enjoy the thrill of winning. You are sophisticated, not emotionally romantic, and always appear at the head of social and commercial groups. By learning the lessons of number 1, you become intimately familiar with the universal energy; that probing, seeking, independent spark that moves all creation. You are creative on the physical plane because your pioneer spirit precedes all others and expresses your unique individuality. 

2: You are here to learn to become a good mixer. You are a good salesperson, more persuasive than forceful. You should be a support for those in leadership roles, help them to find their goals in life, and remain behind the scenes if necessary. This quality can be a help to you in business because those who benefit from your talents will in turn help you make use of your abilities. In partnerships and groups, you will encounter the lessons you came to earn in this lifetime. Success is then very possible. You must have consideration for others and should bring people together for a common cause. Various professions are open to you as you learn to be adaptable to most things that need to be done. You could select a career in finance, music, medicine, religion, or statistical analysis and research. 

3: You are best in intellectual, artistic, or creative endeavors. You need to be expressive to manifest and to see the results of your work. Beauty, fruitfulness, luxury, and pleasure are your keywords. You should have ambition and pride. You must become conscious of the law, and by being an excellent disciplinarian, you will achieve a position of authority over others. 3 combines the daring of 1 with the caution of 2. It is a number of self-expression and freedom. You must guard against becoming a jack-of-all-trades; rather, you should specialize. You could then be successful in artistic, religious, or inventive pursuits. You should avoid routine work because you dislike restriction. You should work alone for the best results. Business partnerships become too disciplined for your freedom-loving nature. You could write, lecture, teach, or find your niche in journalism. Whatever you decide to specialize in, you must use your creative and inspirational talents. 

4: You must build a solid foundation on which to base your life. This demands a well ordered system of conduct and morals. Administration or some sort of management would be the best type of employment for you. You want your home life to conform to the culture in which you live. You will provide well for those within your care, and you expect them to respond with respect and dignity. You should become a diligent worker and honestly earn your success. By being thrifty, you will have an adequate savings account as security against any possible losses. You should learn not to take a chance unless it is a sure bet. You should seek high goals. You might want to achieve concrete results quickly, and therefore should strive for patience and perseverance. Learn to face reality and base all your efforts on sound practical reasoning. 

5: Your keyword is freedom. If you have “free rein”, you can accomplish wonders, but if you feel bound or limited, you lose your enthusiasm and accomplish little. You would be a good explorer or Peace Corps volunteer, as you learn well by travel and experience. You are a diligent student if interested in the subject, but you may fail in subjects for which you see no useful ends. You should be eager for new experience, and shun monotony. In your quest for knowledge, you will become interested in discovering answers in books and magazines. An avid reader, a fluent talker, and a versatile doer, you are the witty conversationalist and brighten any group by your mere presence. You are here to learn and experience the value of freedom and should not tie yourself down too severely. Your talents once learned, prepare you for a literary career or a a position in sales and dealing with the public.

6: You are here to learn a sense of responsibility for your family and community. 6 is the love and domestic vibration and requires that you be responsive to the social needs of others. A fine sense of balance must be acquired so that you can equalize injustices. This keen sense bestows artistic abilities as well as judgmental talents which can be utilized in the legal system. You should develop compassion and understanding necessary to ease the burdens of those who will naturally be drawn to you. You are among those who serve, teach, and bring comfort to humanity. A wide choice of professions is yours including nursing, teaching, welfare work, ministry, medicine, restaurant enterprises, a legal profession, and possibly veterinary or animal husbandry. You may also choose to end a career in the arts, interior decorating, or hairdressing. 

7: You are here to use and develop your mind. Your words should be full of wisdom when you decide to talk. Your strong intuition helps in any line you choose and gives insight when needed. You may be an enigma to others, and even to yourself at times. You like to read, think, and meditate. Many times you have to relay on your soul-force to solve difficult material problems. You may delve into the occult, the mysterious, and the phenomenal side of life. Music and other arts are in harmony with your keynotes. You may be drawn to the church, science, or research and analysis. A career in mathematics or investigation could hold your interest. You should learn to open time by yourself in the woods or by the seashore where you can get in touch with your inner self and your deepest thoughts because your destiny is to use your mind.

8: This is the number of power and ambition, the number of the executive, the boss, who lives by brain and brawn. You will learn to work and will want to see everyone else working. You can push people to become successful in their own right. You should lead and show by example how to profit in business. You are here to learn to handle power, authority, and money. You can build a business empire and should work to that end. You want success for your family and for the family name as a matter of pride. You want your offspring to carry your name with honor and dignity. Sports is another field open to you, as this number vibration bestows great strength and endurance. Many famous athletes operate under an 8.

9: You should be the universal lover of humanity, patient, kind, and understanding. You are at the peak of life’s expression and must turn and show others the way. You seem to receive wisdom from above; thus you know that the true way of happiness is in service to others. You are the marrying type, strong in passion and compassion. You easily acquire money or wealth, and know how to preserve it. You are never petty, but deal in broad concepts and can attain success in the face of difficulties. You are here to show others the way, through your breadth of thinking. You can choose from many professions; education and medicine are the most usual. You may become an orator, writer, or lecture with equal ease. Communication, foreign service, statesmanship, and leadership positions are easily within your capacity.

11: The keywords here are altruism and community. You came into a unique and testing incarnation. You must practice “love thy neighbor as thyself” and use it as your foundation. Your strong intuitions are of value in gaining wisdom and inspiration. 11 is one of the most difficult vibrations because the demand for high standards is constant. You must learn patience and at the same time be able to make quick decisions. Seek for balance between the material, physical life which has to be considered, and the inspiration, spiritual life which underlies your self-understanding. You can succeed in the field of science because all new inventions and discoveries such as laser rays, research in fields of anti-gravity or kirlian photography, or any area of electronics would appeal to you. You could choose to be an astronomer or an astrologer, or a bible researcher and interpreter. You may become a teacher or writer in the field of philosophy. You are original and creative and could become and inspirational speaker. 11 is an esoteric master number of spiritual import. It bestows courage, power, and talent with strong feelings of leadership. You must not let this power go to your head, since frame and recognition are likely; instead realize that true mastership is service.

22: You must express a basic building urge, accomplish things in a big way, and work with large groups or business concerns. You would enjoy the import-export business which could demand long distance travel and meetings with persons of authority. You like to take an inspirational idea and put it to practical use. Self-knowledge is very valuable to you. 22 gives the promise of success. You know how to use your ability to adjust the physical laws of life and living to demonstrate esoteric wisdom. You could become an executive in banking or financial affairs in a national capacity, or help organize businesses for others as an efficiency expert or the like. As an ambassador to foreign countries, you would demonstrate statesmanship. You like to be occupied in some large enterprise to challenge your power to achieve. Your lesson is to learn to take charge of large organizations and corporations and to handle money efficiently and usefully for the benefit of large groups of people. 

33: You should be steady and reliable and develop a strong desire to protect others. You would like to live close to nature, and this urge may influence you to choose a life in agriculture. Your goal would be to produce food on a large scale to provide sustenance for the hungry of the world. You would never be found in any profession that could act destructively to humanity. Your talent may lie along the line of the arts: music to bring harmony, painting to bring beauty, or literature to promote education. Service in the field of medicine an healing could also attract you. Possibly, you would choose the law as a way to protect others through justice. Since the 33 consciousness is almost beyond that of humanity, a place within ministry or priesthood could lead you to the realm of your dreams as world savior. You may be required to sacrifice your own desires for the need of others in order to fulfill your Life Lesson vibration.

44: This number stands for strength and complete mental control over your life while on earth. It requires discipline in every department of life so that you may be instrumental in promoting the material advancement of the world. Your mind must be trained to let the higher forces work within it, and you must keep your body and environment in order so that you are ready for any opportunity to achieve this same results from others. Your high energy potential is meant to further evolution by helping others set their world in order. You should try to promote better ethics and justice in the world of business. You must recognize reality, then use what you learn to alleviate the physical burdens of others. You are the instrument by which this alteration takes place. By displaying bravery, resourcefulness, courage, and discipline; you serve as an example for others. Edgar Cayce is an example of the 44 vibration. 

Please remember that these are just general descriptions of the numeric vibrations pertaining to the Life Lesson Number. Not everything may resonate with you, and that is perfectly fine. Numerology is meant to be tool to guide, not a stringent set of rules to live by. 

Stay tuned for follow up posts on the Soul Number, the Outer Personality Number, and the Path of Destiny Number


Meet Zanab. 

I call her “Nabu”, and she is my 7 year-old host sister.  She is the oldest of the siblings here and therefore takes on most of the responsibilities of the household.  At the tender age of 7, she often carries around her (rather rotund) host brother Ibrahim, 2, on her back.  Have you ever seen an ant carry a blade of grass? Yeah, it kind of looks like that.  Nabu is a dancer by nature.  At any given moment, sans music, she will be dancing.  When you see her demure smile paired with her charmingly erratic gestures of pure joy, you laugh, then you dance too. 

Why Peace Corps is not Voluntourism

According to Webster, Voluntourism is a form of tourism in which travelers participate in voluntary work, typically for a charity. Over this past week I’ve shared some contrasting views on Voluntourism, which is increasingly prevalent and controversial in our globalized world. 

Having served in Morocco as a volunteer full-time for two years, my views on volunteerism have certainly morphed from what they were in high school, college, and even grad school. It may seem ironic that coming out of this international service experience I am more convinced than ever that local community service is where the real change happens. When people are involved and invested in the community of which they are a part, they can help create an environment that reflects their values. Lasting change happens when folks are invested for the long-term. It stands to reason that people have more cause to care about the long-term outcomes of their actions for the community in which they live and plan to raise their children than in some random spot on the globe. 

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for volunteering in a community that isn’t your own. Whether it be in a state that’s been hit by natural disaster or advancing water-security internationally, sometimes an issue needs more hands, resources, and minds tackling it than what might be available in the affected area. But how do you bridge the sincerity and personal investment people have for their own communities to a foreign community and, possibly, culture? This is where an organization like Peace Corps comes in. 

One of the biggest critiques of voluntourism is the lack of understanding volunteers have of those they’re “helping.” This ignorance can lead to mistaken actions that are neither helpful nor sustainable. And the short-term nature of Voluntourism doesn’t leave room for the volunteers to see the real effects of their actions. The structure of Peace Corps is thoughtfully designed to avoid the pitfalls that seem to be haunting this growing industry. Here are 6 ways that Peace Corps not Voluntourism. 

1. We Live with Host Families

The first step to understanding a culture is, not just seeing how they live, but living how they live. By staying with host families we’re able to observe and participate in the little things that might never be captured in a “cultural session.” Understanding the lifestyle of our host country nationals is paramount to shaping the action-steps we take throughout our service. It helps us see what the real needs are, the cultural constraints, and how decisions are made. Living how those around us live plumits us into the community in a way staying a hotel or dorm never could. We eat what they eat, sleep where they sleep, and wear what they wear. We are a part of the family.    

2. We Learn the Language

Learning someone’s language is an indisputable way to show that you really care. It isn’t easy; it means constantly exposing yourself to failure; it shows long-term investment. Sometimes, PCVs learn languages that no one has ever paid any attention to before. And it isn’t just about being able to express ourselves, it’s about being able to understand those we’re with, hearing their thoughts, singing their songs, crying to their soap operas, laughing to their jokes. Though we never stop being students of the language, our effort says “we’re not just passing through.” 

3. There is No Agenda

The other day I was sitting at the women’s center with the new volunteer in my site. One woman was teaching the PCV a stitch that is used for the traditional Moroccan clothes. As we sat there sewing and chatting with the women, I had an overwhelming sense that this is where the magic happens. While I admit it is frustrating at first, Peace Corps does not give us much direction on what to do in our communities. I realize more and more each day just how appropriate it is that they don’t. True development is ecological not top-down. Peace Corps doesn’t barge into communities with a plan (even if all the American volunteers are begging for one), instead the volunteers watch and wait and listen and learn and then find ways to fit service in. Shwya b Shwya, or Little by little, is our motto here.  

4. We Listen

When speaking to the 100+ new volunteers that recently arrived to Morocco, I told them You may be asked to teach English or something you don’t want to do, but you have to remember this isn’t about what you want, it’s about what they want. Listen to your community and meet them where they are. Start with English-it’s your foot in the door- and as you get to know your community you will learn how to introduce other things. But always remember, what you want doesn’t matter. When we don’t listen failure is bound to happen. In fact, failure is bound to happen regardless, but listening to our communities is a huge part of having a service that is effective and allows our failures to be transformed into learning opportunities.    

5. We Capacity Build

They say that in development our goal is to put ourselves out of a job. And Peace Corps volunteers often work towards just that. We are encouraged to find community partners for every activity or class, teaching them how to teach and lead if needed. A project done without a host country national is not considered sustainable and sometimes even frowned upon. Our primary role is to promote volunteerism of people in our communities. If our presence somehow inspires those around us to invest in their town and believe that positive change can happen, then that is a job well done.  

6. We Stay for Two Years

Development takes much longer than two years, but it’s long enough to lay a foundation and get things started. Two years is long enough to learn the names of the kids on your street, long enough to celebrate the annual holidays with your host family, long enough to watch favored characters on the soap operas get murdered and come back to life, long enough to watch your baby host sister learn how to speak and master words you still can’t pronounce right, long enough to watch your friends get engaged, married, pregnant, and become mothers. My village in Morocco is my home and the people I serve are my family, neighbors, friends.  

It is undeniable that some folks sign up for Peace Corps to have a neat, easy, satifying experience, but Peace Corps is none of those things; development is none of those things. Those people either realize and embrace the struggle of true development work and call forth the patience to see their commitment to the host country through, or they quit after a few months in country. Either way, they are forced to come to terms with the fact that Peace Corps is so much more than Voluntourism. A sincere volunteer always remembers this is not about me, realizes the value in an unAmerican level of patience, and learns that being uncomfortable doesn’t mean you can’t be happy.

So ask yourself this when considering volunteering outside of your community: What are my intentions? And have I done my research on this organization? 

My thoughts lately...

While I still have aspirations of being a lawyer, recently I have been thinking about the possibility of fulfilling a long time dream of mine and joining the peace corps after under grad. 

I guess it may seem a little crazy, but it is something I really want to do. I want to get out there and see the world and help those in need. I want the chance to see places and meet people I would not normally get the chance to meet. And I want to do it all before committing myself to three years of law school. 

I still plan to take the LSAT next year since the score will be good for 5 years so nothing really changes. But once I started thinking about doing this for real, I have been so happy!

I am meeting with a peace corps recruiter next month and I am so excited!

My mom sent a package and three weeks later I finally got it in my grubby little hands. After lots of miscommunication, I thought it was lost, until a student, Florida, helped me and got it where it needed to go.

The inside was amazing, she fit so much inside a flat rate package! She has some magic powers when it comes to shoving things inside of a suitcase or box–hence the reason I usually ask for her help when packing. But wow! She even sent some kids books which will be perfect for the classes I’ll teach at the Primary School next month, and I’m so stoked to have cinnamon and Italian herbs to cook with. AND CHEESE! Velveeta! I have no idea what I’m going to do with it yet, but it will definitely taste better than the expired cheese from the supermarket that smells like the inside of my dog’s ears.

Thanks mom! 💙 Time to test out some Italian herbs!

10 years old.
Future policewoman.

I hear a soft knock outside my classroom door today and there stands one of my reading intervention pupils. She wants to practice writing her name and soon we got to talking about Islam. She tells me about fasting for 30 days for Ramadan because “if you love God then you fast” from sunrise to sunset. She teaches me that Muslims cannot eat pig because he “has Satan in his body. If I eat him, I die.” She tells me she must pray five times a day and wear her hijab, or head wrap, all the time. She gazes at me, smiles, and says that she feels most beautiful when wearing her hijab. I have her put it on to show me and she was clearly correct. However, our school doesn’t let her (or any of the other Muslims who make up 39% of the school) wear them during the day because we were founded by the Church of Uganda. Sometimes the others at the schools say bad words to her for being a Muslim, even teachers she says. I tell her that whether she’s green or purple, big or small, Christian or Muslim, she can always be my friend. She giggles and asks if I will go to mosque with her one day; I happily comply but only if she lets me borrow her “smartest” hijab. We pinky promise and she continues writing her name over and over again with a joyful grin across her face.

I think I made a new friend today.

College!AU Dino
  • major: social work
  • minor: ballet 
  • sports: does performances with the uni’s ballet ensemble. 
  • clubs: doesn’t have time because he does field work with the peace corps + volunteers at an children’s hospital 
  • dino is basically the campus little brother. every upperclassman adores him 
  • everyone from the seniors in the social work major who give dino their old notes from classes like ‘society & mental health’ to the dance majors who ruffle his hair when he’s running around the practice room trying to find where he left his duffel bag from ballet practice
  • everyone just really really likes him and feel like they have to take care of him even when dino is like “don’t spoil me!! im an adult in college after all~” like everyone can’t help but just be like,,,,you’re so young,,,,so much to learn,,,,,stay safe
  • but it is also because dino is really sweet and hardworking. he’s at the top of all his classes and takes his schoolwork seriously 
  • he wants to work with children when he grows up, specifically with children who have suffered abuse and he wants to be able to show them that there are things in the world that can help them cope and that they can excel at - he wants people who may have been hurt and reduced to nothing to know that nothing in the world can take away the talent locked inside of them
  • that’s why dino doesn’t only work hard in all his classes, he does his best to pursue what he’s talented in aside from social work and that’s dance!
  • originally he had thought of doing modern dance as his minor, but something about the discipline of ballet really enchanted him 
  • since he considers that his parents and his life in general has always been loving and lenient with him - he wanted to challenge himself with ballet
  • and the first semester damn near KILLED HIM because good god who knew holding those positions could hurt that much
  • but slowly he’s become really good because he already has a history of dance and tbh he had taken the course just to see if it was worth it and now he’s made it his minor because he actually likes it a LOT
  • he’s a bit oblivious in a lot of things so dk and hoshi like playing lil pranks on him and jeonghan is always getting defensive over dino
  • like once hoshi had hidden dino’s ballet shoes and was pretending he didn’t know where dino could have left them but then he felt jeonghan’s dark aura activate and with the most stoic smile jeonghan was like “hoshi. give. my. son. his. shoes. back. or. this. is. your. last. day. on. earth.”
  • and hoshi damn near turned to dust under jeonghan’s gaze and when jeonghan got the shoes back he reverted back to the Soft person he is like “dino sweetie here you go(:” and dino was like gigfjs stop calling me sweetie im not a little kid and jeonghan was just like tehehe and hoshi was like DID NO ONE ELSE WITNESS HYUNG TRANSFORM INTO AN ACTUAL DEMON
  • but this obliviousness is really just because dino values truth over everything and he’s just a really good hearted person??? like that is why he’s so perfect for the social work major because you can see his genuine concern and he doesn’t hide his feelings at all
  • and like he’s so good at encouraging people like he’s always telling vernon how cool he thinks he is for playing violin or he tells mingyu that he’s totally gonna succeed in the business major
  • but his truthfulness is also….blunt
  • as in when jun tried to grow a  goatee and dino was like “hyung. that’s ugly.” and jun was devastated for two weeks but dino was like “hyung. you know i can’t lie. it was horrific. disgusting. distur-” “aLRiGHt dino that’s ENOUGH”
  • all in all dino’s just an honest, hard-working, sometimes naive to the world around him college student
  • who is doing his best to read up on children’s psychology while doing stretches in the gym before ballet practice
  • and you’re not close with dino, you know him mostly because your part-time job is at the diner down the street from campus and you work the graveyard shift on the nights when you don’t have class in the morning 
  • which also seems to be the nights when mingyu and minghao crave pancakes at midnight so they drag out everyone to go eat with them 
  • everyone being dino and seungkwan because mingyu tries to get wonwoo to come and minghao tries to get jun to come but wonwoo is zzzzz and jun is not a pancakes kinda person
  • so the four boys always stop in on the thursday you work and it is relatively empty except for students there to pull all-nighters 
  • and when you first saw them you were too busy with your own problems floating around in your head to notice if they were cute or not 
  • but then when you were bringing over pancakes you overheard them talking
  • and one of them (seungkwan) goes “i might as well drop out, im not even good at my major. what’s the point?” and like you know it isn’t your business so you keep putting the plates down
  • and the other two are like “dude me too” or “aww don’t feel that way”
  • but then the seemingly youngest one of them all, shakes his head and goes “it is alright to feel that way, it should just encourage you to improve and get better. you can say what’s the point now, but as you grow - the point will become clear. especially if you put all your love into it.”
  • and you almost drop the syrup you’re holding because………you’re so used to the 
  • pathetic ‘oh i want to quit too’ ‘oh im not good enough’ and the responses are always either agreeing or pitying
  • and then there’s this boy who tells his friend that it is ok to feel that way…..and maybe??? maybe deep down inside you’d been needing to hear that too since you had been doubting your own studies in the days prior
  • and like you’re frozen because you look over at the boy and you get so distracted that mingyu has to be like ??????? are you ok ???? and you snap out of it and mumble that you hope they enjoy the meal and you get out of there before you turn red
  • but the next week……all you can hear is that boys voice in your head
  • and you try hard to remember details of his face,,, the innocent brown eyes, the cute n wide nose, the warm smile,,,,,,,
  • to your surprise (and slightly to your happiness) you see him again with his friends the following thursday
  • and maybe it is a bit too obvious but you greet them and hand him the menu first and you hear one of them go “dino, remember not to get the strawberry pancakes again last time-”
  • and on your notepad, you quickly scribble his name: dino down and smile
  • and after that, a whole half a semester goes by how this group of friends comes in
  • and almost subconsciously you start giving dino free refills and asking the chef to slip an extra pancake into his order
  • and like the group gets to know you too, one day mingyu just flat out asks if you’re in the art major and you answer him whether it is yes or no and by this point you know all of them by name and they know you
  • but it isn’t anything past saying hello more casually before they order 
  • until one night……..
  • dino comes in and he’s fiddling with something and then,……you see him put on a pair of glasses and you have to grip your notepad to your chest because he looks….?????!!!!!!!! so cute
  • and like you’re not going to lie to yourself anymore he has always come off as the cutest one to you from all your customers but…….with glasses??!?!?! 
  • and you hear minghao say he looks like a librarian and mingyu says dino should borrow his roommate wonwoo’s big round glasses and do a detective konan cosplay 
  • and they’re all laughing and dino is like “c’mon. i think they look good? my noona from ballet said i look cute”
  • and just as he says this you walk up to take the order and seungkwan grins and points to dino and then to you and he’s like
  • “Do you agree, does he look cute?”
  • and you’re caught so off-guard you just can’t stop to think before speaking so you just blurt out a slightly excited/embarrassed “yes!!!!” and dino kind of looks down quickly but the tips of his ears turn pink
  • and seungkwan’s smile grows even bigger and mingyu smirks up at you and minghao wiggles his eyebrows
  • and you’re like oh god i sounded too happy i messed up ok ok ok get yourself together 
  • and dino is still looking down, twiddling with his fingers and mingyu just gives you a wolfish chuckle and is like “WELL I THINK ILL HAVE SOME CHOCLATE CHIP PANKCAKES WITH A SIDE OF LOV-”
  • and you’re like “CHOCLATE CHIP OK! COMING RIGHT UP!”
  • and you escape even though seungkwan is like “i would like to ord-” and you disappear into the kitchen where the staff are all like ??? why are you so red in the face???
  • and you’re like excuse me but could i possibly lock myself in the freezer for a bit
  • but you know you have to go out there and so you just put the ticket down and take a breath and go back
  • this time, dino has the glasses off and for some reason it hurts a little bit to have him not even look at you when he orders
  • but you put on a smile and when they’re done and you’re bringing back their change, dino and seungkwan are already out near the door and minghao is in the bathroom and mingyu is the one left and before you can just give him the money and leave
  • he grabs your wrist and he’s like “question, do you maybe like our little brother?” 
  • and you’re like khsdgc,blgfew ….no excuse me…….
  • but you’ve never been good at lying and mingyu isn’t dense, he sees right trough it and he smiles again and you want to be like pls wipe that grin off your face
  • but it’s mingyu so you know that’s not happening 
  • and he’s like “i think i can help you - will you let me?” 
  • you’re not even really sure what he means by that but you nervously sneak a peek over to see dino laughing at something seungkwan said and how,,,,,how you really wouldn’t mind being able to see him laugh like that with you,,,,,
  • but you shake your head and you’re like “i- no- i don’t even know him-” and mingyu’s like “don’t be modest, we’ve been coming here for over two months and plus-”
  • he leans over and he’s like “dino brings you up sometimes.”
  • the thought makes your heart jolt and for a second you really consider it but in the end you’re like “don’t joke around he doesn’t even know my nam-”
  • and mingyu shrugs and he’s like “oh really? then let me tell you something. dino’s doing volunteering in the mornings on friday at an childrens hospital. we come over at midnight on thursdays right- technically shouldn’t he be sleeping in? he has to get up at 6 am. and yet, everytime i invite him to go to the diner - he’s always up for it.”
  • mingyu looks you in the eyes and grins 
  • “believe me, he’s not doing it just to hang out with us.”
  • you look back at mingyu and then bite back your lip,,,,,if that’s true,,,, does that mean,,,,,,dino might be thinking about you,,,,, even when he’s not here?
  • the answer you find out late is yes but you turn to mingyu and you’re like “ok, ill accept your help”
  • mingyu claps his hands together and gets up to ruffle your hair and he’s like “see you next thrusday- be ready!” 
  • the whole week leaves you on edge and all your friends are like is something up do you have an essay due??? a big test???? and you’re just too embarrassed to tell anyone about your crush and so you’re just like yep!!!!
  • you even see dino on campus outside the gym and you’re still so ???? about everything that you jump to hide behind someone you barely know and then end up having to apologize for doing that to them LOL
  • and then thursday rolls around and you look up at the clock; 11:56pm
  • and you’re taking steady breathes but you can barely hear a customer call your name of hear the host when she tells you to seat another couple of students
  • and you keep checking your hair and adjusting your uniform and you’re just like,,,,,,,,,why is the diners unfirom yellow yellow doesn’t compliment me at all
  • and then the door opens and you see the four familiar faces 
  • mingyu sends you a secret thumbs up and you feel yourself sweat a bit when you come up to the table and hand out the menus and like ???? nothing out of the ordinary happens
  • nothing happens at all not even when they’ve ordered and the time ticks by and you’re wondering what mingyu’s plan is
  • until finally it is time to pay for the bill and as dino takes out his share, the other three are like ‘…….oh looks like we all forget our money’ and dino’s eyes widen and like tbh so do yours
  • and you’re both like “what”
  • and mingyu’s like “oh no … does that mean we have to stay behind and wash dishes to make up for it??? well….”
  • and then minghao chirps in like “let’s rock paper scissors and loser has to stay behind and do dishes to pay” and dino doesn’t joing because he’s like “i can pay for my half” but the other three are like “no no we came together, we have to pay together so get in on the game”
  • your eyes are dashing between all their four hands and dino and on the count of three ,,,,,
  • dino throws out rock and every other person puts out paper almost as if it was PLANNED (winkwink) and dino is like WHAT BUT I HAVE MONEY
  • and faster than you can comprehend, mingyu is pushing minghao and seungkwan out of the diner and you and dino are left there in complete disary 
  • and then it clicks in your head,,,,mingyu,,,,,,,he told the others didn’t he???? THIS WAS HIS PLAN
  • and dino gets up and sighs sadly and he’s like “im sorry, i….i guess ill just do the dishes then?” and you’re like you feel so bad but also when you bring him to the back the host is like “go help him wash. ill wait tables since it’s dead in here anyways”
  • and that is how you end up with your sleeves rolled up beside dino washing dirty dishes in the huge sink in the back of the kitchen
  • and for the first ten minutes it is really REALLY AWKWARD 
  • and you feel semi-horrible and then even worse when you remember that doesn’t dino have his volunteering tomorrow??
  • and so finally you sigh and you’re like “you can leave, the host won’t come back here to check ill clean alone.”
  • and dino is like “what?? no i could never leave this all on you. it’s my idiot hyungs fault-”
  • and you don’t think again and end up saying “go, you have to get up early right?” and dino stops and he’s like “huh? how do you know”
  • you’re like RIGHT HE DOESNT KNOW THAT I KNOW and you just stutter like “i-i-i-im guessing you have morning classes or something…..i don’t know….”
  • and dino just laughs and he’s like “not quite, i have to volunteer.” and you look at him from the side of your eye and you’re like ok time to try and initate conversation so you’re like “oh, where?” and he’s like a “a childrens hospital. people are always calling it my job but to me it really is a pleasure. i really like that my volunteering actually means something.”
  • and once again you find yourself enchanted with how,,,mature and truthful dino is with his opinion on things 
  • and you’re like smiling to yourself because he’s just so sweet, working with children and not even complaining about this dishes just doing his best to get it done
  • and then suddenly you turn and you see dino has stopped and is looking at you and you’re like ????? is something wrong
  • and he just leans against the sink and he’s like “i know why all the hyungs forgot their money.”
  • and you freeze and you’re like,,,,,oh no,,,,he’s going to be so mad
  • and before you can think to lie and be like what?? you bow your head and mutter an apology
  • but instead of getting scolded or yelled at, dino just lets out a chuckle and,,,,,the warm sound makes you lift your head and he’s like
  • “wow, so they really did set me up?” and you’re like “wAIT YOU DIDNT KNOW” and dino’s like “nope, i was just saying it to see if it was maybe true but your response gives it away”
  • and you’re like whgirjfdasldfsd what,,,,,good you need to start thinking more
  • and dino is like “you were in on the prank too but here you are helping me clean.” but you just stop scrubbing a plate in your hand and you’re like “it wasn’t a prank.”
  • dino gives you a quizzical look and you’re like “……mingyu was trying to help me…” “help you?”
  • and you’re like GOD he really is oblivious,,,,,,,and you just don’t want to lie to him so you shyly look into the water and you’re like 
  • “yeah he was helping me get closer to you, since i kind of….well you could say……have a crush on you….”
  • you can almost hear the gears in dino’s head turn and it’s painstaking because you just want him to tell you he has no interest so you can get this embarrassing turn of events over with
  • but instead he laughs and goes
  • “you could have just asked me out on a date, washing dishes together really isn’t the best way to get to know someone”
  • and you think your ears are tricking you. because did he just imply that he would have said yes if you asked him out and you just blink and stare at him
  • and dino is like “next time, just tell me. i know things go over my head but….”
  • and he takes the plate from your hands and wipes it down with a towel and turns back to look at you
  • “but…..i think you’re a little oblivious too - i mean, didn’t you see me stare?”
  • and you’re like what stare whEN and dino is like????? always when you were taking our orders down or when you were talking to others and you’re like really???
  • and dino nods and he’s like “the yellow uniform you have - it makes you so cute and bright, i couldn’t help myself” and you’re like gkhfdx this ugly mustard shirt,,,,,he thought it was cute????
  • and dino is like “i thought i gave myself away with the whole glasses thing, when you said i was cute - i was so happy i could barely look up my smile was so wide,,,,”
  • and somehow in that moment you and dino realize that you both hadn’t been noticing your subtle interest in each other 
  • and somehow that makes the two of you burst out into giggles and it is so loud the chef has to shout for you two to keep it down
  • and in the end you really can’t believe it but it looks like mingyu DID help you out
  • and once you and dino are done w/ all the dishes it is the end of your shift and he walks you back to campus and in the cold he looks cute shoving his hands into his pockets and getting pink on the tip of his nose and when you finally reach campus you have to split ways but dino says that he promises that he’ll think of a better first date than washing dishes
  • and you guys exchange numbers and ,,,, as you hit the pillow in your dorm to go to sleep you close your eyes and all you can see is dino’s laughing, shining face
  • and it warms your heart, it really does
  • dino keeps his promise. your first date is to an indoor ice-skating rink and like,,,,,,dino has so much more energy and his balance is amazing and you’re like HOW and he’s like “im a dancer, it comes naturally” and you end up clinging onto him for dear life when he brings you to the center of the rink
  • and you’re like dino dino please do not drop me diNO and he’s chuckling and wrapping his arm around your waist
  • and you’d be blushing if it weren’t for the fact that you’re AFRAID
  • dino is such a sweetheart though, you go to get the two of you some hot cocoa and you come back to see him helping two young boys get their ice-skates on and then helping them walk onto the ice
  • and the parents are gushing over how nice your “boyfriend” is and you’re like oh my he’s not- but you just hide behind your cups like,,,,i wish he was tho,,,,,,
  • you grab a bite to eat after and dino, without even noticing it, asks you to feed him a piece of meat and you’re like dghflgsf does he not see how this could be couple-y
  • but no he doesn’t, he just wants food LOL
  • but by the end of the date, you’re exhausted but a good exhausted and dino even shyly asked to hold your hand on the train back to campus
  • and you both are in college but everything is innocent and pure-hearted
  • and dino doesn’t kiss you out of manners but you do kiss his cheek and dino returns to his dorm with literal hearts in his eyes
  • and those hearts stay in his eyes even when he shows up to ballet practice and the instructor is like “dino, why do you look like you’re day-dreaming????? make a straight face” and dino’s like !!! sorry but at the same time,,,,,,,,,,he can’t even think of anything but you
  • mingyu sees you and dino meeting up for lunch on the quad and he hugs you both from behind like “kids, time to thank me for making this beautiful love come true” and you and dino roll your eyes and mingyu’s like you both owe me
  • dino: “no you owe me because i was the one stuck washing dishes for three hours”
  • you: “yeah and you owe me because i had to wash them with him”
  • mingyu: “but i brought you two toge-”
  • speaking of which, you basically ban dino from coming to the diner thursday nights because you know he has work in the morning and you want him to get his sleep
  • instead, you pack up some pancakes for him and bring them to his job during lunch and all the kids are like ??? pancakes for lunch ??? THAtS SO COOL and dino is grinning and all the hospital staff think you’re the cutest, most caring s/o 
  • and they’re like “we wouldn’t trust anyone else with dino’s pure heart” and you’re just like oh my gosh???t hankyou ???? this high praise
  • it doesn’t take dino long to also invite you to one of the ballet’s performances
  • and you’re so nervous before the show for him, but dino sees you for a bit and he’s so confident (not to mention handsome in his costume and with his hair slicked back)
  • and you’re like !!!! how are you so????calm and he just holds your hand and is like “because i believe in my abilities.” and right before he needs to go back you quickly peck his lips and you’re like gOOD LUCK 
  • and as you run off, dino touches his lips and he’s like oh,,,,,,our first kiss
  • but then yes right the Performance
  • your kiss gives dino even more confidence than before and after the instructor and all the upperclassman are like “your form looked the best today!!” and dino is like “thank you, it’s because my luckiest charm in the world is here”
  • you run over and jump into his arms in a big hug and everyone is like OHHH HE MEANT THEM and you’re red like oH right i need to introduce myself!!! 
  • you quickly bond with everyone on the ballet team because like dino, they think you’re adorable and want to protect you
  • and everyone is like “you and dino are our precious lil gems” and you and dino are like wE Arent LIL ……..we are also adults in college
  • but no1 ever listens GODDAMMIT
  • because you so wholeheartedly support dino in his passions, he is always there to support you in yours. and you’ve never had someone root for you like dino
  • like he isn’t afraid to just be like “im your number one fan. really.” no matter what it is you do
  • and dino can actually be so corny without even knowing it 
  • like you were all hanging out w/17 and dino is like “my phone battery always dies because my lockscreen is my s/o and i keep opening my phone to stare at them because they’re so stunning and so my battery is dead in like two hours”
  • and vernon scrunches up his nose like “dino that is so cringe-y” and dino is like what????? why???? i love my s/o’s face
  • and you like hide your head in your hands like gOD HE is sO  blun t and the rest of 17 is laughing while dino looks around like idgi what did i say something funny
  • secret date you and dino have: when you both have nothing in the morning like on saturday nights you both climb up to the top of the gym and watch the stars
  • and dino tells you stories about all the kids he’s meet through the hospital and how their life struggles have touched him 
  • and you let him lay his head on your lap and you talk about your own problems and struggles
  • and dino always says that the nights where the city sky has no stars is still a good night because he has his own star next to him all the time,,,,,,you
  • and once again he’s being corny without even realizing it
  • but you two do like sitting up like that in the cool dark air and it is here that dino, maybe because it is dark out, isn’t afraid to kiss you with a bit more confidence and 
  • you two are cute,,,,,,sitting on your blanket talking under the stars and kissing every now and then
  • jeonghan once caught you two tho and you got earfuls about how you could catch colds sitting up there
  • dino is straightforward with everything so it is easy to know what he likes and doesn’t and you barely get into fights, but he is also really sensitive and sometimes if something is bothering him about his major or his dancing he can try to overwork himself and not deal with it
  • and so sometimes you just have to hug him tightly and tell him that you’re here to listen,,,,,and it is that care that you show him that makes him fall for you even more than before
  • dino is oblivious but he remembers things about you that you think he’d forget. for your finals week he made you a playlist of instrumentals from all your favorite songs
  • and you and him listened to it together while studying
  • and every time you guys stopped for a break dino would insist on making you get up to dance a little to shake the stress off
  • which you both did no matter how silly it was until you fell over onto your carpet and dino rolls over to hold you and you snuggle up into his chest
  • you guys are the ‘must be protected at all times’ couple 

college!vixx (here) & college!bts (here) & college!seventeen (here)

find special college!jb (here), college!mark tuan (here) college!youngjae (here), college!jinyoung (here) & college!jackson (here)

find special college!wonho (here) , college!im (here), college!hyungwon (here)

and please look forward to more special college!aus!

Riding the bus to an art fair yesterday, a man recognized the Peace Corps patch on my backpack. He flashed me a peace sign, and then told me in a thick Cameroonian accent that he had been taught by a Peace Corps Volunteer when he was a student. He wanted to let me know that because of that volunteer, he had become an engineer.
—  I wish the bus ride had been longer so I could have talked to him more.


Two Asian-American Women Discuss What It Means To Be Transracial Adoptees

Adoptees may face all kinds of hurdles, but transracial adoptees can face a specific kind of hardship given the fact that they grow up in between two worlds, or sometimes in one with a foot standing precariously, hesitantly in the other.

In that way, Corey O’Connell, a 29-year-old grad student and nonprofit database consultant based in Brooklyn, but who grew up in New Jersey, and Kristin Lauritsch, a 27-year-old Peace Corps Volunteer from Virginia but currently stationed in South Africa, share a lot in common.

Both young women are South Korean transracial adoptees, raised by white parents in predominantly white towns.

I’ve been super inspired by the language moodboards I’ve seen around, and I thought I’d give it a shot with the language I learned during my two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in central Uganda - Luganda. Besides I haven’t seen too many African languages represented!

For those who aren’t familiar, from Wikipedia, The Ganda language, Luganda is one of the major languages in Uganda, spoken by five million Baganda and other people principally in Southern Uganda, including the capital Kampala. It belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger–Congo language family. Typologically, it is a highly agglutinating language with subject–verb–object word order and nominative–accusative morphosyntactic alignment. With about four million first-language-speakers in the Buganda region and a million others who are fluent, it is the most widely spoken Ugandan language. As second language it follows English and precedes Swahili. The language is used in some primary schools in Buganda as pupils begin to learn English, the primary official language of Uganda. Until the 1960s, Luganda was also the official language of instruction in primary schools in Eastern Uganda.


Yesterday we said our goodbyes to the office mates, and cleared out our office. I have been working hard to hold back tears during each phase of goodbyes, but yesterday was the hardest so far.

I just couldn’t believe I was leaving our building for good, never to step foot in those classrooms again–rooms I have hated for their shabbiness and poor upkeep, the building I cursed during the cold, damp and unheated winters.

I painted small goodbye gifts for each colleague–framed inspirational quotations. Thanks to allaboutchinese for the words and translations, I had a great time finding appropriate quotations for each friend.

I have loved this school, even during the rough patches. I’m excited for the next Peace Corps volunteers to continue on a path of improving relationships with teachers and students here. This little school has a lot of heart!
Women in Business

After conducting extensive research, Swaziland Volunteer Lily developed an 8-week curriculum for women in her community. 

Today, over 200 women across Lily’s host country have graduated from her course and are harnessing their potential and creating their own small businesses!

crouchingtigerhiddendragonisbomb  asked:

How do you make a living out of traveling?


(I usually don’t publish asks, but I will this time incase anyone else wants to know. I have bolded the most important stuff if you don’t want to read all of my commentary… I have a lot to say about this subject, apparently). 

There are many pieces of the formula and I am still learning as I go, but here is what I have done so far to sustain myself: 

1. I did save up a bit of money before I left home. But don’t let this scare you away! Seriously, all you really need is that one plane ticket to get you across the world. Or really, you can just walk out your door.

Then you can do the following to survive:

2. Work abroad. To ease myself into international living, I decided to be an Au Pair in Paris for 10 months. Of course there are a few fees to make it happen, but once you are there, you will have a place to live either with a family or an apartment paid for by them, and you will be earning money from working as well. Basically you will be housed and paid to live in a foreign country -can’t beat that!

I wanted to avoid spending my savings, so once I got into the groove of traveling, I spent all of the money I earned directly on train and plane tickets to go around Europe and France. 

I am now preparing for a two year assignment as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar. It is a volunteer position, but aside from all of the medical preparation I’ve paid for, I will be supported by the program while I am there.

There are also many other options that I have yet to try but most likely will such as teaching english and using programs like or HelpX to do small jobs along the way. 

3. Living cheaply is also very important if you want to sustain yourself traveling on a small budget, long term. As the year went by, I learned more and more what I could live without and where I could save money. It is surprising just how much we do not actually need. I got rid of almost all of my clothes, so I would be traveling very lightly. I wash my clothes in sinks and then hang them dry. I started cutting my own hair. I buy food for the day at grocery stores instead of eating at restaurants. I never pay for alcohol if I go out at night ;) …

There are usually free museums and walking tours in big cities, so I very rarely pay for touristy activities. I love to walk around…which is free!

As far as transportation and housing go, things don’t have to be fancy. I have slept on floors of strangers’s houses from, I have even slept in airports. I have stayed with friendly strangers which is a great way to learn about the culture or where you are visiting. I really enjoy hostels, but long term, those will add up! I have hitch-hiked and used car-sharing. I take trains at their cheapest times during the day. 

Basically flexibility and the ability to sometimes sacrifice comfort is all you need and anything is possible. There will always be a way to get from A to B. An uncomfortable night will end eventually and you will wake up the following morning and move on!

Right now I am experimenting with the ultimate method of cheap traveling:

4. Bike Touring. I have a bicycle. I have a tent and a sleeping bag. I have panniers (bicycle luggage) filled with the essentials. I have a compass and a few maps. And I just go. 

Bike touring can be an incredibly economical way to travel aside from purchasing a bike and some bike maintenance here and there. You can go days without spending money. The bike is your transportation, you can sleep in the tent (….anywhere). Just buy some food and voila! 

Along the way I have met a lot of people who give me water and feed me and offer me places to stay, so it is one of the most rewarding methods of travel as well -at least in my opinion. 

I guess this is a bit of an adventurous option but it took me about a year of traveling to work up to it and now that I’ve begun, I love it! Anyone can do it. I am of very average physical ability.

So to answer your question, I am not making a “living” in the usual sense, but I am doing what it takes to get by. I guess I am simply just making a life.

Some people can actually turn a profit while traveling too…with blogs or by writing, but I choose to have a blog just for fun. All of the juiciest stories aren’t up here anyways…maybe one day those can translate into money haha!