Thursday, October 15, 2009

Haven't I Met You Before?

I know you have all met someone before who reminds you of a friend, co-worker, or family member. You do a double take and sometimes find yourself looking really hard, trying to figure out how their gestures, expressions or physical appearance could be so similar. It’s kind of weird, and you often debate whether or not to tell them that they are a spitting image of someone you already know.

By now, you may have guessed where I’m heading with this. From the first day I arrived in Los Angeles for staging, and began meeting other Peace Corps members, I noticed some who reminded me of friends, family, and even professors. At first, I thought there were just a few who had similarities to those I already knew back home, but as the days passed, it just became strange.

Yesterday I was sitting in our pre-service training class and counted across the room...1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!!!! Seven Peace Corps Trainees who remind me of someone I already knew! I know you’re dying to know if you’re on the list, so here’s a few to read over. For the sake of protecting people’s identity in a google search, I will only use first names, or only last names in some situations. Also, I will provide a scale to represent their overall likeness. 1= slight resemblance 10= strong resemblance

Peace Corps Trainee Alli, reminds me of my friend Becca who was in the trombone section of the Notre Dame Band. Scale: 7
Casey reminds me of my friend Ellen from Holy Cross College. Scale: 5
Corina reminds me of my sister’s friend Emily from St. Mary’s College. Scale 7
Elisa reminds me of my very good friend, Claire from Holy Cross College. Scale 6
Emelie reminds me of my mom’s best friend’s daughter, Amber. Scale 4
Jenny McC. reminds me of my friend Mary from Holy Cross College. Scale 7
Kathleen reminds me of a former professor from Holy Cross College, Mrs. Baldinger. Scale 7
One of my language instructors reminds me of a former professor from Holy Cross College,
Fr. Thomas. Scale 5

Thanks to all those involved. You’re helping me feel more at home in a country halfway around the world! If you’re not on the list, don’t worry, I still think of you and miss you just as much. Now for some other news...

In case you weren’t aware, Samoa has some problems with wild dogs. They roam the streets and travel by themselves, as well as in packs. The Peace Corps safety handbook recommends that we carry a stick to fend off any would be attacking dogs. Last night myself and about 6 other trainees walked downtown to Apia to find a place to eat. Soon we saw dogs near one of the intersections. They were waiting at the light and we commented on how neat it was that they were crossing at the crosswalk. What wasn’t so neat was when they started following us. My friend Leah told us to remain calm. Soon they had us circled. They weren’t growling, but looked very curious and made us feel like we needed a way out.

We tried crossing the street, but they followed us over, we crossed back over again. My friend Leah and I picked up some broken asphalt and a small 2 by 4. Her and I crossed back to the other side and the dogs continued following our other friends on the opposite side. We thought it would be best to monitor the situation from the other side of the road.

We finally made it to a more populated area where there were restaurants. We felt a little silly with all our "weapons" in hand. We still didn’t know what to do to make the dogs leave, so Leah lifted the 2 by 4 over her head as if she was going to throw it. Just like that the dogs ran across the street. In the end we were fine, but were reminded that many of the dogs do bite. Next time I’ll be ready to fend them off with a good piece of lumber.
Thanks for reading. I hope you are all doing well.


  1. The wild dogs would freak me out, sounds like you are making friends and doing well! Miss and love you!

  2. You may already know, one of group 79, Sara, was born in Elkhart, her dad went to Notre Dame. It is a small world.