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"the boys i mean are not refined
they shake the mountains when they dance"

Hi there, my name is Hayley, and I'm a journalist. Eminem sings songs about me. This one time, I held a penguin. No big.

in spring of 2011, i went to Italy for a while. and lo, the great study abroad saga of florence, starring gelato, paninis, and some dude named michelangelo, was born.

now that I've graduated college, i'm fulfilling a high-school promise to myself to go work in a fishing village in the southern northern hemisphere that has no phones; you can now find me in ukraine, stumbling my way through the peace corps with exactly zero Russian to my name. Wish me luck!

Disclaimer: I am using this blog to express my own personal opinions. It is not meant to represent the views of the Peace Corps or of the United States Government.


17 July 14

mordecaitenenbaum said: Hi, I'm Alex. I stumbled with your blog in the TEFL tag. I just wanted to know if you could give me some advice or guidelines. Like, which TEFL course do you recommend the most? What was the experience throughout the process like? Is an Associate's degree enough for now? I would take my Bachelor's later. The info online is overwhelming to say the least, but I've managed to find some decent stuff. The advice of someone who already accomplished/is accomplishing it would be of great help. Thank you

hey  mordecaitenenbaum! I have no idea when you sent this ask but I’ll definitely try to help a little, hopefully not too late.

I didn’t actually get TEFL certified for the Peace Corps, and I did all my training in-country, so I don’t know if I’m necessarily the best person to ask about this. You don’t need a TEFL certification to work for the Peace Corps. As far as picking a program goes, I would say that it depends heavily on what company you want to work for - contact them, if possible, and ask if they have recommendations or a tendency to hire from a specific source.

This website seems to offer pretty comprehensive advice to help you narrow down your course selection… I saw Groupon courses at one point for about $89, and I contacted the Peace Corps to ask if they wanted me to get certified. They said no, that practical job experience (I was doing literacy tutoring at the time) was preferable. So it depends on the program! 

As for the degree, I can’t speak for other programs but the Peace Corps strongly prefers you to have a Bachelors. If you have a lot of relevant job experience, however, then you’d probably have a strong resume regardless! Are you thinking of doing Peace Corps or another TEFL program? There are sooo many amazing options out there for all kinds of positions, I wish you the best of luck in finding something that fits you! :D

Tags: [ mordecaitenenbaum ] [ peace corps ] [ faq ] [ TEFL ]
Posted: 8:19 PM

hey guys sorry i stopped blogging for a while there… stuff is getting real in my former village and it kind of sapped the urge to blog from me for a while. still gearing up for samoa though! and still trying to stay in touch with my people back in ukraine, though it’s kind of tough since they’ve all had to flee snezhnoye for less dangerous places :(

anyway, talk to you soon

26 June 14

yo, AC, i don’t know what your beef with soccer is but i’m gonna tell you right now that i am so goddamn american i’ve got ancestors on both sides of the civil war, and i care more viciously about this world cup than you do about inexplicably shitting on people playing a game that doesn’t allow you to use your hands.

23 June 14


world cup is so good this year you guys

(Source: toadelevatingmoment)

Reblogged: geardrops

Posted: 7:22 PM

hola friends sorry i went awol - i really did make it home from texas, and i shall tell you about the rest of my journey in a bit, but i went on an internet-less hiatus at my grandma’s place in fresno so i’ve been off the grid


15 June 14
Taking a break from yardwork & rock lifting with the foreman… She’s kind of a hardass #fathersday #fluffybutt

Taking a break from yardwork & rock lifting with the foreman… She’s kind of a hardass #fathersday #fluffybutt

Tags: [ fathersday ] [ fluffybutt ]
14 June 14

Tags: [ austin ] [ texas ]
13 June 14

Day 5: Austin

Our original intention was to just stay in Austin for the night and head out the next morning, but everyone and their mother has been going on about how awesome of a city Austin is, so we decided to stay an extra day and explore a little bit!


Man, whoever has been going on about that stuff has been right. We checked out the capitol building, which was pretty much just a building (but a lovely building nonetheless), then headed over to South Congress because it’s apparently super hip there (we got lost on the way and ended up in a Walmart, but Jamie bought a sleeping bag there so it all turned out for the best).

South Congress is such a funky little street, lined with thrift shops and food trucks and an entire store dedicated to costumes called “Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds” (anyone who’s met me for five minutes knows how much I love puns) (also Jamie makes a super good milkmaid, who knew), and it was tons of fun to just wander around there, trying on hats, until M got off from work.

THEN THE AFTERNOON WENT FROM GOOD TO GREAT because M, dearest, darlingest M, the light of my life, TOOK US TO TACOS. And not just any tacos - THE BEST TACOS I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. 

I do not fuck around when it comes to taco consumption so believe me when I say that the title of “best taco” is a big deal. We went to a place called Torchy’s (I’m sure a bunch of people saw that name coming the minute I put the words “tacos” and “Austin” together) and oh dear, sweet jesus. I though San Diego had a lock on Mexican food but this was a whole ‘nother thing entirely. If you are ever in the vague vicinity of Austin, you need to stop off there, because it is freakin’ amazing. Get the trashy trailer park. You won’t regret it.

In fact, J and I were so in love with this place that we stopped off there the next day on our way out and had more tacos for breakfast. So thank you, Morgan. Thank you for showing me the taco light. I will definitely be heading back to Austin one of these days :)

Tags: [ austin ] [ texas ] [ torchy's tacos ] [ torchy's ]
12 June 14

Day 4: Austin

Current location: Texas

State mottoFriendship

State Nickname: The Lone Star State (that one was easy)

Distance driven: 508 miles, up to 1001 total

Today was our first BIG drive, which we celebrated by getting all up into our books on tape - we had two for the journey, one of which was Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and the other of which was I, Robot by Isaac Asmiov (I strongly recommend the latter - the former, I’m a little more ambivalent about, but it did get me through about four hours of driving without falling asleep so I can’t complain).

We were heading to my buddy M’s place, who just adopted a NEW PUPPY. OH GOOD LORD. PUPPY. I LOVE PUPPY. THIS PUPPY MADE ME SO HAPPY.


Her name is Clementine. She’s a pug/boston terrier mix. She can basically fit in the palm of your hand :D We pretty much just hung out, played with the puppy, watched Game of Thrones, and passed out. It was a good night. PUPPY.

11 June 14

Day 3 continued: New Orleans

Current location: Louisiana

State mottoUnion, Justice and Confidence

State Nickname: It has like twenty but for the sake of brevity I’m going to pick “the Pelican State”

Weather: So hot I might actually pass out and/or melt

Distance driven: 291 miles from Tuscaloosa, so 493 miles total

I didn’t actually take a lot of pictures of our first night in New Orleans, though I did bust out the camera in a big way on day two. We stayed with a friend of J’s while we were there - a Metairie native who was an absolute ANGEL and took us out to Frenchmen’s, which is my new FAVORITE PLACE on the planet, I’m pretty sure. We went to a bar called the Spotted Cat that had the freaking coolest live music (the band was amazing, I wish I could remember their names) but honestly, no matter where you wandered on Frenchmen Street you ended up listening to a band that could knock the socks off of any band in LA. It was spectacular. I was in heaven. I haven’t been to Bourbon Street at night but I cannot possibly imagine it was better than this.

The other nifty thing about Frenchmen was the stuff in between the jazz bars, like the lit-up courtyards with drunk people doodling in chalk and the art walks where you drink and look at hand-crafted masterpieces in every medium you can think of (and a few you wouldn’t). The music just permeates, you know? So it doesn’t really matter where on the street you are, you’re never out of earshot of a trumpet or a saxophone or the incoherent rumble of a bass line, it’s like a constant backbeat to everything you do, and I loved it. I loved it! If you haven’t been, I recommend making it a priority.

And then we went back to our buddy’s gf’s place and passed out, the end.

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh