The Fall to Love

Ukraine Series – The Beginning

20130610-132928.jpgI am going to start telling the story of my time in Peace Corps Ukraine. This will be a series of snippets over time but it will be linear.

Like most great stories this one was about a girl. We met when I was on a blind date with another girl. There was something about this one girl, we’ll call her Elsa (Yeah, from Frozen, insert all the Icy, Cold, Frigid, jokes that you want, they will be relevant when the series ends).

We had our first date at a coffee shop in downtown Portland, Pete’s Coffee, and neither one of us really knew what to say. We ordered our drinks, I paid, and then we sat at a high table in the corner. It was my first time really being on a date with a girl. I was nervous and she was too beautiful.

I took my phone out of my pocket and I placed it down on the table between us.

Ok, here is what we’ll do. I’ll put the timer to one minute and we’ll each share facts about ourselves that we find to be unique or interesting.

And that was our icebreaker. She told me about her college, her vet jobs growing up; she talked about her passions and her time on crew. She told me a little about her family and a lot about her brother overseas. At the end of the conversation she told me how she didn’t believe in marriage.

When it was my turn I told her all the happy points in my life and ended it with my disbelief in marriage as well. I also said that I had been giving serious thought to going into the Peace Corps. I was working a management job that was slowly sucking out my soul and wanted something bigger.

This became one of our biggest connections. She too had been thinking about the Peace Corps.

20130617-120747.jpgWhat happened next was a whirlwind. We said goodbye and then had an awkward hug on the corner of Broadway and Washington. It was clear she wasn’t a pro-dater either. We started communicating more through Facebook and by text. We shared poetry entries and our musings on the world.

For our second date I drove her all the way to my favorite beach spot in a little hideaway Cape.

I think that we should get another cup of coffee. I know two places that we can go; the first is just down the road and the other is a little farther away. Your choice!

She chose the adventure and for the next half decade our life was filled with nonprofit work, volunteerism, foreign countries, and a Russian invasion.

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