Monday, May 29, 2006

Carmine, local Italian, it was pefection in food. Posted by Picasa

Grab da bull, grab da bull. Posted by Picasa

Roots sculpture based on the sycamore tree that was destroyed at St Pauls Cathedral from 9/11. Posted by Picasa

The America Flag never looked better. Posted by Picasa

Junnaid Chowing on a White Castle Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Paintballing cancelled.

Saturday was a bummer. We were scheduled to walk on paintballing at hogback mountain paintball. However they failed to tell us that walk ons ended at 5pm. So instead the guys went back to Jeffs pad where he treated us delicious burgers. We played the "Guy Game" on Xbox, chilled, talked about the military having a pleasant evening. I hoping we can still pull off a paintballing game before I leave. Next weekend will be the big trip to NY with Junnaid and Nila. Its going to be awesome, were all really looking foward to it.

Random Bonzai Tree Picture from the DC Bontanical Garden.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Holding $900,000 in Tuition, Rent, and Living Expenses checks for students.

Here are some pics of Paul and me holding $900,000 in printed checks to help our ETV students.

Its very easy to see with our jobs the diffrence we are making in students lives.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Nose Surgery to open up my Air Passage.

Here are some pictures from a past nose surgery I had a while back, showing them due to popular demand, sick people out there, it was not to bad.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Peace Corps Disclaimer and Status Update.


With that out of the way I have just received an update on my Peace Corps toolkit. It looks like I have cleared the last stage, placement. With that last little check box filled I am good to go. What’s odd about it coming through so soon is the fact I was told I would not hear or see anything for at least a month, possibly mid to late July since the placement officers are focusing on placing people for the summer currently.

That has me thinking that they may be trying to bump up my placement to fill a gap for the summer. I am just guessing, will see what happens. That could be good or bad, I really wanted to spend time with my family for two months, lose my little Buddha digging holes and shoveling rock working landscaping. I was really looking forward to it. Cheap beer never tastes better after you have worked for 9 hours in the sun pushing wheel barrels up and down hills full of dirt and rocks. Mad props to my Aunt Tina and Uncle Bruce for the incredible business and reputation they have for the amazing work they do.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Sitting at a table with Tom Delay , update on Peace Corp Timeline.

Congressional Roundtable on Court Reform

So yesterday was interesting to say the least. I was at the our nations capitol participating on a panel called the "Congressional Roundtable on Court Reform". It went very well, they were actually able to appropriate money for reform on this issue. 100 million in fact for training in courts and $ to help build a case tracking system for youth to assess outcome.

It was surreal sitting directly across from Delay, considering what's happening politically with him. I will say in his defense though, he has done a LOT to advance the foster care issue so you have to take the good with the bad on this one.

It was a fascinating experience to have set at the congressional roundtable as an foster youth alumni and a professional in my field. The general sense I felt from the roundtable is that professionals in the field want more funding but Congress needs to see results from where this money is applied. Why? Accountability of course, after reading the office of GAO's report on Health and Human Services and the Chafee program it is certainly understandable.

I felt that I contributed well speaking about how HHS need to be evaluated using business practices. HHS is producing a product, that product is the foster youth of America. I was also able to speak on my personal experience as an ETV program coordinator. My main point was that the ETV program has been going for 3 years and yet we have not results yet on how its being administered, of course OFA is doing an amazing job but I am scared to think of how the other states are doing.

My last point was speaking on the importance of Court Appointed Special Advocates, I shared my personal story of how much of a difference my CASA made in my life.

Overall it was an excellent experience, a new trend is starting where former foster youth alumni are taking position in DHS and government that allows for change and they are being regarded as experts on the issue more and more.

Peace Corps

I talked to the placement office today after being medically cleared. They said they should review my application for placement by mid to late July. That means I am leaving OFA without a real guarantee that I will receive a placement in Peace Corps. Argggh!

If I Peace Corps does not pan out I am going to look into the JET program through Japan.