Here: Anthropology student, LSU
There: Peace Corps volunteer in Kryvoe Ozero, Ukraine
When did you leave Baton Rouge, and why did you move?
I graduated from LSU in 2010. While I studied I also worked at Capital Heights Vet Clinic (formerly Mistretta's) and interned at Baton Rouge Center for World Affairs. I left in March of 2011 to work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine.
What do you miss most about the city?
So many things. The food, the festivals, live music, porches, pools, air conditioning, central heat, delicious tap water, bike rides, brunch, the English language—and Piccadilly.
What don't you miss about the city?
I don't miss sitting in traffic. Though the thought of sitting in an air-conditioned car right now actually sounds wonderful. There's not much I don't miss.
What does Kryvoe Ozero have that Baton Rouge lacks?
It's doesn't have much. I do love the cheap abundance of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables in the summer, though. The general atmosphere of my village is also very relaxed. Time is most definitely not money in Kryvoe Ozero. Things happen when they happen. A lot of the time you just need to sit back and eat some beet soup.
When was the last time you were back home?
I haven't been back since I left. My Peace Corps service ends next June, but I'm hoping to make it home for a visit before then.
So what's on your schedule for when you return?
Seafood-stuffed French toast at The Chimes and a live music show—maybe at the Spanish Moon or Red Star. But nothing beats a nice dinner party with all my friends.
Have you learned anything from the Peace Corps that you think could be applied directly to non-profit or social and community efforts in Baton Rouge?
I have learned a lot about planning and implementing projects that I can bring back home. I think working with the international community inside Baton Rouge more could really open new doors to new ideas, approaches and culture to Baton Rouge.
Futrell is currently raising funds to buy three projectors, computers and chairs for an assembly hall in Kryvoe Ozero. To read more about her campaign, visit the “Donate to Volunteer Projects” page at peacecorps.gov and in the search box, type “Futrell.”
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