Wednesday, March 12, 2008

List #12: Places where I have lived

A lot of people still live where they were born - probably most of the people on the place. For myself, I have always explored so I have lived many places. Let's see if I can count them.

1. I was born in NY City.

2. Westchester County: My parents decided to try the suburban lifestyle so my mother stayed at home with us while my father commuted to the City every day.

3. We moved to another house in the same town when I was in Fourth Grade. I grew up there through high school and left to go to college.

4. Illinois - I got through freshman year at a small rural college and decided to go back east.

5. Massachusetts - Initially I thought I'd live in Boston but as an unskilled worker, finding a job was difficult. I moved in with friends while working as a nurses aid at a nursing home.

6. Upstate New York - I moved in with my boyfriend and later married him. After getting training as an LVN, I got a job at Albany Medical Center.

7. Albany, New York - I worked night shift at the Medical Center and went to school, majoring in English before changing to visual arts, during the day.

8. Alfred, New York - I attended a summer session in Ceramic Art. It also gave me the space to decide to end my relationship.

9. New York City - back to my roots. I first lived in a friend's apartment then moved to an artists loft in Tribeca. It wasn't trendy at that time - artists were taking over and renovating abandoned factory buildings but the main activity at that time was semi-industrial. At that time, I was picking up work as an LVN, doing some home care cases and hospital work. My main job (though low paid) was teaching ceramic art in a multi-service center for adolescents.

10. A year of drifting (1978) - I finally got tired of New York and decided I needed a break. I visited upstate New York for a little while, got a ride down to Florida, went back up to St. Louis, stopping with old friends. Went up to Chicago for a ceramics convention, got a drive away car to Louisiana. Worked in a bar for a while and lived o the cheap in the French Quarter. Went to visit friends in Baton Rouge, living in a tent on their farm. Decided to visit a friend in Minnesota so I got a ride into Baton Rouge itself and met an old friend at a party who just happened to be driving north. On the way north, his car broke down so I hitched a ride to Iowa City where I met up, by accident, another friend whom I had known at Alfred. After a few days there, I got on a bus to Minneapolis. Stayed there for a while, then got a ride to Idaho. The summer was beautiful there and I walked a lot in the hills and had an amazing and horrible back packing experience in the Bitterroot Mts. One day I woke up and felt drawn to the West, so hitchhiked to Yakima, Wa. I stayed with some friends of a friend for a few weeks before heading on to Seattle. While there, I met up with a group of potters and joined their studio for a workshop, and decided to return to Seattle. That was August, and I didn't know what Seattle weather was really like. Went down to San Francisco - my original goal - and decided I really wanted to stay in Seattle.

11. Seattle - got back in time for the rainy season. Moved six times until 1985. Finished my RN degree - and out of the blue got offered a job in Thailand.

12. Thailand - I worked in several refugee camps - one just outside of Bangkok and traveled between some other camps in my second position as a resettlement caseworker. I did have some large blocks of time off, so I traveled in India, Nepal and Malaysia. I also studied Thai language for a few months in Bangkok, while living in a dormitory with hotel workers and secretaries.

13. New York - After pushing paper in my second job in Thailand, I decided I want to return to clinical medical work. I attended a Physician Assistant program. During the second year, I moved every six weeks for my school rotations. That way I got to live in St. Paul, Mn., Mound Bayou, Ms. and Gallup, NM.

14. Phoenix Arizona - I worked in a mobile migrant health clinic under a migrant health grant. When the grant finished, I had to find another job.

15. California - Some Hmong friends whom I had met in Thailand, told me the community needed me there. I stayed there for four years - then got an e-mail offering me a position in Laos.

16. So I've been in Lao PDR since Nov. 1996. I've lived in different places in the country and travel a lot.

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