I spent the year after graduation studying food culture and learning the Russian they don’t teach you in class) in Krasnodar, Russia on a Fulbright grant. In 2009, I moved to Washington, DC and worked with the communications team at an association for international educators for about a year and a half. Then I headed abroad again, this time to Georgia, where I taught English in a public school in Batumi through the Teach and Learn with Georgia program. I also spent a lot of time hanging out with my host family and neighbors in their kitchens, pestering them with questions about their lives while learning to cook home-style Georgian food.
After returning to DC in 2011, I got a job at an international non-profit called Internews where I’ve stayed ever since. I work on a team managing media development programs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Our programs help local media and NGOs better understand the needs of the communities they serve, provide useful news and information to the public, and create opportunities for people to connect with one another and make their voices heard. I get to use my Russian every day and travel to places I might otherwise have never gone, like Kyrgyzstan and Moldova. Outside of work, I run a monthly cooking class and blog called The Georgian Table and am getting into audio documentary storytelling.