The Belly Button Window Details

About Belly Button Window

The Semi-Regular Newsletter


Peace Corps, August 2, 1997

Peace Corps Volunteer Party Time

Peace Corps Volunteers Party better than you!

find the sober peace corps volunteer
Party PCV's face south
find the sober peace corps volunteer
Party PCV's face east
find the sober peace corps volunteer
Party PCV's face north
find the sober peace corps volunteer
Party PCV's face west
When we first arrived, we were 44 people who were all strangers. As Americans, this stage couldn't last long, so we started to party together to find out who we were. The parties became a regular occurrence, every Friday at the lake. My host family started to joke with me about it, and after the first month, stopped asking me where I was going on a Friday night.

The parties became a way to blow off steam built up from the week, so they were usually not very Russia friendly. I'm sure the Russians understood, but they never came twice. We had fun however. and this party was quite a doozy. There is even a picture floating around of me when I was so tipsy, I had to lay down, but its not gonna find its way onto this site.

When dusk finally came that night, the militizi (police) showed up. After what seemed like a long time and a difficulty on their part to stop their vehicles, they approached us. Once they realized we were Americans, they dove off again, almost running into the lake on the way out. I have a feeling they were partying too.

One of the many traditions we started at the Friday Night Parties, was the Zgrad Skinny Dip Club. As one of the founders I had the honor of leading others into the baptism of public nudity, although they might see it differently.

It was quite strange to have a party in the daylight, but since night didn't arrive until after the busses stopped running, we had no choice. After we learned more about Russia, and Russian, many of us followed the local tradition of 'hiring' a car. Essentially hitch-hiking, but you have to pay the driver, so its more like a phantom taxi service. Many times we didn't have to pay because we were the first Americans the drivers have ever seen.

I've noticed that Americans make a lot of noise, especially at a party. I was constantly surprised that we weren't asked to be quiet by the militizi. Some people even tested the limits, like one nameless woman and her 'rape scream,' at midnight while skinny dipping. That went even beyond my limits.

After being in Russia for a while, we relaxed and let nature take her course. This led to a few couples forming and dissolving at the parties. Although I was never involved, its not to say I didn't want to. For a while Mondays were gossip central, which stories and questions flying around. Over time we settled down and couples really formed. One of the joy of being in a 95% singles organization!

Where we play drinking games, the Russians toast to get drunk quickly. The toasts start out short, 'to health,' then get longer and longer with each toast. The toasts only stop when your out of vodka, or your just plain out. I usually make it to the latter before the former as all my colleagues know.

Enter your email for Belly Button Window updates: