Archive for July, 2013

Adios Pittsburgh!

July 29, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

On my third and last day of Pittsburgh, I finished up my work and then headed to the Oakland neighborhood to do some sightseeing. Pittsburgh, Etc 110I went first to the Cathedral of Learning at University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). My colleague went to Pitt for school, so it was cool to walk around and learn a little about his college life. The Cathedral of Learning is an enormous structure with many classrooms. Inside it also has rooms for different nationalities so, for example, I saw the Austrian room, the Indian Room, and the Armenian room. Really cool! After the Cathedral of Learning, I headed to Phipps Conservatory.

Pittsburgh, Etc 161

In this museum, there are (probably) thousands of different kinds of plants. There was a desert room, an orchid room, a fern room, an Indian spices room, a fruits room, etc.

I ate lunch at the Phipps cafe, which featured dishes made from vegetables grown at the conservatory (there was also an outside area with herbs and veggies being grown for consumption). I had quiche and tomato basil soup. After that, I walked around Oakland a little more and then in the afternoon, took my flight home!

Love, Annie

Excellent day in Pittsburgh

July 23, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Today was a great, productive day in Pittsburgh. I worked during the morning and afternoon, and then walked around downtown Pittsburgh. 20130723_165516I did some more work inside a fancy hotel when it started pouring outside and then, after the rain ended and I could walk around again, had dinner at Primanti brothers sandwiches. I had a pastrami sandwich, a beer, and a big kosher pickle, and it was excellent. They put the french fries IN the sandwich! I guess you have to eat here if you are a tourist in Pittsburgh.

After the dinner I did some more walking because I felt very full. I feel less full now. I’m enjoying Pittsburgh much more than I expected to. 20130723_162502Everyone is very friendly. Apparently there is an Eagles concert here tonight! I asked about going but I guess they are sold out. I definitely would have gone. Usually hearing the Eagles makes me very homesick but it wouldn’t have mattered tonight because I’m heading home tomorrow evening.

Tomorrow I’m going to get up very early and finish my work. Just a tiny bit left. If there is time (there should be), I’m going to go to Oakland neighborhood to see the Cathedral of Learning and Phipps Conservatory.

Love, Annie

Hello Pittsburgh!

July 22, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you are doing well. I’m currently on a short survey of Pittsburgh before heading to West Africa on August 4th.


That trip will include Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone. All my visas are in order and I’m really excited.

Today I took a short morning flight to Pittsburgh and after settling in at the hotel (which is great, by the way), I went to lunch (at Pita Pit… not that special but it was the best thing I could find in my southside neighborhood) and then  to work. On the way home from the market, my taxi got rear ended! Kind of hard, but we were not hurt. It took a bit of time for the driver and the woman who rear ended him to exchange data, but I didn’t care because there was no rush.


I felt bad for the driver because it was the end of his shift and he just wanted to go home but because we got in an accident he had to take his car into the cab place to get it checked out. We talked about muscle building techniques in the car, and also how he had worked since four in the morning.It was about 430 by the time I got dropped off.

I had a nice workout at the gym, and then went to dinner at a place called Dish, a little Italian restaurant.  I sat at the end of the bar intending to do work, but ended up having a conversation with an enormous man from Pittsburgh. He used the word “jagoff” to describe his friend. When he said this I had to use all my powers not to crack up because my colleague Alex had warned me that they use this term and accent in Pittsburgh. The little restaurant had delicious food and drinks, and it was a great experience. I’m very excited for a complimentary hotel breakfast and a full day of work tomorrow!

Love, Annie