Tuesday, February 22, 2011

International Calling - Google Voice

I bring good news! 

First off, I will not be bringing my current cell phone to Ukraine. More importantly, the cell number you have in your phone for me will probably end up calling my Aunt after March, so keep that in mind.

While I will be getting a local cell phone in Ukraine, the rates of texts and calls to The States will probably be too ridiculous and complicated to deal with - but I got you covered for your Matt Brady texting fix. 

So I've been informed that Google Voice, an awesome Google product for GMail users that I've been using for some time now, will work to both place and receive phone calls, voicemails, and texts from anywhere in the world to this specific US number, for free! It works for the most part exactly the same as a normal cell phone number except that it's all kept and accessed online. 

So for friends and family, feel free to call or text 760.576.5682 to your hearts content from your phones! If I have current internet access when you do, I'll receive it and / or answer.

So for those who are still confused on how to call me, I actually added a "Call Me" button to my Blog - this is what you do.

  1. Scroll to the bottom of my blog and locate the "Call Me" widget
  2. Click it
  3. Type in your name and your phone number 
  4. Click connect
  5. Google will then call your number provided
  6. Answer your phone
  7. An automated voice will ask you to Press 1 to connect to Matt Brady
  8. Your call will then be re-routed to my Google Voice Number and should start ringing
  9. Wala, problem solved - and it's free!
Please be mindful of the time difference in Ukraine
Current local time can be found at the top left of the blog.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Staging and International Flight Itinerary

First off... it's raining. And what do Southern Californians do when it rains?

  1. Think the world is ending
  2. Drive poorly
  3. Stay indoors
  4. Watch movies
  5. Eat grilled cheese and tomato basil soup
I personally chose options three, four (Jurassic Park), and five while adding a sixth, making international flight maps using Google & Pixelmator and filling out more Peace Corps forms - I'm just that cool on a Friday night.

Anyways, so today I finally received information regarding my staging / orientation event as well as made reservations for my flights to both Washington DC and Ukraine (Peace Corps actually did the Ukraine on for me - all expenses paid for by your tax dollars)!

  • 20 March 2011 
    • Morning flight from San Diego -> Chicago -> Washington DC
  • 21 March 2011
    • Greetings / introductions and orientation presentations
  • 22 March 2011
    • Sight seeing in the morning (never been to DC!)
    • Afternoon flight from Washington DC -> Frankfurt -> Kiev
  • 23 March 2011
    • Arrive in Ukraine!
    • Begin Peace Corps Training
For specifics on my staging and travel plans visit - Peace Corps Travel Itinerary 

Friday, February 04, 2011

Packing Update

The mass of stuff I'm bringing (in theory) is slowly invading my room. 

Just realized there is a blue vuvuzela in the corner of the picture, that is just normally there, though now I'm pondering on whether to bring it, Euro 2012?

Volunteer Website Revamp

I was super excited to find out the Ukraine Peace Corps Website has been overhauled and updated. Began reading through everything at work last night and it cleared up a bunch of questions.
If y’all have any questions about what I’ll be doing at what point, it’s a great resource.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Mail Time

So I know all of you are anxiously wondering “How will I send Matt letters, awesome care packages, and boxes and boxes of Kit Kats?!”, well stop hyperventilating into a brown paper bag because your answer has arrived. Between April to June, I will be doing Pre-Service Training in a town near Kiev, so all mail should be addressed to the following:
If they require an address, use the following:
Sadly, I’ve come to find out only letters can be received during Pre-Service Training. So, after I find out where my permanent site location is and an address, I’ll be sure to post that as well. 
Just a FYI, this statement was given by Peace Corps regarding sending mail:
“Family and friends should not send you valuable items through the mail, as mail sometimes arrives opened, with items missing, or does not arrive at all.”
They also state that padded envelopes are recommended over boxes, so maybe save all the jewels and diamonds you were planning on sending me for when I visit the states. Furthermore, you should write “Air Mail” on the envelope, or else the package will be sent slower. Some further information regarding pricing and what not from UPS can be found HERE.
WARNING: it can take up to two weeks for me to receive the package so don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear back for a bit.
… and I was being serious about the Kit Kats, just saying