My name’s Ellen Rhudy. I grew up in NJ, graduated from Rutgers in 2008 with a double major in English and History, then spent a year in Philly working as an administrative assistant.

From September 2009 through October 2011 I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of Macedonia. I lived with a Macedonian Muslim host family in the western region of Macedonia, and taught English in an Albanian primary school.

From October 2011 through July 2011 I lived in Tirana, Albania, as a Fulbright grantee, studying Albanian national identity among Albanians living in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia.

I’ve been back in Philly since August and now have a great job at an ed nonprofit.

People sometimes email me to ask the “Peace Corps vs Fulbright” question and you’re totally welcome to do that (or ask me other questions), but only if your parents trained you well in the thank-you-note-writing department. It’s a skill that will get you far in life!

3 responses »

  1. Hi Ellen, stumbled upon your blog and was fascinated not only because of our mutual Peace Corps connection [I am a RPCV from the Philippines] but also because of my family’s historical ties to Macedonia.
    My father was born in the city now named Bitola [Monastir, Turkey at the time]. Although I realize that your community is in the west and my paternal ancestry is in the east of current day Macedonia, I am connected and interested in the entire region.
    Here is a link to an institution in Skopje which will be dedicated next week: http://www.holocaustfund.org/
    “Keeping the memory of the Jews in Macedonia, their tradition and their contribution …”
    There had been centuries of peaceful coexistence of Jews and Muslims in the greater Macedonian region, even in Kosovo. See, for example, http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/business/last-seder-in-kosovo-1.12221
    I have developed a slew of connections in Macedonia of all religions and stripes and will follow your blogging with interest.
    Shalom,
    Rick

  2. Hello Ellen!

    For our American Studies class at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, we have to do a Peace Corps Blog project on Macedonia. We were wondering if you could answer a few questions for us!

    The suggested questions to ask are:
    What is your job in the country?
    What have your experiences been like assimilating into Macedonian life?
    What assumptions did you have about Macedonia and its culture?
    How have those assumptions been reinforced or challenged?
    What new insights have you gained into Macedonia?
    What new insights have you gained into your own sense of self?

    Feel free to answer any or all of them and even add in any other cool facts about your life in Macedonia!

    Thank you!

    Maggie, Jimmy, Brandon, and Nicole

  3. Hi Ellen, For some odd reason, I am just seeing your review of White Boy…. Thank you! Wonderful to see that someone really read it! -and took the time to be nice about it… -Murray Dunlap

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