Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's even more official; my wait begins

After a frustrating battle over x-rays and "cavities", the Peace Corps Dental Office has finally deemed my teeth fit to survive the rigors of the third world. Which also means that I am completely qualified, it is more official than the last official invitation. And even though we will be leaving from LaGuardia on the 23rd of February, I have to go down to Philadelphia 22nd to handle paperwork and meet my fellow volunteers for the first time. So over the next month I will occasionally freak out remembering that I will not be back in the States for quite some time. And for those of you who know me, I am bound to forget some detail that evolves into a larger quandry and then somehow I get lucky and it all resolves itself. I have been on my fair share of international trips and have not died, yet the idea of packing up for a couple of years is quite a different monster altogether. I am already worrying about the books I want to bring. Knowing now that books abroad can be one's only and often best escapism. Regardless, I am trying to begin with little expectation and mindset of adaptability. Darwin would be proud.

Still I have important decisions to make, the most daunting right now is whether I should bring my laptop. Something that is very dear to me and that I would love to have, but I still don't know where my ultimate placement will be. I could be in the "Interior", which doesn't have electricity. I did read that other people from my group are bringing laptops (Macbooks even), so this provided some encouragement to bring my own. And so the dilemma goes...

Then there is the other side, my life back in the States. I would hate to not see some people before I leave and with only a month this could be difficult. If you haven't seen me, please do, it would make me happy. Also, my financial issues, already I am at war with my loan company over whether the Peace Corps warrants a deferment of my student loans. I refuse to lose this war. For now, I am still in Bloomfield, still very poor, and working the same job I did when I was 15 years old. Guyana here I come.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Waiting Ends

For most of you who have seen me in the past few months we've inevitably talked of the Peace Corps and my waiting to hear from them, and how my assignment was changed, and so forth. Alas, finally I have received an assignment and it looks like this time I will actually be leaving on February 22nd for the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. It is a small English speaking country (around 750,000 people) in between Venezuela and Brazil that identifies more with the Caribbean than with the rest of South America. And although I can't say it was exactly what I was expecting, I think that it will be an interesting experience nonetheless. The assignment that I was given, which I suspect was because I am CPR and First Aid certified, is to be a Community Health Education Promoter. And from my understanding, this means I will be working closely with either a NGO or government clinic to promote good health practices.

Regardless, I am excited and anxious and have many loose ends to tie before I leave the States.