Updates? Where are the updates?

We’ve Got Problems Kids

(My mom always says that to her troupe of four dogs before coming or going or when dad gets home.  It incites a doggy riot.)

I have written several posts and still not submitted them to Elephant Journal or here or anywhere.  I still have not been able to upload pictures.  I still have not even re-sized them and put a watermark on them from my other computer.  I have not done a lot other than try to figure out Peace Corps application things.  I could not get my finger prints done here.  I had to go to Grand Rapids and then go to two different places there to find someone who still did the cards.  Sigh…living in the boondocks of a state that cannot get its budget together.

Also, I need to buy a ticket to Florida for the unemployment people.  Fun.  And my Peace Corps application materials got in late since Kathy had to overnight the package from Florida and we were both on road trips when it came.  So even though I got it all done the day after I got the package, I cannot get an interview until after they reset the new system August 15, which is coincidentally the day I leave to South America.  So what type of health insurance should I get because I need to do a medical kit if I get a nomination.  Then it turns out that I do not have to worry about that so much because now they do not give out the full medical kit until after you get an invitation, since it is country specific now (well after August 15) and it is also all electronic I think.

But instead of getting my insurance I still have not done it.  Or booked something to show proof of onward travel from Colombia.  Where should I leave Colombia from?

So it should be interesting depending on where I am in the world if I get an invitation.

Also, a package I sent to Helen including 20 dollars and all the gifts from my road trip got “lost” from an “open” package.  I read that as someone tore the envelope open and stole the money.  I wish I had written the serial code down to get whatever postal worker took it.  No wonder I use UPS or FedEx.  Oh minus the post card from Mammoth Cave, she got that.  Not the bracelet or stickers or anything :(.

Peace Corps

So, you are probably thinking: “What?  Say that again?  Did you say Peace Corps?  What about finding yourself?”  Well I have to admit it took me until the last minute to submit my application.  I had everything filled out.  I sat and watched it.  I logged in every day and looked at the submit button.  Kathy chastised me, since I chastised her for a late recommendation.  If I didn’t want to do it I could decide later.


Then I got an email saying if I did not submit it I would not be available for leaving until 2014.  And even then I still waited until the last day when I realized the terror I felt if I did NOT get in.  I realized this was part of me that had never changed. I had always wanted to do this.  I could not do it in college because I tore my ACL and MCL my senior year and had student loans.  I got all the way through a nomination to the medical process.  Somewhere in the Caribbean for water/wastewater work.  But could not go.  I cried for days.

Since then I have tried Engineers Without Borders but you have to pay all of your way and help fund the project and that just was not an option for me.  Then I started saving money.  Before I lost my job I was trying to figure out how much money I would need for two years even though I only had one year of travel plans.  Why is that?  That is what I would need for the Peace Corps.

So.  I have applied. Sent in my fingerprints and security paper work.  Paperwork about my loans and money I get from my ESOP is in (in 2014 even though my company policy is for one year after date of service?  I am hoping it is the extra year so i can consider to be working for five years and then I am vested for the entire amount).

So Where Am I Going?

I said I want to go to South America.  Of course that does not mean anything.  My three options so far are math, science, or English teaching with math or science being the most likely.  Really this should be taken with a grain of salt because PC changes details like this up to, and sometimes even after, your invitation.  He also said if I go it would likely but not guaranteed to be in July 2012.  Again, can change, no guarantee.  In fact likely to change.  But if that does happen here are the countries that have math teacher programs that I got from the Peace Corps Wiki Calculator:

And these are the ones with science teacher programs:

Those that left in July in 2011 and 2012?

  • Tanzania
  • Malawi
  • The Gambia
  • China
  • Burkina Faso
  • Ghana
  • Cameroon
  • Liberia
  • Sierra Leone

So…it does not look like if I get in that I am going to South America with the PC with the current options, which of course could change at any time.  I was really nervous at the thought of Africa.  It is so unknown, so far from home, and so expensive to get to from.  Plus I just see pictures in my head of people living in mud huts with no water and no electric and no English speaking people for miles.  It is hard to get around, but after actually researching blogs of people who are actually there, it does not seem so scary.

Why Didn’t I Tell You Sooner??

Oh. Sorry.  I really want this.  This is part of me that has not changed.  The me that wants the challenge of expanding my perspective of needs and wants and who wants to try and do some good.  It is so jading to work in water and wastewater consulting because you cannot do good most of the time.  People just want to pay to keep the status quo with their water and sanitation.  They are willing to pollute their water instead of living well and paying taxes to fix the problem.  And these people are some of the richest in the world.  They would like to not put money into infrastructure until it is broken.

Because I want this so much, if I do not get in I am going to feel bad and be embarrassed.  However, if I do not write about what I am doing then I just do not write and I do not want to let this blog thing go.  I am worried that because I saw a therapist and because of little things I might not pass med test or get deferred.  I am worried because I do not have a lot of teaching or volunteer experience since college.  And I am worried because I have to wait so long for an interview.  Spots are being filled now!  I saw blogs of people going to Africa for science teaching in July!

I really need to stop obsessing and worrying and just buy my insurance and get out into the world and travel and see things and people before I leave to South America.  I need to exercise and do yoga which I have not done since I got to Michigan.

My Thoughts are not Others Thoughts

So I should not have to say this but I see all the other Peace Corps Blogs, which I have been reading somewhat obsessively, saying this.  If I get in I will add a disclaimer on the page, but these thoughts only represent my thoughts and no way involve the thoughts of the Peace Corps or US Government.