Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane?

Wow I forgot I had this blog!

Well the time has come for me to leave! I am departing for Washington DC on June 3rd to begin my journey as a PC Volunteer. 

I'm BAAACK


Bienvenidos  Todos!

Well having pressure to start a blog again, here it goes!

So I arrived in Costa Rica on the 5th of June. So say I was an excited is an understatement. I had so many emotions and thoughts’ running through my head it’s not even funny. We had staging in Washington DC the day before and my group seemed pretty chill. There were definitely some Alphas from the first minute of us knowing each other. One immediate thing that bonded some of us together was the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” by EL James. About 4 other people and I all bought the book and from there on started a really relaxed relationship based on the fact we could laugh and talk about sex without the awkwardness that comes with normal life co-workers. After arriving we were taken to Tres Rios to start our Orientation. There isn’t much I need to say about that, besides every hour I would get up and walk around due to the fact the shit was MAD boring and I cannot sit still for that amount of time.

I was placed in the Spanish level Novice High, which didn’t surprise me. I hadn’t spoken Spanish and gods know how long and was pretty rusty. I’m sure people were not happy with their placements but as I always say with things such as Language, art and music, it’s all very individual and one cannot judge based on a wack ass test. My training community was Cooperativa, which was a small little cute community, BUT I live 30 mins away in San Isidro Centro. Right off the back I felt isolated from my sector because they all lived near each other and all hung out. On the other hand I grew close with the other sector in my cohort Community Economic Development. I probably forgot to mention that I am in the Youth Development Sector.

Ok now to be ADD and talk about that really fast. When I was applying, I was originally suppose to be in the Medical Sector based on my background of volunteering with an AIDS organization in Seattle and my major which was Medical Anthropology. I was supposed to leave for Eastern Europe in August of 2011, but on the account of laziness (not turning in medical papers for a few months), I got placed in Costa Rica for Youth Development. No big deal since I had been working with youth my entire working career minus Lowes and actually countless other jobs I have held. I figured I could just morph health into whatever I was doing in CR.

For 11 weeks we trained in these communities. Training was long, boring and I was completely done and sick of it by week 2. Jaja, no but really I just wasn’t having so much fun. I had really made that tight of friends with the expectation of a few people and wasn’t really feeling my YD sector. Anyone who knows me know I like to geek out on economical/racial/class/injustice stuff so it was hard not talking about that stuff. There were a few occasions during training when conversations would get heated in a good way but we got cut off by our PM or PMA because we didn’t have time, which was extremely discouraging. No pasa nada though. Finally got to swearing in and finally in my site starting my CASA. I am living in Sixaolo, Talamanaca in the Limon Providence. I should actually say that I live in Panama, since it is literally one minute away. I am pretty excited about being here but it's going to be a hard ass two years. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Invites Invites Invites to the Exclusive Club

So I am part of a Peace Corps group on Facebook. It seems like everyones, in the group, PO is telling them about their invites, placements and when they will be receiving their big blue packets. While I know I have been invited, it doesn't seem real until I know my placement. I have know for about two months that I have been invited but just recently have been telling people. Part of it is because I didn't want to get the dreaded question of "Where are you going?" Well I don't know. It doesn't make it real not knowing and with my own taboos and superstitions, it's bad juju to talk about things until they are concrete. I have put off going to a psychic near my alumni until I got a placement. Many people have been surprised that I been thinking the peace corps, which is surprising to me, Hah. Well, I just want the next two weeks to fly so I can be certain... Off to volunteer now!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Update... Well Sort of

Well I received an email from my PO. The news was bittersweet. They are unable to tell me where I am going until the first of November. Which is fine, I just have been starting to let people know and I would love to tell them where I am going.
I start volunteering this Friday with Lifelong, I am excited but nervous to get started...

In other news, I am trying to be very very VERY optimistic about this boy. I guess it's time to really see if the Peace Corps. myth really exist.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Competitive or Not?

I am now waiting for an orientation at the Lifelong AIDS Alliance. I am working on being more "competitive". I wonder if putting in my two weeks will affect that. Oh well everything is a learning experience and now I can volunteer with something I have been wanted to for a while! Here goes unemployment and free labor!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Beginnings... Well Sort of...

I finally got the call I have been waiting for...
About a year later

A Placement Officer from the Peace Corps. called to ask me a few questions. It was another interview. Up until this point, I had been nominated in December 2010 for Youth Development and I was a little tired about answering questions about why I wanted to give my life for two and half years. I had become my brother, who a few months earlier was in the same boat, being annoyed and frustrated with long, bureaucratic process( He is Morocco with PC). Up until that call I was getting ready to pick a random city from a jar I made of places I could move to. I had my mind set on Austin, Texas or Dublin, Ireland. Both extreme I know, but both drew me in. That was my plan.
"F it," I tell my friends, "I am moving to Dublin or Austin".
Most of my friends didn't and STILL don't know that I applied to the Peace Corps. I had always had the dream to serve though. Since high school it became my goal. Almost an obsessive one actually. I remember holding back from things because I would worry about it affecting my chances of serving, such as taking illegal substances or driving after a beer. I was pretty paranoid for a while. I guess it all paid off right?

Back to the phone call...
I was driving home from Ocean Shores with my brother, sister and mom is when I got the call. We were just about done talking, 40 mins later, when I thought to say, "If you all don't want me, please don't waste my time," but then the PO told me I was being invited but she needed to find a place for me. She would tell me at the end of September. I had been waiting for about 8 months and that 45 minute conversation told me all I needed to know. They actually wanted me!

I will be "leaving" within 6 or 9 months. I write "leaving" in quotations because anything can happen in that long time. I still don't have a clue as to where I will be placed. I have left my faith in a PO named M******n. She asked if I was fine with waiting for almost half a year until I would be departing. Before the phone call, I was ready to leave at ANY moment, but thinking about it, I was actually glad to wait. That means I have more time to prepare. I have 6 to 9 months to tie up any loss ends. Time to hang out with my friends, volunteer, make more money, maybe even meet my "husband".

I am looking forward to hearing where I will be going. I will be getting ready for my "service" while thinking of Anteus, Bailey, Kara, Adele and Randy's wife, Mekdes's friend and all the countless people currently serving out their time with the Peace Corps.