"...He prayeth well, who loveth well, Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best, All things both great and small;
for the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all..."

The Rime of the Anchient Mariner -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Monday, May 10, 2010

Almost Invited

Chapt 3.1-

It is with a twinkle in my eye that I report I was almost invited today! But not to worry, I was Qualified for PC Service, and once I clear the Legal Office, I should get my Invitation!

Here's how it went down:
I returned my Placement Officer's Friday 4pm call this morning, which lead into a phone interview! I was nervous, grasping for answers at first. A sample of questions below.

Q: What have you been doing to prepare for service?
A: [quitting my job and selling my worldly possession since January; applying for Volunteering in Summer Programs with the State Parks & local Hatcheries Fish & Wildlife Service...but have not resulted in any opporutnities]

Q: Have you done any research on the PC since your interview in OCT?
A: Yes, Aside from the official PC website, I've been scourring PCWIKI & PCJournals. I've also been reading some books about the PC (What to know before you go) and on international social entrepenour projects (How to Change the World).
Q: In the blogs, are there any challenges that the PCV are facing that you anticipate being a problem.
A: [i chocked on this one, I think i went in circles and didn't answer it...b/c I could not think of any]

Q: As a minority, do you anticipate any challenges?
A: I have never felt like was treated differently in the US, and did not anticipate this during PC service & if anything PCV would be the minorities.

Q: Do you foresee any reasons why you might ET?
A: I mentioned that a death in the family might be tough to work through, but that since PC allows volunteers to take Emergency leave, that it should not be a problem.

Q: Would you have any problems being required to live w/ a host family for your entrie PC serivce?
A: [this questions has Pacific Islands* written between the lines!] It wouldn't bother me at all!
*correction: Peru also requires its volunteers to live with host family too!!!

Q: Scenario question; as an Envi Ed Volunteer, if you organized a function and 20 people RSVP'd, but only 4 showed up, how would you handle this?
A: Take the opportunity to alter the venue & to engage in small group discussion etc etc. I understand that sometimes we do not catch on to culture nuances etc.

Q: Enviro Ed Volunteers typically work in a grade school class room 1-2 times a week, have you had any class room experience?
A: No, none besides conducting occasional training sessions at work, but I would imagine the in-country training includes Pedegogy Training, where we could get ideas and learn the fundementals, so I would look forward to this as an oppotunity to develop a new skills. My current volunteering experience is limited to one-on-one literacy tutoring. etc.

Q: When is your earliest availability?
A: This one caught me a little by surprise, b/c i was just stating to make summer plans (Australia/Europe, jack johnson concert, survival style camping in my dad's abandoned cabin, volunteering).
But after fumbling through the calandar, i figured that all my real chores would be wrapped up by mid-June, and I would be available July 1st (yikes).

After all of this, she said she found me Qualified for service, and that she should have the Invitation ready by Close of Business!

Conversation was later followed up by an email saying that I'll have to provide the military discharge papers before they mail the official invite.

Not a big shock, b/c I have known that the PC needs my military discharge papers, so I let her know that I would not have those until June 1/2 & confirmed to whom I should send them to.

But for 7 hours today between the phone call and the email, i walked around knowing that I was within days of an official PC Invitation and it was amazing. Now i know, I'll have to wait longer but it doesn't matter!!! I'm Qualified.

This feeling is kind like being a winner on the Price is Right! You feel like jumping up and down, yelling: I won, I won, I won! I'm outside of myself. I'm amazed at the doors God is opening.

The hope of serving in the Peace Corps has opened my eyes to the realization that my passion is environmental stewardship, and that working in this capacity IS possible. I feel everything I have done up to this point has been in preparation for this very moment & I am humbled. Send me!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Peace Corps Called!

Chapter 3--Real Peace Corps News to report!

So today I took a vacation day & did some sightseeing in DC. I think I was on a narrow windey road along the Potomac's C&O at approx 4pm. By the time I got back home, mowed my overgrown lawn, and ate some leftovers, it was 8:30.
I decide to check my phone as I'm getting ready to kick-it & I see that the PC called at 4:11pm!!! I listened to the message 4-5 times. It was someone from the Placement Office who is looking forward to talking me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Besides the excitement of knowing that MY file is on someone's desk, I'm feel jipped. Surely they must realize that Friday afternoon after the Close of Business may not be an opportune time to chat! Now I have to wait until Monday... but my curiousity is piqued! I hope they have some good news/topics for discussion.

I must note that I didn't get any emails from PC. So, this means they need to transmit info that is best said on the phone, and not on a simple email, right? I mean, I've been combing PCJournals for months, and they generally send an email asking for experience, updated resume, or to schedule a phone interview!!

I should also note that I did not expect to hear from them until after June b/c I do not have my military discharge papers yet...which they need to see before they can process my application further. Obviously, they wouldn't want to invite someone who is under miltiary obligation.
My last day in the CG is June 2nd.

On a personal note, I have been overly sentimental lately...on top of being prematurely nostalgic. I love change and believe that it is the stuff life is made of; not to be dreaded, but to be celebrated. But, I start thinking of saying my personal goodbyes and I tear up. I started chocking up yesterday in front of the staff while I was saying a general goodbye.

I'm feeling a lot of emotions that challenge me to explore who I am at my very core. I live a daily battle which is at the center of every Gemeni's life..the duality. I'm happy/hopeful/excited to embark on a new chapter in my life, but sad to say goodbye...saying farewell to life as I have known it for years & to the people who were part of it.

The duality within me that envies some lady's Louis Vuiton bag (promising myself to buy one someday), while moments later walking by the homeless lady asking for money to feed her four children. *sigh* Suddenly buying an LV seems so frivolous.