I GOT INTO THE PEACE CORPS
I found out last Friday that I was invited to go to the Peace Corps. I was in Roseburg, OR when I found out, in the kitchen of the Michelle’s. I was talking with Sandy and her friend about the area I was nominated to serve in, Eastern Europe/Central Asia, and was trying to remember all the countries the PC is in, but could not. So, I went to my computer, logged onto the PC website, and was directed to my personal webpage where there was a distinct banner that read, “CONGRATULATIONS! You have been invited to become a Peace Corps Volunteer.” I screamed…loud. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Finally, after waiting exactly one year and 3 weeks, I was invited to become a volunteer. I immediately felt the adrenalin and the two cups of coffee I consumed on an empty stomach coursing through my body. I sat down at the table with the others to see where the heck they were sending me, when to my chagrin, every place I clicked came up blank. Where are they sending me? How could they send me such exciting news, but forget to mention where I’m going? I thought it was a mistake. Some silly glitch in the system. I was too excited to think straight, and everyone at the table was asking me a million questions that I didn’t have the answers to, so I got up, bolted out the front door, jumped over the bushes, and ran across three acres of lawn screaming, “I GOT INTO THE PEACE CORPS!!” and right into Sheila’s arms. We both started laughing and crying at the same time.
After a few moments of laughter and tears, I composed myself, went back into the house and called Washington. Apparently the lack of info. online was not a silly glitch in the system. I was told that a packet was mailed out to me on July 29th, 2010 and that I should receive it in just a few days. “A FEW DAYS!?!” I respectfully exclaimed. And in my most flirty, funny, you know you want to tell me voice I asked, “Isn’t there any way that you will give me a teeny tiny hint as to where I’m going?” And she said, “I’m sorry, we are not allowed to tell you that information. We mailed the packet out to you on the 29th and you should get it in 3-4 business days.” Bureaucrats! You gotta love ’em.
Today is Wed. and still I have not received said package. My mom, who will be on the receiving end of the package decided to stay home all day today so she would not miss UPS. What a sweetheart. Thanks mom. I called my contact at the PC to get a tracking number, and went onto the UPS website. They didn’t send the packet out until Monday the 2nd (don’t they know that I’m kvelling ovah here?), which means that I will find out by Friday. Just a little longer. Besides, 1 year and 3 weeks seems like an uneven number. However, one year and one month is nice and round.
The question that people keep asking me is, “are you excited?” Well, in an abstract kind of way I am. I am excited to be ending one book and starting another (I know the metaphor is chapter, but I really feel it’s more like a book). Although I’ve never consciously sat down to write a book, I have written stories and essays. Starting and ending them are always the hardest parts for me because they are the places of transition, and it is in the places of transition that one generally fumbles. I’m not scared of fumbling, per se, in fact I embrace it. What I’m excited about is connecting in ways that I’ve never experienced before or in ways that I have not in a long time. I’m excited to learn a new language, experience some culture that I’ve never heard of, making eyeball to eyeball contact with other people. I’m excited to disconnect from the fast paced nature our culture has become so dependent on. I’m excited to see what I will do with my time when I’m bored. My usual default is to watch a movie or go online and numb out mentally. Will I finally learn to play an instrument, go out and make a new friend, blog more seriously, get back into making art, read? I’m excited for all the new possibilities. So yeah, I guess I’m excited, and perhaps it’s not as abstract as I thought it was.