Saturday, August 28, 2010

My worst nightmare

It's official, the new school year is getting underway and I worked two whole days this week! I'm exhausted! Turns out my first day back the PC called and wanted me to call them by Friday afternoon, it was urgent. When I found out the message was from the PC nurse I was a little worried as to what could be going on. Friday morning I get up and I have an e-mail saying my application status has changed: MEDICAL HOLD! After 3 miniature heart attacks I called the nurse and she explained i'm on a hold until I get my immunizations since i'm part of a new pilot program that requires you get them before staging. Long story short i'll be getting a Polio shot this week. Woo!

I have started feeling like my time here is dwindling. I see people and wonder if it will indeed be the last time I see them for 27 months which is a really weird feeling. I've also planned several trips to see out of town family and friends which pretty much take up almost every weekend in September.

Surely everyone wants to know how the packing is going! I have 1 bin left and 0 clothes packed.. that's how it's going. I'm confident it'll eventually get done... maybe.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Christmas in August

I was right! It is like Christmas! Everything I ordered last week came in yesterday and today! I think my most exciting purchase was a sleeping bag that fits into this tiny bag and then it also has compression straps to make it even smaller! It's fantastic and light weight and doesn't take up much room. Still a few things left to pick up but the list is definitely dwindling... and so is time.

In other news I started back at work today. It was a mad house as anyone that works in a school knows the first day back always is. I am pretty excited that I will get to see my co-workers for another month though but it sure is tough getting myself back into the swing of things.

Lastly, I said my first real actual goodbye last night to a friend of mine going to college way on the other side of the state tomorrow. It was a bummer to think that's the last time I'll see her for over 2 years but she's super awesome and ridiculously supportive so she promised to write!

Speaking of college.. must not be much going on in local news world since all I heard about was traffic back- ups around the streets of the local University since it's freshman move in day. Seriously I heard 5 different news/traffic reports mentioning it during my 12 minute drive to work this morning. Anywho good luck to anyone that is starting school in the next couple days!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What to wear

If you've ever met me, you know I can stand in front of a full closet and tell you I have nothing to wear. If you know me well you know how exact my packing process is and that I match up all my outfits and try them on before packing. I have a dilemma. I have one more day off before work starts back up and about 2 1/2 weeks before I move all my worldly possessions into a giant concrete box. So at this point i'm asking myself, "Self, what will you wear between now and October 11th?" As you can imagine, no clothes have been packed into boxes yet. I've made progress on other things though and gone through quite a bit of junk/treasures depending on how you see it. Here are some interesting things I've found in no significant order:

1) My smashed penny collection from my childhood days
2) This really adorable blue box with Giraffes on it that makes me want to go to Africa right now
3) Some interesting newspaper articles that i've never seen before including one with a picture of my Dad teaching another legally blind individual how to water ski.
4)Way too many pictures/momentos of ex boyfriends
5) $20
6) my sanity... SYKE!
7) An entire ziploc bag full of cheap bangle bracelets. They were TOTALLY "in" about 7 years ago
8) A key to my first car that was totalled a few years ago
9) A marker from band camp
10) An itinerary from my trip to Canada in 8th grade

Anyway, in official Peace Corps news I sent off my resume and aspiration statement today so there's not much else to do now until I get more staging information and schedule a flight.

Thanks for reading! :-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dry run

Today I made an attempt at a dry run for packing. At this point I have one bag that I am for sure going to use since it's gigantic and a duffle bag (I can't wait to see me carry it through multiple international airports but I don't need wheels adding to my weight limit). I think it's fair to say I got about half of my list into this duffle and it ended up weighing 25 lbs so I'm starting to feel more optimistic about getting what I think I will want/ need for the next 2 years into 2 bags equaling less than 107 inches and less than 80 lbs.

As far as things to do I've done an impressively good job of knocking stuff off that list. I finished all my passport paperwork so hopefully that will go through without a hitch. At the moment I'm working on my aspiration statement and resume to send to my host country since they don't know anything about how wonderful I am yet.

I've also ordered boat loads of stuff from a few different places so this week/ next week are going to be like Christmas and I can't wait!

On an exciting note... Happy Birthday to my Mom tomorrow! We went and rented jet skis today and it was wicked awesome. We arrived real early and were both apprehensive as neither of us have ever operated one before. They gave us a form to sign our life away and the back had a little quiz to give us our temporary "boater's license for the day" that's what the girl said. So right now, that's right ladies and gentleman (I assume) I am a licensed boater, I'll be basking in this special feeling until midnight (I assume that's when my contract becomes null and void).  Anyway, I think it was a great way to get both our minds off of the stresses of life. Neither of us crashed. Neither of us fell off. Neither of us injured anything. We're both proud.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Break down

I'm an emotional person. I always have been... overly emotional really and because of my fair skin after about 2 tear drops my entire face turns red and my eyes swell for about 2 days. I can cry due to pretty much any emotion a person can have. It confuses other people. I've gotten used to it and just apologize for it because those tears always come at the most inconvenient time and once it starts it's like trying to cram a tent back into the bag once you've taken it out... a struggle to say the least.

The Peace Corps application is like a good movie, you have to see it over and over and every time you do you see something you missed the first time. Last night I spent the evening reading and filling out paperwork until my eyes were ready to bleed and decided my top priority was getting my passport and visa taken care of. The process is weird so I'll try to keep it short and to the point. Basically I need to bring this passport application, my current passport (expired or not), and another paper specifically for the PC. The instructions I was given say to bring these items to a Passport Agent and get them to sign off on it, throw it in an envelope and hand it over. Easy!

This morning I got up abnormally early so I could get my passport/visa photos taken and tie up a few loose ends before losing my vision and sanity at the eye doctor's office. My productivity hit a brick wall at that point so I napped, but set an alarm to get up and get to the Passport Agent before they close at 3.

I arrive at the post office and wait for about 45 minutes before I can be seen because a family of four needs passports and who knows what else. Finally it's my turn. I get in the office and the Agent tells me she can't help me. I tell her all I need is for her to stamp the application with her signature put it in an envelope and give it back. She calls someone, the someone tells her she can't do it, she doesn't have the authority suggests maybe I go to Washington or Philadelphia to have it done. I know better. I pull out my detailed instructions and show her again what I need. She calls one more someone. Now she is willing to help but needs my birth certificate which I do not have and live too far away to go back and get and be back on time. She's telling me to come back tomorrow and she'll mail it and I explain to her that I'm supposed to mail it (they even gave me the ups envelope to mail it back in). She says to me "do you know how hard it is for me to let go of something with my signature on it?" I am frustrated.. and along with any emotion, like i said... tears. I'm apologizing like a maniac and she says "The woman I talked to told me not to give the application with my signature on it back to you" "...and to make you be authentic, I think you absolutely have been."

Finally! My tears worked to my advantage. To sum it up I'm going back tomorrow with birth certificate and optimism.

On the brighter side I've set a date to go up and see my college girlfriends which turned my frown upside down!

Monday, August 16, 2010

First ever blog post.

Hello world!

I have never blogged in my life. That is a fact and it has already been a rocky start. Every blog i've ever seen has always looked so neat and organized and I'm warning you, this may be the biggest disaster of a blog you've ever seen in your life.

Now that i've gotten that little factoid out of the way, I'm starting this blog to (hopefully) document my time spent with the Peace Corps in Kenya. I have been wanting to start a blog to talk about the application process but decided to wait until I got my official invitation stating which country I'll be going to so I could give this blog a cutesy name (I know, I did a great job).

it's bigger than it looks
So I officially received my invitation to serve today! I'm being placed in the Deaf Education program and I will be in Philadelphia for orientation October 11-12 and then I'll ship out to "Pre-Service Training" for 3 months ( October 13-December 15) in Loitokitok, Kenya. Beyond that information I don't know too much else.. meaning I am not sure what the chances of having internet are over there but I figured better be safe than sorry and introduce myself to the blogosphere now.