Buried Alive

Holy bureaucracy, Batman. This is insane. I thought the process to get here was hard… It’s nothing to everything that happens now. They really do weed out the weak of will and heart!

My head is doing a near-Exorcism spin underneath there, you just can't see it through the mound of paperwork.

My head is doing a near-Exorcism spin underneath there, you just can’t see it through the mound of paperwork.

(Let me preface this tirade by saying that I’m very happy to be offered this opportunity to live and work abroad. I’m thrilled with the country in which I’ve been placed. I’m happy that I have made what I’m told is a very exclusive cut of people who apply. I’m thrilled, really. This isn’t complaining, it just sounds very similar.)

Friday I went to the dentist. I went in again this morning to finish the paperwork. Tomorrow I go to the eye doctor for an exam, paperwork, and new glasses. Next Wednesday I go to the doctor for a physical, paperwork, blood work (about 7 or 8 tests), and 4 immunizations. I am currently staring at the computer screen willing a passport not to cost $110 and praying that my insurance covers the $410 it would take for all of those immunizations because I know it won’t cover the $35 for filling out paperwork or the $65 for going for an abnormal visit. I have to get proof of Peace Corps service to defer my student loans, I need to submit my Visa paperwork, I have to finish writing my “Aspiration Statement” and revised resume to send to the Indonesia Peace Corps office as a means of introduction.

I know I should minimize swearing on the blog, it being public and all, but there’s really no better way to say it’s time to kick some ass.

I know I should minimize swearing on the blog, it being public and all, but there’s really no better way to say it’s time to kick some ass.

When I said in the last entry that it would be a lot of “hurry” from now on, I didn’t realize how right I was. Luckily I’m spring loaded and want this so badly I can taste it. Luckily I have a history of pulling off miracles with less. Luckily there’s no way I’m going to drop this ball. But jesus, I’m tired already. If this is an omen for what the rest of the trip will be like I’ve got my work cut out for me. It makes sense to get me ready for it now but does it have to put such a painful strain on my wallet in the process?

Anyhow, no more complaints. As stressful as all of this is, I haven’t wasted a moment. It’s been a full plate of enjoying people’s company and getting my things in order to get all of this done. My sister, of course, found a podcast for us to listen to (she’s learning Bahasa Indonesia with me because she wants to…AH-dorable!) called Learning Indonesian. It’s actually really quite helpful and easy to follow. I’m getting advice from people about how to adapt to the new climate. And every time I submit a new form, that little green check mark gives me a renewed surge of excitement that I’m one step closer to being there.

Selamat Tinggal! (That was in lesson two. It’s saying goodbye to someone who’s staying. I’m assuming that would make sense here…)

Saya tidak bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia. (I don’t speak Indonesian…yet)

I certainly wasn’t expecting another post so soon, but here we are. We meet again on the interwebs. I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m as giddy as a school girl. I mean, ridiculous amounts of goofy.

Saya tidak bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia. (I don't speak Indonesian...yet)

I got an email this morning. I was in the cab, running late for work, chatting it up with my very sweet driver (Arvind). We were talking about what a scrooge I am and exchanging terrible holiday stories when my phone pinged with the personal email noise. I didn’t even look at the screen, really, I just opened the email. I let out an excited little gasp and Arvind got a little concerned. I then had to explain everything to him so that he could understand why I was so excited by one little email. It was an interesting way to find out, in an interesting place, with a complete stranger. But I like it. It seems to be the way this process was meant to go. (I’ll have to tell you the story of how I got the idea to apply one of these days

I’m going to Indonesia. I don’t have a specific town or village yet, and I may not until my training is done in country. My departure date is April 10 and I’ll start work at my school June 19.

“Indonesia?” you ask. “What happened to Eastern Europe?” you inquire. Well, I told them they could send me wherever. And they don’t particularly give a damn about preferences (they are a government run organization, after all). I always knew that just because I was nominated for Eastern Europe didn’t mean I was going to go there. Not to mention the fact that I told them about a million times to consider me their Girl Friday (which I have recently learned means something a little more specific than I understood…awkward!).

Just in case you didn't realize where Indonesia was. It's all up in Australia's grill.

Just in case you didn’t realize where Indonesia was. It’s all up in Australia’s grill.

So, I have about a boatload of research and paperwork to read. I’m going to have to get about a million shots and vaccinations. I should probably get a passport. I need to sort out what I’m doing with my job and my family. But it’s really real, people. There’s a date and a destination and now I can enact my plan. No more hurry up and wait, from here it’s just: HURRY.

I took the next step after a few hours of reading and reflection and jumping around like a kid in a candy store. I didn’t call anyone to hold my hand this time. I just pressed the accept button and smiled a smile few of you have ever had the good fortune of seeing.

Holy Happy Dance, Batman!

And that’s the game, kids!

C'mon, guys! Do the HAPPY DANCE!

C’mon, guys! Do the HAPPY DANCE!

So, essentially, I got the job but I haven’t gotten the offer letter yet.

I spoke with my Placement Specialist in DC today. She wanted to ask me more of the same questions I’ve been answering for almost a year now. (So, how do you really feel about the Peace Corps? Two years is a long time, are you sure you’re going to be able to hack it? Aren’t you going to miss your family and friends? Etc etc etc) Lucky for me, I spend a lot of my job befriending people over the phone, so I practically oozed charm in every way I’ve been practicing for ages. Looks like it worked! She said that she has qualified me for placement and that she will begin looking for a good match for me. What exactly does that mean? What’s the bottom line here?

I’M GOING TO THE PEACE CORPS!!!

She’s hoping to get back to me within the next two weeks with an invitation package. That will have all of the pertinent details like where I’m going and when and what my exact job description will be. She said that it’s entirely possible that I’m still going somewhere in Eastern Europe but not the hold her to it. It’s also almost certain I will be in the Spring departure time. As early as March but we won’t know more about a date until she sends me the invitation package.

I swear to you I got off the phone today and I was flushed, bright red and near tears. (tears of joy, don’t worry)

Most of the people I’ve told today have been full of certainty and “I knew that would happen”s. Truth of the matter is, I didn’t. Call me superstitious or paranoid, but I’m even a little concerned with saying I got in without the letter in hand. As though saying it out loud will make it fall to pieces. Silly, I know, but you’re talking to a girl who still wishes on stars. Jussayin.