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…)

And Then…

So, I just got my formal nomination in the mail today. Or, I suppose yesterday.

Program Name:
English Teaching
Tentative Departure Date:
May 2013
Eastern Europe

It goes on to tell me that since the procedures of the application process are changing that I will effectively be in a holding pattern until August. Patience is not one of my stronger virtues.
In August I’m supposed to get a Health History Form so that I can fill that out and they can decide I’m not a sickly creatures too delicate to travel. Once that happens the medical folks review it and see if I’m pre-qualified. After that I get a legal review related to marital status, financial obligations, previous arrests and convictions,dependents, etc.
Not going to lie, all the rigmarole makes me a little nervous but I guess if I just keep doing exactly what they ask me to do I’ll be just fine.

Decisions, Decisions

Good Heavens! I went in to the interview more nervous than I had been in a long while. No job interview can compare. I called my mom on the way (not even going to pretend to lie about that) and told her I was going to vomit! Not from performance anxiety or a concern for success, but instead because I wanted it so badly. There is already so much of me and my hopes invested in this opportunity.

Not an hour after I had left the interview I got an email from my recruiter with not one, but two possible nominations: Eastern Europe or Sub-Saharan Africa. Oi, decisions will be the death of me. My thought process went a little something like this:

A visual aid for my decision making process. This actually happens a lot.

A visual aid for my decision making process. This actually happens a lot.

My heart is screaming to go to Africa. To really explore the outer reaches of my boundaries and push the proverbial envelope. There is a lot more involved but, hey, that’s why I’m here, to really experience a whole new world (yes, yes I did go there).

While Africa is doing a little dance to get my attention my ever present practical side is looking at the job requirements. Eastern Europe is looking for someone who has “leadership development, planning and project management implementation, and youth and community outreach experience.” I think I just found a new way to spell my name and that’s it. I love the idea of being able to bring my already existing skill set into the equation, to build and hone that skill set to extreme circumstances and really maximize the breadth of my possible impact.

Yeah, ultimately Eastern Europe did a song and dance to get me to sway my mind even while my heart leaped for Africa. Honestly, first world problems. In the end I may or may not go to Europe, they could send me somewhere completely different and I am a-ok with that possibility. That’s one of the reasons I signed up. The varying life experiences, learning to really be able to roll with the punches. As I said probably 20 times during my interview: Let’s do this.