A huge GRACIAS to all who came out to my party!! It was low-key, snowy, and a great mix of food and people – I genuinely appreciate all of your kindness and support.
Hard to believe I leave in a week! I first applied to the Peace Corps in March of 2012, so needless to say it’s been quite the process. Mom and I did some serious shopping on Saturday, so aside from the fact that I haven’t started packing, I’m feeling ready to go. HAH, more or less anyway – I mean, how does one prepare for something like this? Who really knows what I’m in for, but what I’ve learned from other experiences is this: keep expectations low and your mind open; observe; get comfortable out of your comfort zone; make friends; be respectful, confident, positive, and humble; and perhaps most importantly, ask questions. Oh, and breathe.
Today my dad and I drove down to Mystic, CT (where I’m writing from now), to visit and bid farewell to my grandparents. I showed them pictures from my cross-country trip, and they flattered and spoiled me like any grandparents do their grandchildren 🙂 Tomorrow I’m heading to Portland, ME to visit two friends from school. Thursday, packing begins…or maybe that’ll start Friday.
Ultimately, this time next week I will be in a hotel room in Washington D.C., probably reviewing the names of my fellow volunteers and the overwhelming amount of new, introductory Peace Corps information, all while enjoying my potentially last hot shower and sip from a tap till who knows when.
…to my going away party!
when? this sunday, 2/24
what time? 12-3
where? my dad’s house (1957 prosper road in woodstock)
we’ll provide light snacks and refreshments so POR FAVOR – come one, come all… really, the more the merrier!
also, since it’s really getting down to the wire (t minus two weeks!!), i figured i’d share a bit more information about what i’ll be doing for the next few years. this is pretty much all that i’ve been told, and clearly i’ll learn more once i get to the DR, but here are the details to my assignment:
program: community economic development
title: community economic advisor
orientation: march 5th
pre-service training: march 6-may 15
service: may 16, 2013-may 14, 2015
and here’s a vague summation of my volunteer assignment description:
- improve living conditions by empowering communities, families, and individuals to make informed financial decisions
- help develop business administration skills, financial management, and organizational efficiency of community-based NGOs
- support entrepreneurs to strengthen business practices and better manage financial conditions
- develop and assist with income-generating projects
SEE YOU SUNDAY
YAYYYY all of this is starting to feel very real! It’s been getting more and more exciting to read Peace Corps emails, especially because a few recent ones contain details regarding my MARCH SIXTH departure to the DR. That’s less than a month away people. Nerve-wracking? Yes. But, since the application process has not necessarily been the quickest of experiences, it’s a bit of a relief to see some kinda light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.
So as of now, the plan is to fly on the 5th of March from Boston to Washington D.C, and then from D.C. to Miami to Santo Domingo on the 6th. In D.C. I’ll meet up with about 30 other volunteers that are also going to the Dominican Republic. At the staging event, we’ll get a brief introduction to Peace Corps’ expectations, policies, and operations; I’m just excited to start meeting all the people I’ll be serving with! We’ll get more pertinent and specific information in pre-service training, which starts once we’re in-country. During the three months of PST, volunteers live with host families and attend technical, cultural, operational, and language training sessions. The next step would then be the swearing-in ceremony, where one becomes an official Peace Corps Volunteer. As of now, my term of service is scheduled to start May 14th, 2013 and end May 15, 2015. Yowzahs!
Soooo, given that that pretty long period of time is quickly approaching, my parents are throwing me a going away party!!! Details as follows:
Sunday, February 24th
1957 Prosper Road
More info to come, but I’d really like to see you there 🙂