Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another RPCV, this time from Senegal

My mom pointed this out to me today and I thought it might be interesting to those of you who are looking for a little more information about the Peace Corps.

www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25225.html

If that doesn't work go to politico.com and search "peace corps" it should be one of the first stories up there.

If you go to the second page, you see that there's a Senegal person there! I'm a little more than 20 days to go and I can't wait. The Ireland trip is going really well, I briefly got a headcold but after a day of rest, I'm feeling almost back to normal. It's almost packing list time so get ready!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

an amendment to the last post

I was told that Chris Matthews wasn’t exciting enough for the fun fact, so I’ll throw in that Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix served in Swaziland teaching math from 1983-1985 (some say he credits his entrepreneurial spirit to his PC service).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Staging

This will be a pretty short one because I should be studying for the GRE’s! I got my information for staging today and I’ll be heading to Washington, DC August 11th! After a day what seems like discussions of expectations, goals, rules, etc., we get up early on the 12th for a quick stop at the clinic (shot time!) then on board an evening flight to Senegal! It’s coming together quickly! I feel like the rest of the summer is going to fly.

Once I’m done with the GRE on Friday, I have a few errands to run before A comes to visit. After a few days (and a baseball game) in Chicago, we head out, along with the rest of the family, for a trip biking around Ireland! I’ve been so distracted with Senegal and the GRE that I haven’t gotten to think about Ireland at all. I can’t wait to spend time with the family and enjoy all that Ireland has to offer (whatever that is).

I promised a short post, but, before I go, I have to call out SBT. One of my best friends from school (and my 1st mate from sorority) is in the middle of her Teach for America training. Not only does it sound like she’s already doing an amazing job, she’s getting me really excited about my upcoming adventure in public service! Thanks SBT!

Fun (ish?) Fact: One of the current volunteers joined our chat group and told us that most of us won’t use French (the SED kids may be the exception)… Wolof here I come!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Goodbyes and Hellos

Just a brief update! I spent last week in New York saying goodbye to friends which led to an interesting trip, not because anything happened, but because of the circumstances. I’d started saying goodbye to friends the last weekend in June at a friend’s graduation party and continued this last week. The goodbyes are a little difficult because they aren’t so much saying “goodbye” as they are a “see you later.” With my school friends, it almost feels like I’m leaving for the summer… kind of like a really long summer. The trip was full of lunches, coffees, and dinners with different people and plenty of “see you later’s” in a handful of places (outside of Starbucks, on a street corner, in front of a subway stop, etc.). It only hit me a little bit later when making plans for a marathon catching-up session when I get back. Especially with my slightly younger friends, it’s crazy to think that they will have graduated, some in grad school and others starting their careers. 2 years is a really long time and a lot is going to change; I’m excited to see where everyone goes.

At the same time that I’m leaving my friends, I’m meeting new ones that will be going to Senegal with me. Our staging group has a facebook group and we’ve all been introducing ourselves. It seems like I’ll be going with agricultural volunteers (in addition to more small enterprise development kids). I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone and seeing how everyone’s personalities match what they’ve said in their introductions. For the record, mine is really simple and says where I went to school, what I studied, and what I’m doing in Senegal.

As a final note, I’m seeing the group of PCVs (peace corps volunteers) grow quickly! I found out that I’m actually the 3rd member of my sorority to join the peace corps (1 girl in South America and another awaiting her invitation and final placement). For a chapter that’s only 5 years old, 3 volunteers is pretty impressive (or so I think). I also learned that I may be greeted in Senegal by a 3rd year volunteer who went to college in my hometown! I always thought it was a small world but wow. This volunteer has already been extremely helpful with packing lists and I’m so grateful.

Okay, I’ll end this kind of boring post with a peace corps fun fact: there are almost 200,000 returned peace corps volunteers (RPCVs) and Chris Matthews is one of them!