Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And so it starts.

A bit over a year ago, I decided to apply to the Peace Corps. It's hard to give a specific reason for WHY I went ahead and wanted to join. There was my recent divorce and the new feelings of freedom and opportunity to do something I never would have before; I had been telling myself that my time was worth more than my money in terms of what I have to donate to charitable causes and the Peace Corps seemed like a fantastic organization to invest some time with; I wanted to rebel against the apathy that I perceive which seems to be prevalent in terms of peoples' world views.

But alone, none of these (or any of the other reasons I could come up with) would really be enough. What it really came down to was that it's more a case of being unable to come up with a good reason NOT to. When this thought occurred to me, it struck as a really good way to make important decisions, and I think that it applies to how I've unconsciously been living my life for some time now.

ANYhow, I filled out the online application (specifically deciding NOT to request a particular placement), wrote my essays, got my recommendations and had my phone interview. And then in October, almost exactly a year after I'd started the whole process, I received my invitation to serve in Thailand. And so I said, "Hells yeah!"

Since then, I've been able to get in touch with a bunch of other volunteers who will be heading to the Land of Smiles with me, as well as a number of folks who are currently posted over there, and it's been a great opportunity to discuss concerns and excitement and get information from folks who know a lot more than I do. And what I have learned has been comforting. I keep hearing that I should sweat the language thing too hard yet (I've listened to a couple Thai language CDs, and I've watched some Thai films) since I will be receiving intensive language training and it would only hinder me if I learned the language wrong now. Apparantly I don't need to worry too much about taking everything I'm going to want, since it will be cheaper and easier to get much of what I will want once I am there. Finally, I have heard many times, "Enjoy your time at home. Drink good beer, spend time with friends and family, and don't worry about the next 27 months. There will be plenty of time for that later." (that's not really a direct quote)

Which brings me to right now. This morning I called the PC office and made my travel arrangements for pre-service orientation, and then I decided I should probably start this blog, since I'd been thinking about doing so for some time.

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