Friday, July 29, 2011

Life after the Invite

So I've been all sorts of busy this past week! I had all sorts of reading to do on my program, Honduras, Peace Corps Volunteer expectations and more! The more and more I read about my job description, the more and more excited I get about it. It really is exactly what I wanted to do. I am a bit bummed that I am probably going to be placed in a larger city - part of me was excited for the rural lifestyle and knowing everyone in a small community. No way I could know everyone in a town of 10,000 or more! Trying to not count my chickens before they hatch. You never know what will happen!

Another part I am really excited about is that there is a lot of interdisciplinary work and collaboration with PC Honduras volunteers. For Water and Sanitation, volunteers work in clusters of 3 or 4 to work on water issues for a whole region. We all will be placed in different sites, but there is an emphasis on collaboration that I really like. There also are collaborations between different types of volunteers. An education volunteer might work with a water and sanitation volunteer to create a sanitation component to their lessons. I really look forward to meeting all the amazing people I will get to work with (where are you all anyways? I'm the only February one I know of!)

Honduras is fairly well off technologically - they say most volunteers have cell phone and internet in their sites (particularly in big cities... i.e. me!) This is definitely helping my parents with the possible move - the knowledge that they will be able to contact me and talk to me often. It's also great because I know I will be able to keep up with my blog while I am there!

There are some great vacation possibilities for while I am down there that I look forward to taking full advantage of. Honduras is known for some of the best scuba diving in the caribbean! I haven't been often, but I LOVE scuba diving! I will be sure to take full advantage of the scuba diving opportunities! There are some beautiful beaches, particularly in the bay islands. I think that will probably be one of our family trips, which should be nice and relaxing! Honduras was one of the places that the Mayans were located, and there are mayan ruins around the country and neighboring countries. I would love to see some of these ruins in person! FInally, they have canopy walks and ziplining! I LOVE ziplining!

The weather there is also pretty nice. The country is very mountainous, so even though it is further south, the mountains keep the country cooler. Many sites are located at higher altitudes, which are consequently cooler. It will be nice to not have a completely unbearable weather year round.

There is one thing that has been disappointing me a little, but is also understandable. The Peace Corp Honduras has instituted a policy that volunteers must live with a host family for all 2 years. This is for the safety of the volunteers as well as to ensure that volunteers get cultural immersion and language practice daily. While I appreciate the safety aspect, I can see it being extremely difficult to live with a family for 2 years. I am a very independent person - I can see problems arising with things such as wanting to cook, wanting to get a pet, having visitors, and wanting alone time. One option for volunteers is to live in a separate house in a family complex - it gives more independence while still being with a host family. I think I will definitely be looking for something like that in my site!

Thats all I've got for now. This weekend my plan is to write my aspiration statement and finalize my resume to send in next week. Tomorrow I need to go do my passport application too! Will post more when I know it

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


And my post is....


Basically, it has been the craziest few days ever. Lets start back at Wednesday.

So I had originially been told that January-March invitation would begin going out in late August, early September at the very earliest. Well, I check Peace Corps Journals, Peace Corps Wiki Timeline, and Peace Corps facebook page fairly often. Come Wednesday morning, I saw the first January invites going out. Well, I wasn't going to be left behind - I sent me resume to my Peace Corps placement specialist on Wednesday, with a note to confirm receipt and to let me know if there were any updates. On Thursday I received an email saying my placement specialist had received my resume and there were no updates. I expected I wouldn't hear anything for a few weeks. Well, Friday, my family was leaving to Canada for a 5 day trip. We were going to Toronto and Niagara Falls, which should be a really fun trip. Our flight on Friday had two legs - Jacksonville to Atlanta and Atlanta to Toronto. We had a layover of about 45-60 minutes. Well, who would have thought, but waiting at our gate in Atlanta, I get a phone call from a 202 number. I try to calm myself - its probably just an update about my status and when I should hear an update. Well, this is my approximate conversation:

PO: Thanks for your updated resume!

Me: It was no problem.

PO: So I was looking at January to March placements and I have two programs leaving then. I'm gonna go ahead and invite you to one!

Me: Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Literally, I was jumping up and down in the middle of the Atlanta airport! He told me 5-10 days for my package to arrive. I can't stop thinking about it all weekend. We land this morning (Wednesday) and my mom calls the USP store. They have my invite. We stop there on our way home. and I find my invitation!

I am SOOOOO excited! The placement sounds AMAZING. I am going to be a Water and Sanitation Engineer. I am probably going to be placed in a larger site (10,000 to 50,000 people) and I will be working with Water and Sanitation Extensionists to work on latrine projects, water distribution projects, and other projects. It sounds so great and I still have tons more to read (as well as my aspiration statement, resume, passport, and etc.) I will post more information as I find it!

Congrats to everyone reading who has their invitations, and good luck to everyone waiting! It will come sooner than you think, and it's so worth all the waiting when it gets here!