Thursday, June 14, 2012

From Here to Timbuktu

So, I had an amazing idea today.  While I'm in Africa I have to visit Timbuktu!  I mean, how awesome would that be?!  I'd be able to say I've been to Timbuktu and that phrase would never be the same.  So I wikipedia'd it.  And it turns out that it's in Mali.  Which just had a governmental overthrow in April.  Poo.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Words, words, and more words

It seems that for the past few days all I have been doing is writing.  There are so many forms that I need to fill out, that it seems never ending.  At least I am not going to be bored for the next two months before I leave.  I have visa applications, and passport applications, along with my 'Aspiration Statement' and revised resume.

Wow, that aspiration statement was heavy stuff.  They had questions in there that were so incredibly difficult to answer.  Not only were the questions difficult, but knowing that this information was going straight to the Peace Corps Namibia office made it very daunting.  'Tell us about the professional attributes that you plan to use, and what aspirations you hope to fulfill, during your Peace Corps service.'  .....Ok.  Let's start with a toughy.  I have spent a few days trying to fill out these questions to the best of my ability, knowing that not only are my answers going to be critiqued, but my writing style as well.  As I continued with each of the questions, though, I got into a sort of groove, and found that answering was more natural.  The last question, though, seemed pretty impossible to answer.  'How do you think Peace Corps service will influence your personal and professional aspirations after your service ends?'  Ummm, hard to know.  I haven't even started service.  How am I to know how these next two years change me?  I gave it my best guess, but really, there's no saying what I'm going to be like once I return or what I'm going to want to do.  I think I understand why they put it in there, though.  It really is important to understand that who I am in the Peace Corps does not just end once service is complete.  I really will be a completely different person with different aspirations in life.  I may not know what they will be, but I need to understand that my life goals now will probably not exist two years from now.

Besides the questions that made my head hurt, I have been attempting to fill out my passport and visa applications.  Thankfully I've been given a 'cheat sheet' which tells me what to write, word for word.  I'm pretty sure I'd be screwed without that.  It's not the filling it out that's annoying, but the amount of stuff they need.  Once one paper is finished, there's plenty more to do.  Get my Yellow Fever vaccine, e-mail it.  Fill out my reimbursement paperwork, mail that it.  I haven't even started the financial and personal parts of my paperwork.  Thankfully that I can take more time on.

I haven't even had a chance to go to the library to pick up the recommended reading.  I really hope that I will have a chance to do that soon, considering there are multiple books on their list which sound very good.  I want to learn as much about the history of Namibia as possible.  Hopefully I can post some of it on here soon, along with some cool facts that I'm sure I will learn.  Until then, I'm going to be a busy bee.  Hopefully I can get the paperwork done soon so that I can devote my time to reading up on my future home.