Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Ate Meat: Reality is Setting In

Yes. The title of this post is true. All true. Operation Bacon has finally commenced and I have eaten meat again. I started with the token white meat - chicken. Additionally, I made sure to purchase meat that I felt ethical consuming here. It was...well...not that good. But I can add partial blame to my poor cooking skills. No, I am not domestic and I will probably never try to be. Future husband - if you exist - you must be the cook in the house. In return I offer to be the bread winner. STRIKE THAT. I am joining the Peace Corps for two years. Then probably going to graduate school. So, I can't even offer to be the money maker. Oh well. I am never getting married. Man- this post has taken quite the turn. Back to the meat...

The positive side is that there were no bad reactions. Everything went as well as it could for the first time eating meat. I can be happy about that. Of course, I would have liked a little more enthusiasm from my mother. All she did was say "That's it." No applause. No congratulations - you took a big step. So anti-climatic. I guess until I eat some huge portion I do not get this satisfaction. Geez. Little steps people. Plus I have until July! The next phase: still deciding. Where do you go after chicken?!

So this has made my July departure a little more real to me. I have also been studying my Espanol. Side note: The Mexican man who often shares a treadmill next to me is really no help. I asked him to speak to me in Spanish. But he just wants to talk about my beauty (read- inner thoughts: is he serious...?!..I am currently dripping sweat). Mental note: seek woman Spanish tutor. Si se puede.

Life in Newark, Delaware is going. I am just working at the grocery store where my mom does in order to save time getting hired and we can car pool sometimes. It is not a grand experience but it gets me out of the house and I make some money. I also just got an email from my professor from last semester and he wants me to help him with a research project on the Islamic perspective on the concept of power using Raul Manglapus' concept of people power. I am so excited to work with this professor again and to do something academic. Plus, he wants to pay me $12 an hour. This is sweet.

Oh and in other Newark, Delaware news. I have found out that there are 2 other volunteers living here who leave this summer. Seriously. Way to represent my small home state. I love this. Hopefully we can all meet up soon. It would be nice to connect with people who understand the Peace Corps syndrome.

I think this is all for now. I really need to sign up for a marathon soon. They make life fun and I like getting medals. :) Oh and I have decided to self teach myself guitar prior to departure. This comes with the following self taught skills and topics I am currently working on: Spanish, break dancing, singing like Rachel Berry, GRE skills, El Salvador, Peace Corps service, eating meat, drawing, and selling things/giving things away (does anyone want to buy the following items: TY Beanie Babies, Pokemon Cards, a clarinet, field hockey sticks, two tennis rackets, or random books, dvds, or movies.) Yeah, I did not think so...

Wow. Is this post an example of what the inside of my brain looks like?! I sure hope not. What a mess!

Until next time,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Drum roll please

It is official. I am going to El Salvador. Orientation is July 19 and I leave good ol' America on July 20th. I am still processing this news and dealing with the formidable big blue packet that arrived at my door on Tuesday night (and yes of course it happened when I got out of the shower and had to frighten the poor UPS man in my towel). But I will say I am so thrilled. I am happy to have an invitation. I am happy that I am going to serve my country (in a way that I love and believe in wholeheartedly). I am happy to be learning Spanish (again). Finally, I am happy that I don't have to pack winter clothes! And truth be told I cannot wait to get started.

At this point I am at a loss for what to say. It has not really sunk in that I am moving to El Salvador! I am going to go let it do that.

In other Peace Corps news I would like to bring to attention a project that I will be involved in during my service. Check out : A volunteer headed to Ukraine (who is awesome) set up this blog and project. The project goes as follows: 50 PCV's "will be shipping a journal between us for the duration of our services and each volunteer will receive the journal twice. During that time, we will add pictures, sketches, poems, doodles, mini-journal entries, anecdotes, or anything we want to a two-page spread. Whatever we feel will show where we are in our service at that time. Then we pass the journal along to the next person in line, and so on, and so on." This is in honor of our 50th anniversary and I cannot wait to be a part of something so neat. By the way, thanks JFK. 50 years? AWESOME!

I am not sure how much I will update until I start to really prepare to go. Unfortunately, I do not think you want to hear about my life right now in Newark, Delaware. What can I say? Delaware is lame. But I am trying to come up with a cool way to spend my remaining months. So, if I do find that maybe I will blog. Furthermore, I will blog about preparing (packing lists, etc) because I found that to be really helpful to read as an applicant.

Ta ta for now and of course, paz y amor.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yo Hablo Espanol?!

On Friday February 11th I received the call I have been waiting for! My Placement Officer called me while I was at work ready to discuss my application. I had about a half hour left of work, so I told him I would call him back immediately after my shift. We talked for about 15 minutes about whether or not Peace Corps was still something I was interested in, what I have been up to post graduation, and then my assignment. Of course as I suspected he told me that I could no longer depart in March and keep my original nomination. But I was still a wonderful applicant and he wanted to offer me an invitation. HAPPY DANCE.

This is where the story gets good. The above is what typically happens to Peace Corps applicants about 60% of time. They think they are going somewhere and end up somewhere else. But in my case I think my change in assignment is a dramatic case of irony. During my interview my recruiter made it seem that Spanish speaking countries typically take people who studied it in college and are practically fluent in the language. However, my Placement Officer was thrilled that I had taken it in middle and high school. He could not believe that this skill was overlooked. This means that the LAST place in the world that I ever thought I would go is where I am headed. Ironic?! I had not even considered a Spanish speaking nation. Haha. This is what I love about the Peace Corps. Sheer surprise! Of course, the biggest surprise will be what country I actually get when my BIG BLUE packed arrives in the mail. I am waiting by the mail box anxiously.

I have to say that I think this new assignment will help me a lot more in my future endeavors. Spanish is a incredibly useful language rather than some crazy Eastern Europe one. Not that I would not have benefited from my time in Ukraine or Bulgaria, but I think becoming fluent in Spanish (inshallah, yes I miss Arabic) will be even better!

Now to go sit by the mail box with my book of 501 Spanish verbs!