Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Welcome Phone Call from Saint Lucia

I received a call today from Helen, Deputy Director/Programming and Training Officer for the Eastern Caribbean. They wanted to hear about my experience and answer questions. They only received my resume and statement a couple of days ago. They are busy placing people in specific jobs. . . but as usual what I will be doing is still a mystery with a few more clues:
  • I'm confirmed for Institutional/Development Sector
  • There will be an internship at a high school
  • I will be working with youth - that's unexpected!
  • I should bring any electronic teaching/training information I've used in the past
  • I may do some teaching, but it is not my primary assignment
  • Shadowing will take place on Thursday's as a part of training.
  • There are thirteen new volunteers on Saint Lucia; five are "older"
We will arrive at Saint Lucia on August 27, followed by a couple of days staging in Miami. Orientation will take place on Saint Lucia until August 30 when volunteers go to assigned islands for seven weeks of training before being sworn in.

They said this is the first time they have made introduction phone calls. I told them my son, Jay, was Peace Corps Honduras and he is quite amused by the differences in the country processes, living conditions, etc. Obviously he had a much more rugged experience - at least to this point. That's him on the left with the plow and horse!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter was in Pasadena tonight to recruit baby boomer volunteers for his Peace Corps' "50+" initiative. He gave a keynote address at Neighborhood Universalist Unitarian Church in Pasadena, home of the World Famous Rose Parade.

Tschetter launched the initiative eight months ago and said there's a growing need for the experience and commitment that older Americans can bring to the Peace Corps' mission. (Picture on right: Nancy, who I met tonight and is leaving for the Phillipines in August, Director Tschetter, and me)

In addition to prom
oting his 50+ Initiative, he spotlighted two former Peace Corps Volunteers from Long Beach, Bob and Pat Hirsch (picture on left) by presneting them the Presidents Volunteer Service Award. This award requires at least 4,000 volunteer hours which they acquired while serving in Ethiopia in 1962. They are committed to volunteering and were recognized for their Peace Corps service as well as their post-Peace Corps volunteer activities. Referring to Peace Corps, Bob said "Your life will change . . . you will see things you never expected to see."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Peace Corps hasn't really been "real". . . at least not until yesterday. My Staging Kit arrived. It contains a CD with a program that will be used during training, instructions on making my plane ticket and hotel reservations in Miami, along with more forms to fill out and things to read. Five weeks to go . . . maybe I should start planning! I still haven't done anything about selling my car, but things always work out - I'm sure I can procrastinate another couple of weeks.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Preparing Barkley for my departure

Photo taken moments after explaining to Barkley Bear I'm leaving him for two years. What do you suppose he's trying to say?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What to take?

I'm determined. I'm not going to be one of those people who try to lug everything with them. Not me! Only my list keeps getting longer . . . and all the "what ifs" occupy my mind. Just as I identify things to leave behind I read a blog that says, "These things are a must bring" and half my leave-it-behind stuff is back on my "I can't live without it list". I recently read that business is very dressy. OK, by whose standards? As an older volunteer "very dressy" means a tailored suit - not pants, but a skirt and tailored jacket, button down blouse and close toed shoes. The statement "very dressy" leaves a lot for interpretation. Could this be what they are talking about? Well, just in case, I purchased another small bag so I can take more stuff, however, I still can't bring myself to bring a tailored suit.

So far the things I can't seem to live without include my Vonage box, water weights, camera, flip video, a two year supply of make up, several dresses, skirts, tops, a short sleeved jacket (I can't believe I will wear it, but it's somewhat formal). Then there is the extra pair of glasses, three months supply of medication, casual clothes, and shoes - a whole bunch of shoes. I need water shoes for walking when it rains, dressy sandals, regular sandals, my favorite clogs - should I bring my exercise shoes? Or can I just use the water shoes? Can anyone tell me why I'm stressing about this?