Does anyone know why a lot of applicants with medical issues are sent to Eastern Europe? I would almost assume it’s because they are (on the whole) more modern then a lot of the other countries in the world and that there’s easier access to medications? I’m really curious about this.
Basically this post is a shout out to all the current applicants. I have officially been an invitee since the end of October….and it feels good! But I struggled for a good six months during the application process. I had to write more essays then you can imagine; expressing that certain past medical issues (major and small) are resolved, I had to deal with the hell that is the U.S. health care system, pay a lot of money for shots, get cavaties filled and see councelors. After this was all over, I felt the biggest weight lift off my shoulders. I did the best I could do and nothing else was in my power. My fate was in the hands of the universe (and Peace Corps headquarters haha). Basically I just wanted to say to all the current applicants, HANG IN THERE!!!!!!!! It takes a special person to serve as a volunteer in the Peace Corps and I truly believe that the extensive application process is the first of many challenges. I really think it does take a lot of dedication and patience to get through this. It’s all worth it in the end
There are 14 weeks left until I depart for Ukraine. I always told myself everything would feel “real” when 2011 hit. After all, March 21 seems SO FAR AWAY! When will it be real? Probably not until im boarding my flight for the departure city (PA? DC? NY? I am secretly hoping for DC because I LOVE this city and I would really like to see where I used to live for nostalgia-sake). At this point I’m really not TOO fearful of anything. I think I should be…but I’m not. I guess I may have CONCERNS at this point; 1. Learning the language, being able to pick it up in a timely manner and communicate with Ukrainians. 2. Being a GOOD teacher. I don’t want to just go through the motions, I want to be a quality educator, making a difference in the lives of others.
These last 14 weeks feel like a blessing AND a curse! I have to work a 9-5 desk job I am not too stoked about MUCH longer then I had EVER anticipated and it’s getting OLD (quick!). On the other hand, I have a lot of time to spend with my family and friends! Also, I met a guy! We’re just dating (nothing serious, obviously) but sucks I’m meeting someone like him NOW! He’s really a nice guy and I’m very thankful to have him in my life for a good chunk of time before I have to say goodbye.
I hope Ukraine begins to feel real soon!
I have four months left before I depart to Ukraine. I love that I have so long to SLOWLY pack, apply for visas, study the language, e.t.c. However, sometimes I feel like I’m walking on eggshells until my departure date!
If there is ANY change in medical history I have to inform my nurse. Can I go talk to a psychologist about my upcoming trip without informing them? Can I be subscribed sleeping pills due to the fact that I work some CRAZY hours at work? If (god forbid) I somehow end up prego, can I get an abortion? Can I go back on birth control? NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. I am so afraid to do ANYTHING. Or what if I somehow became hurt? I feel like I have to be SO SO SO SO careful with everything until I leave,
My PC tool kit suggests I begin learning Ukrainian prior to my departure in March. I am ecstatic that I have SO much time to prepare for my epic journey! The only problem is that I’m having a tough time actually sitting down and getting in a routine. I guess step #1 is to buy a decent lap top in order to actually utilize the online lessons!!! (I have ADD so it’s VERY difficult for me to concentrate anywhere except a library or in the confinds of my own room. Plus I am planning on taking a laptop with me to serve). Step -1…I have to SAVE up for a laptop! (but that’s a whole different story). I feel like I’m wasting so much time by not learning NOW/EVERYDAY!
BUTTTTT I have several travel plans for the month of november/early december so it would be better to start after all this. I have decided that by 6/DEC I will have my laptop and be ready to learn Ukrainian. I plan on spending AT LEAST 1 + hours a day for four/five days a week learning the language (just like UCSB-Spanish lessons). That will give me approximately 14 weeks of language before I depart for staging. (That’s like almost a quarter and 1/2 of school). This should be enough time (I hope).
I am really nervous about learning the language
Now that I’ve had a few days to digest the news of where I will be living for the next 27 months, I have had time to think about my future life in Ukraine. As I excitedly tell friends/family aboout my country location, some seem shocked to hear how ecstatic I am about living here: “You’re going to…. Ukraine? Why?” This caused me to pause and look at the the big picture.
Originally I had wanted to go to a Latin American country because this is what I had studied in school, I knew a little Spanish and I had a lot of interest in these regions. Knowing pretty early on that this option was off the table, I was thinking about where else I would really be excited to live.
Asia: I have already lived in China for a while. It was a great experience, but I feel like I defidently had my fill of this cutlure/region. It’s not really my cup of tea (although I had a GREAT time while it lasted, the prospect of returning to Asia wasn’t thrilling)
Africa: I feel pretty neutral about this region. Nothing turns me off, but nothing really peaks my interst. In my opinion, some people just tend to gravitate towards certain countries/cultries, and there just really isn’t any calling for me here.
Central Asia: My opinions of these nations are based on heresay. Unfortunately, I think I have let the opinions of others influence my outlook on this region. I commend all of the volunteers serving/about to serve here but I am glad I am not going here.
Eastern Europe: For an English Teacher, this really leaves only Eastern Europe. I don’t know very much about this region, and I like that. I have no pre-concieved notions/opinions about this region other than Eastern Europe (in the general sense) is a little more modern then a lot of other regions (sometimes nicknamed the Posh Corps). I also think its a nice jumping off point for travel. I can’t wait to try a lot of Ukrainian/Russian cuisine. I just ordered a Lonely Planet book and another book about cultures/customs in Ukraine so I can become oriented with this nation. All things considered, I REALLY am happy to be serving in Ukraine. I really look forward to the aculturation process
I recieved my invitation for this program a few days ago. I am EXTREMELY happy that I will be moving to Eastern Europe. Until this week though, I have never given too much thought to this part of the world. In school I studied Latin American countries and lived in North America and Asia. Part of me is absolutely THRILLED to learn about a new people, culture, history, food, environment, geography, language, e.t.c. The other half of me just has NO idea what to expect out of this experience. I think that just adds to the excitment though!!
I would also really like to try and meet some other volunteers who will be joining me on this program.
Yup……Eastern Europe here I come!!! Any other Ukraine March 2011 invitees out there?