All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.

Robert Kennedy

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finally, it's not a secret anymore.

Resigning was harder than I thought it would be. I was actually very confident and ready to do it, although getting my boss alone on a Friday of a holiday weekend before he leaves for a 2 week vacation was not an easy task. But he was really great. It was hard as we have worked together for over 10 years and he's such a good guy. But in the end he said that he knew even though I liked being there, it was not my passion and was completely supportive. Boy, what a difference that makes when someone tells you that they completely support your decisions. We had a good long, conversation and he seemed genuinely interested in my adventure. 
So now it is really real. It is happening and as many times as I say that, it's still hard to believe. I woke up early this morning to have a conference call with a bunch of new volunteers as well as some mentors who are already in Moldova. Even though it was early, it was exciting to talk to people who are currently there and get a little behind the scenes information. We all talked for about 2 hours and asked questions and again, feeling really real. 
I guess it's time to settle down and get through all of this paperwork I've been putting off for the past few days. Big goal for the weekend is to finish the updated resume and aspiration statement. Have to get that done today so I can enjoy the Easter holiday tomorrow. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The wonder of Facebook

Just today I have made 4 new friends via Facebook who are either in Moldova or are staging with me in June. What did people do before this? They just showed up without knowing anything? I have to admit, I think we have it pretty damn lucky to be going in this day and age where communication is so easily at the ready. I can understand how much harder this would've been to do even 20 years ago. I'm not undermining the challenge ahead of me but more expressing my gratitude to the access I have. 
I am currently working on my resume and aspiration statement. It is harder than I thought it would be as now that the situation is so real in front of me, it's harder to think of what to say. I printed out my student loan documents today which seemed inexplicably simple, I may have to double check that just to be sure that I have everything. I haven't really encountered a lot of things that are that easy. 
In looking at these packing lists the peeps on Facebook have posted I'm getting a little bit more nervous and all of the things I do not have. I don't know where I'm going to come up with the money to get all the stuff required. I know it will work out, everything has up to this point, but stress has certainly reared its ugly head. 
I will be participating in a group conference call via Skype on Saturday morning. Since I'm not all too familiar with how that works I'll have to do some research this week so I don't look completely stupid in my first impression. My local time will be 7am...on a I'm already at a disadvantage but I may as well get used to odd hours. In reading people's stories from the country and tips I'm getting more and more excited but also a little anxious. SO much needs to be done. There are hundreds of little details that need to be completed for everything to go right. I should probably stop writing here and get on that...

Monday, April 18, 2011


I feel like I’m living a double life at the moment. I am spending my nights and weekends filling out paperwork and figuring out everything that needs to get done. And then here it is Monday morning at the office and I have to act like everything is normal. When inside, my mind is a constant inner monologue of all the things I have to do. I do have a little bit of ‘graduation goggles’ as recently explained on an episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” (Graduation Goggles is when everything that has annoyed you at school suddenly becomes endearing in your last few weeks.)
I received my confirmation from the Placement officer this morning of the acceptance of my invitation. She sent another long list of things to get done. Even though the paperwork is tedious and there a million little details to pay attention to, it is still very exciting. I know that the next 7 weeks are going to fly by. I fear my close friends are already getting sick of hearing about my plans but there’s really not a lot I can do about that. If people ask me for details, I’m going to happily give them. It’s fun now that nearly everybody knows and I don’t have to keep so many secrets. I still have to keep mum at work for another few days but after that I can speak freely. I have a lot of people offering to help and yet I don’t know what to tell them I need. It’s not even a control thing, I just think it’s all stuff that only I can do. I’m sure when it comes down to moving and getting rid of things, I will call on these kind souls for some assistance.
Task for today, getting passport photos taken and sending off that packet. Tonight, I’m going to have to start on my resume and aspiration statement. Since all of the paperwork was done for the domestic government, I have to create a new resume and aspiration statement to be sent to Moldova so they can get an idea of who I am and what I am bringing to the table. Since I love talking about myself, I’m not too worried about it. And it’s pretty easy to write about aspirations and enthusiasm at this point.
The next thing to tackle will be insurance. I will be covered medically but I have to look into life insurance and personal property insurance. I won’t be taking too much of value; just my laptop, Kindle and iPod but I doubt I’ll have enough money to just replace them so I’m leaning towards the personal property insurance. It’s not too terribly expensive. That’s this week’s tasks. That and my resignation on Friday…that should be interesting.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


It's really happening. I was starting to think it never would but it happened.
I got an email at the beginning of the week asking for a final phone interview. I had heard that this would happen but it was nerve-wracking. I mean for the first interview, I was so prepped. I had interview questions, it took a long time to think about about my answers and I nailed it. This was cold. AND it was scheduled for 7am, not exactly my prime time to be quick on my feet. But I got up early and I was ready. 
The lady was extremely nice and asked a lot of questions but the answers came easily to me. I was ready for this to happen and she was the Placement Officer. It was go time. As the end of the conversation neared, she started to realize that maybe Asia wasn't the best fit for me, nor was Business or English. She presented me with an option of NGO. I had no idea what this was, but she explained that it was a Non-Governmental organization, what we would call a non-profit, and I would go into the organization and create and assist with community programs. I immediately got excited. This was what I was waiting for. I was hoping when this was all over to work with a non-profit organization and here it was presenting it to me. To top it off, it was in Eastern Europe. I was pretty pumped about Asia, but I certainly wasn't married to the idea. I could quickly adapt to the idea of living in Europe for a few years. She didn't tell me the country but she did tell me that I was formally accepted. Only hitch was, the departure date was the beginning of the month instead of the end of June. A year of planning my high school reunion and attending my godchild's graduation immediately went out the window. It was a little sad, but in the grand scheme of things, I knew I could deal with it. It was probably the most energy I have had at 8am in quite a while. I went into work and was ecstatic all day but still had to keep it under wraps. I didn't feel quite secure in resigning until I had a formal piece of paper in my hand. I let a few people in on the update and they were happy for me, but sad to hear I was officially leaving. It was a long few days waiting for the welcome packet to come. I had done some online research and figured out that the only countries in Eastern Europe departing around the beginning of June were Armenia, Moldova and Romania. I had a feeling it would be Moldova, but I had to wait. I had never even heard of the country of Moldova but immediately Google'd it and found that it was a tiny country landlocked between Romania and the Ukraine. 
When I got home from work on Friday, I didn't see the package and I was disappointed. I didn't want to have to wait until Monday. I knew there would be a lot of paperwork and the weekend was a good time to get a jump on it. BUT, when I looked out on my front porch, it was there. I was so excited and grabbed it. And there it black and white. I was going to Moldova...with the Peace Corps departing on June 6th. A year ago, the first week of June I was attending my father's funeral. This year, I would be embarking on a 2 year adventure. And in an instant I learned how you can so easily turn your life around when you pursue what you want. And I was happy.