Since Tuesday I’ve had the worst case of butterflies in my stomach that I have yet to encounter. And up until this point, I hadn’t felt safe posting any real updates in this blog because it felt like until I knew the invitation was coming, they could still just decide they didn’t need me.
But my placement specialist called Tuesday, pretty much out of the blue. I was about to leave for my piano lesson and my phone rang. Hmm, 202 area code. That’s weird. It didn’t even hit me who it could be until the voice on the other end introduced herself as someone I had only ever communicated with via email.
And she asked me some questions – mostly regarding what challenges I anticipated, particularly with the idea that I might end up in North Africa or the Middle East, which was the region I was nominated to back in January. By then my heart rate was going about a million miles a minute and I hope it didn’t show too much in my voice. We talked about what kind of research I had done into what life was like as a Peace Corps volunteer and I did my best to share the insights I gained from reading PeaceCorpsJournals.com. But really, until you’ve been a volunteer, can you really ever know what it will be like? I don’t think so. I did my best to not sound too much like a starry-eyed idealist though. It’s not like I’m signing up for something that’s easy here.
And then she started asking whether I’d be interested in being in an inaugural class of volunteers – a group of volunteers who are the first ones serving in a particular country. We talked through the various challenges of that particular endeavor – that volunteers have to work extra hard to make connections and build the program while they work on their various projects. From my almost ad nauseum perusal of the Peace Corps website, I only knew of one country in the North Africa/Middle East region that was opening up this year, but she wasn’t able to confirm exactly which one.
So the next day I found in my inbox an email containing information about being an early generation volunteer, pretty much summing up our phone conversation and asking me to say if I was interested or not in the new program she mentioned. Short answer – heck. yes. Formal answer that I sent in – something more along the lines of, yes I am interested, please consider me for that program. I look forward to hearing from you.
And then Thursday:
My invitation is in the mail.
And that is so much more official than your placement specialist just telling you over the phone that she’s going to pick a program for you.
Soon I’ll know where it is I am going. When it is I am going. What it is, officially, I’ll be doing. I’ll be able to start making plans regarding work and my apartment. I’ll be able to finally give an answer to all the people who have been curious about what this whole Peace Corps thing is going to be for me.
I’ve never been more excited. For anything.