So much of the Peace Corps application process is a lesson in patience, in waiting. You wait to hear if your application has been received. You wait to hear the results of your interview. You wait for your medical packet and then in a long string of doctors’ offices for your medical paperwork. I thought the hardest part would be waiting to hear that an invitation was in the mail and then waiting what seemed like a lifetime for the big blue folder to end up outside my door.
And I thought the waiting lesson might have been over for the time being.
But then what seems like half the world erupted in protests after attention was focused on what is said to be a poorly-made, ignorant film depicting the Prophet Mohammed with a whole list of very negative characteristics.
At first I tried to tell myself that the worst of the protesting wasn’t in what I have come to think of as “my country,” that everything would be fine. And then I saw that the State Department had issued a travel advisory for Americans, warning them to not go to Tunisia or to get out if they were there. Then I started to worry.
A woman at the Washington, D.C. Office was kind enough to answer my email begging for some news as to whether we would be going or not. She says they’re in the process of making a decision and will let us know in a couple of days. What they’ll be letting us know is what I’m not sure of. Will we be leaving on time? Will our departure be delayed until things calm down? Will we be going at all? If our group isn’t able to leave, will we be assigned to different countries?
I’m not afraid to go. I’m afraid I won’t get the chance to go.
It doesn’t help that this is my last week of work, as I had planned on giving myself roughly a month to prepare for my original departure. Having health insurance and a steady income is an easy enough thing to stew over when you’re faced with the possibility of your plans being disrupted.
But I think yesterday was a turning point. I went for a run. And when I came back, miraculously not soaked as a brief moment of sunshine in what has been a week of very cold rain appeared for the duration of my run and not much longer than that (a sign? Maybe), I decided that whatever happens happens. I will deal with it and I will make the best out of whatever that situation is. Because that’s the only thing there is to do, the only option.