So, it's been a busy couple of weeks since I recieved my invitation. I read, re-read, and re-re-read everything that came with my kit, wanting to make sure that I was absolutely as stoked as possible when I called to accept. As of monday 10/26, I am now slated to go. I got all of my passport/visa stuff mailed off and sent of my updated resume/aspiration statement to the Zambia country desk, and am now wading through the piles of financial paperwork for my student loans. They are small and relatively insignificant in comparison to the rest of my college peers, however the challenge for me lies in the fact that they are two seperate loans and can be (and were) sold to seperate servicers. Servicers that have different deferrment paperwork. And payment addresses. Considering I will soon be living in a different country, and in a decidedly remote region, I decided that it would be best to consolidate to keep them hooked together. I have no desire to fight with SallieMae via telegram. Incidently, the 'credit crisis' has made that whole consolidation thing a whole lot more challenging. And the beat goes on.
Though I am trying hard not to think about it, I was caught in a vivid fantasy of travel the other day as I dropped a friend's car off at PDX. I got unbelievably excited as I imagined myself in a few months' time lugging my two bags for two years to board a plane to new and different places of the world. I know PC will be the most difficult thing I have ever done at this point in my life, and yet I still can't wait to experience it. Slightly masochistic? possibly... To spare my family's feelings, I have resisted dwelling too much on my impending departure, limiting mention of it in conversation and trying really, really hard not to daydream. I've been busy doing tons of research on Zambia, the different areas, the politics, the people, etc. Should I get an international cell before I leave, or wait til I'm in country? Do I even bother since I won't have electricity? So then do I spring for a solar charger? I think much of my mother's apprehension could be assuaged if I had a solid plan for communication other than snail mail. That may be all I get though. I am comfortable with this; her...not so much. Anyway, so I'm starting to think about things that would be good for x-mas for me. The uber-challenge is that my immediate family does this "sustainable christmas" thing, where we agree that we will only give gifts if they are used, re-newable, sustainable, or eco-friendly, which is waaaaaay more fun than it sounds (You can find the most amazing useful treasures at Goodwill and on Craigslist. And used underwear are the exception to the rule). So, how do you buy used for a soon-to-be PCV in rural Zambia who is limited to 80 lbs. of luggage? Good question. I'm thinking of saying that since I'm in Peace Corps, anything you get me will automatically be sustainable, but that kinda defeats the purpose of why we do it. We'll just have to get a little creative. And make a list, with guidelines. Incidently, this whole X-mas dillemma has been forcing be to think about my packing list probably earlier that I had wanted to. I just don't want people to buy me stuff that I won't use or take with me, you know?
In other news, I did apply for some jobs. Retail work during the holiday season does not seem pleasant, but it is kinda appropriate considering it would be easy to get (I interview really well) and they wouldn't expect me to stay for long. We'll see. I haven't got any calls back yet, and I can't decide if I'm happy about that or not. Well, I'm pretty okay with it. My checkbook is not so okay with it. At the rate I'm going right now with bills, I might have to resort to used underwear for presents after all...
So, I'm not sure how this happened, but my PCJ link is no longer in the applicant section, and is instead listed under Zambia. I did nothing to my account. I'm thinking that there is a tiny little person inside my computer listening to this and moving my flag for me. Rock on, I say. We'll see for sure when this is posted. If so, keep it up Applicants! Hopefully, all will remain a very exciting status quo on my end, but we all know that on this ride, anything can happen.
p.s. I did buy my second pair of glasses (ocularly challenged volunteers are required to bring two) when I ordered some more contacts. While I am not really looking forward to being a four-eyes again, my new frames are pretty sweet. I am going to miss eating hot food, dancing the the rain, and staring out of the perifs, all actions that I have come to love as an ardent contact lens-wearer. Oh well, I guess. I'm sure I'll find the upside after a while...