Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Job!

I got the nanny job I interviewed for the other night! Yay! It will be +/- 40 hrs/wk and will be during November, December, and January :-) I will be taking care of one little baby boy...almost 3 months old. I'm excited :-)

P.S. I haven't gone on a bike ride in a couple days....I'm already failing lol.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bike Riding Zambia it is possible that on any given day I may have to ride a bicycle up to 40km (24miles) to visit a school, volunteer, main road, etc. In order to prepare, PC suggests you get very comfortable with biking beforehand.

I started my bike training yesterday... I rode an 8 mile loop at a medium pace (I figured I shouldn't race b/c I most likely won't be able to go very fast on the dirt paths in Zambia). It ended up taking me 50 minutes. So, at that pace (8 miles/50 minutes) would take me about 2 hr. 30 min. to ride 24 miles!

So, today I biked the 8 mile loop again, but tried to speed it up a little bit...I finished in 44 minutes. So, 8 miles/44 minutes.....that would be about 2 hr. 15 min. to do 24 miles. Making progress, but that's still quite a long ride....

I figure I will just keep doing the 8 miles for a while till I get good and fast at it, and then I will gradually increase the distance and such until I make it up to that goal of 24 miles!

In other news, I interviewed for a babysitting/nanny job last night. Hoping that it went well so that I have a job for the next few months :-)

Also, I've been working on making my Halloween costume... Xena Warrior Princess!

P.S. I would have been leaving (to Lesotho) in 5 days! Crazy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Waiting for Peace Corps is Like....

I know I probably sound like I'm complaining about all this... but it really is hard to explain how horrible this is. Let me try this:

My sister told me something about a month ago after I had been telling her how I was feeling while waiting for my Lesotho departure.

I was trying to explain how long the application process had been (about 7 months), so I'd kinda already been preparing for a long time....that I was excited, but kinda anxious....that I had done all the research I could to be as best prepared as I could... it was all I ever wanted and could think about, but it seemed so long away and each day was taking forever....I couldn't sleep some nights because I couldn't stop thinking about it....all day long I had thoughts of Lesotho and Sesotho running through my head to the point that it was annoying....I just wanted it to hurry up and get here....

Well, she told me that it sounded exactly like the last two months of being pregnant, when a woman has had this thing growing inside for her for 7 months, watching it develop and getting ever the more attached to it.....she is excited about the baby, but also a bit nervous...she has researched and read and talked about it constantly, but every day leading up to it is slowly dragging on....she's so tired of the waiting and she just can't wait to hurry up and have that baby....

So, now, imagine being in the last 3 weeks of your pregnancy, and the doctor says "Sorry, you can't have this baby yet. In fact, you are going to have to keep on holding that baby in there for 4 more months". Doesn't sound like fun, huh?

Don't forget the part that you quit your job b/c you were 8 months pregnant and about to have a baby.....or that you told everyone you know that a baby would be here in a month....or that you cleaned out your closets and got rid of half your stuff to make room for the baby.....or that you've spent all kinds of money the past few months buying things for the baby....or that you have your bags packed and ready for the trip to the hospital...

Oh well, don't worry, you'll have your baby....just not for another 4 months.

Sure, when the baby finally gets here after the 4 extra months, you will probably love it just as much as you would have earlier. It's your baby, of course you'll love it and you'll be super excited when it finally comes! You'll love it and take care of it and it will be the center of your universe.

In the meantime though, I thinks it is perfectly understandable to be a little angry at the doctor (and perhaps baby) for having to stick it out and suffer for 4 more months. I mean, who wants to be pregnant for 13 months? And who wants to deal with the hassle of rearranging your life b/c your baby unexpectedly got stuck on its way out. Nobody can argue that it will be an easy 4 months.....

Bad Day

As I start to get over the initial shock and disappointment that I will not be going to Lesotho, I am entering into the shock of "what the heck am I going to do for the next 4 months?". I essentially quit my job 2 months ago, and my information is already gone from the school district system, so basically I have to start over at ground zero. I tried that today, and started filling out the teaching application...

I got to the section about my certification, and I busted out crying, b/c my certification information is all filed away and packed up, beneath a stack of more boxes....I didn't think I was going to need to get to it for at least 2 more years....

I finally looked up my certification information online....then I moved to the next section....detailed descriptions of intern placements/student teaching....really? OMG I have to fill this all out again!?!?!

The other sections went on to Teaching Jobs, References, Recommendations, yeah, I was so frustrated and stressed that I just quit filling it out and gave up for the day.

If I had not planned on leaving in November and had not given up my job, I would be in there teaching right now. I could have taught until January, and then taken a short break before my departure in February. But instead, I am sitting here filling out lengthy applications like I was back in grad. school and looking for my first teaching job. This sucks!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


After 6 calls (over 2 hours) this morning, I did finally speak to a placement officer. He was very nice and friendly and trying to do his best to take care of all of us displaced Lesotho people. He went over my information and said he would like to put me in a program departing Mid-February 2011 for a Sub Saharan African country. The program is called "Nonformal Primary Education Training" and should be similar to what I was going to do in Lesotho. He said my invite should be sent out today and they will expedite it so it should be here by Friday. From what I can tell, it will probably be one of two countries, Namibia or Zambia. I have a slight preference for Zambia, but am not going to get my hopes up.

I'm glad I have this settled and have another invitation on the way. Although, it doesn't really make me feel any better about Lesotho being canceled. Now I have to figure out what to do for the next 4 months. I've been looking to see if there are any temporary teaching positions open and sent a few e-mails already to look into that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lesotho Canceled. Dreams Smashed.

Worst day ever. Just got the call about an hour ago, with the
"Unfortunate"News: The November Lesotho program is CANCELED!
Reason: Conducting a Reassessment of the Country and it's Safety/Security.

I can't believe this happened NOW, 20 days before departure! How can they do this so close to us leaving! Peace Corps, I want you to know that I, along with all the others in our group, am absolutely and totally shocked and crushed!

I don't feel up to going into much more detail right now, but I will try to update later tonight or tomorrow. I am supposed to call a placement officer in the morning to discuss my next steps and options...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vacations All Around

I haven't really updated much in the past month, as I was waiting for my staging info. and I was pretty much busy vacationing all around :-)

I went to Louisiana and spent 11 days with my sister and her family. I had lots of fun hanging out with her and all her boys! We got to spend a couple days at a lakehouse, take Nehemiah (my nephew) to a VeggieTales concert, go to a ULM football game, redecorate her house, and just spend time with all her boys (she works as a houseparent at a children's home... kinda similar to foster care). Thanks Stephanie and Joseph for having me there!

After I got back from LA, me and my mom went on a weekend beach trip with our neighbors, Greg and Michele, and one other couple. We had an awesome little 3 bedroom condo thing rented on the water. Got to spend 3 days laying on the beach and at the pool, went on a couple short boat rides, saw a dolphin up close, saw a just-hatched baby sea turtle, played cards, and had lots of time to practice my Sesotho! It was a great trip!

This Wednesday, I am going to head up to Gainesville for the last time & visit with Chad, Wendy, Aiden/Kirk, Amy, Mrs. Coffey's class, and whoever else I can get together with. I plan on this being my last vacation/trip....then I will spend my final 3 weeks at home preparing for Lesotho!

Staging & Flight Reservations!

Just got my staging information by e-mail this morning, and then called SATO travel and booked my flight to Philadelphia. So here's a quick version of the details:

Flight from Tampa to Philadelphia:
Monday, November 1, 2010
Depart- 7:55am
Arrive- 10:23am

Staging in Philadelphia:
Monday, November 1, 2010
12:30pm- Check in at Hotel & Peace Corps Trainee Registration
2:00-4:30pm- Staging Session
4:45-7:00pm- Staging Session

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
2:00am- Check out of Hotel
2:30am- Bus Ride to New York JFK Airport

Flights to Africa:
Tuesday, November 2- Wednesday, November 3
Flight from New York JFK to Johannesburg, South Africa- 15.5 hours
Flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to Maseru, Lesotho- 1 hour