Blacked Out Snow Days

A vlog and photo gallery describing the experience of my PC site receiving snow for the first time in years and the side effects…

Tr3mendous Love,

Renee

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Snapshot: Community Based Training (CBT) in Sidi Kacem

Skype Call with Southwest PC Recruiter

I remember this time last year, when I was working for UCA and I was sorting through all of the ‘university spam’ emails. These are the emails that are campus wide so that no one can say they didn’t know about an event. Well one day, I received an email saying that a Peace Corps Recruiter was scheduled through the Honors College. By this time, I already had my invitation, so I emailed the faulty involved to see if I could help with the information session because PC just switched its application process and order. I was put in contact with the recruiter and was welcomed to the session.

Later, after two sessions and dinner, we were discussing amenities Morocco has including WiFi. I told April, the recruiter, that if she ever wanted to Skype me while I as in Morocco during one of her info sessions that she was welcome to it. She replied, ” I may just take you up on that!” I said, “Please do!”

Now a year later, this plan has come to fruition. Granted, I don’t have WiFi in my home because I moved houses and have been traveling a lot for training sessions. Nevertheless, I was able to visit my closest volunteer (she’s an hour away) and use her WiFi for the call. It went very well. April had some questions ready for me and, of course, we allowed the students to ask questions as well. It was a lot of fun and I hope to some more. Cheers for Peace Corps Third Goal!

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Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/PeaceCorpsSWR/status/517790147451314177

Staging for Morocco

In making the decision whether or not to serve with the Peace Corps, it is mandatory that one research what to not expect in order to have a realistic idea of what to potentially expect. (Confusing I know)

Leaving your family, friends, careers, etc for two years is a major decision. Not only that, but with the Peace Corps you know that you could also potentially not have running water, internet, western toilet, or electricity. You also know that you may have to learn a language you’ve never studied or even heard of. With all of these unknowns, many people still decide to apply and accept the invitation. Once the invitation is accepted, one realized that you can’t fully prepare. We all have anxieties of what the service is going to throw at us.

The Staging Event in Philadelphia was enlightening and inspiring for me. I had anxieties about going to Morocco and was crazy enough to still get on the plane. Why? I wasn’t the only one with those anxieties. I’m not the only one making sacrifices to leave the US for 27 months. I’m not the only one that is so excited I can’t help but to smile at every person I walk past that’s in my training group. I’m not the only one who doesn’t know a lick of Arabic. I’m not the only who can’t remember the names of 103 other people who got on the plane with me.

We all bring something different to PC Morocco. However, we are all starting from square 1. I not only have my training group, but I’ve learned the various ways that the Peace Corps Staff can help emotionally, linguistically, medically, and any other -ically I can think of. Thank you, Staging staff for making it easier for me to get on Royal Air Maroc. I wasn’t the only one.

Tr3mendous Love,
Renee

60 Days Until Staging!

November 14, 2013 is exactly 60 days before January 13, 2013, my staging date. Sixty days are a critical in the Peace Corps because the invitee must have all of their medical and dental paperwork submitted for clearance. I was originally set to leave August 2013, however, I had my braces installed in March 2013. I couldn’t leave for the Peace Corps with braces on and the Medical staff needed to know when my braces would be taken off and set my new staging date at least 60 days after that. I was pushed from leaving in August 2013 to November 2013 and later moved to January 2014 because that’s when programs would be available for my experience.

60 days…2 months left.

I have exactly 60 days left in Arkansas.

I have exactly 60 days to say good-bye to loved ones.

I have exactly 60 days to pack for the next 2 years of my life. (Okay that’s a little extreme since I only have t pack for the next 3 months, plus some summer clothes, BUT STILL)

I have exactly 36 days before my last day of work.

I am a little scared, a little nervous, a little sad, really excited, a little antsy, and slightly ADD in my PC research.

I spent the day at two Peace Corps Recruitment presentations. I helped to answer questions about the application process and hearing why younger students were interest in the Peace Corps reminded me why I wanted to go and my expectations and ambitions. I can’t ever forget those.

I’ll need them when I feel bored and alone.

I’ll need them when I feel frustrated and upset.

I’ll need them when I realize I have fulfilled them.

I’ll need them when I think I’ve failed.

Always remember why you started your journey, project, goal because it will keep you going.

Tr3mendous love,

Renée