State of Suspension

Hanging here  suspended between Connecticut and Ghana I feel just a little bit unreal. My life here is winding down. At work I am passing off my duties. I am telling people to have another person work with them on a project because I won’t be there to follow through. I cleaned some of my desk today. I am there but no longer really of the library.

The physical things here don’t mean as much. I am already detached from half the shoes in my closet. Yet the minutes with family and friends are filled with so many emotions. I wonder how can I leave this friend she’s going through such a hard time right now. I think oh how can I miss all the wonderful things this other friend will experience in the next couple of years. I think how much my granddaughter will grow when I am away. The moments with people are filled with joy, sadness, guilt, happiness, laughter, love and excitement.

I am poised on the edge of a very high diving board primed to jump but the starting shot has not been fired, yet.

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Zinzin Road by Fletcher Knebel pt.II

Did not like this book one little bit.  The writing was mediocre. The characters were one dimensional. The beauty of Africa never really came through.I really didn’t get feel for living in another culture.  What i did find interesting was the question of where do you draw the line between following your beliefs and not meddling in the local politics. I think this group went way over that line many times.

I am still looking for the Peace Corps book that will do for me what Chinua Achebe’s book did. His book transported me to another culture. I want to read a book that will take me into the lives of the people in the community where the volunteer is serving.

So on to Mango Elephants in the Sun by Susana Herrera.

-vc

AT LAST!!!

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From my Peace Corps Account!

It’s happened at LAST. I have a date when I am leaving.  Thursday evening on the way home from work I checked my cell. My daughter and I had plans for the next day and had kept playing phone tag. There was a voice mail and I listened to it at a stop light. It was my PC PO (Placement Officer). She would be in her office until 5:30. I drove into the very next parking lot and called her right back! There was no way I could wait until 9:00 Friday morning. 

She had a few questions. Do you still want to serve? YES YES AND TRIPLE YES! How are you doing meeting your financial obligations? Fine if all goes as planned. Will you be very disappointed if you are not near a beach? No it would have been icing on the cake as long as I can work in Information Technology. At one point my PO said that “Those college students are going to say ‘Give that woman some valium’. It’s nice you are so excited!” Then she said because I had been so active in church in my youth she had to remind me that the Peace Corps does not allow proselitizing. She was very nice she said many of the most dedicated PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers) were active in church. I told her I was interested in sharing my IT skills and learning from the culture I would be living in. I didn’t say this to her but I prefer to live my faith rather then push it on someone else.  So after all the questions were answered she said she was nominating me for service in West Africa and I would be leaving on June 7th.

Now you ask the most important next question. WHERE!?  Well in an act I liken to chinese water torture the Peace Corps does not tell you where you are going when the call you to tell you that you are nominated. NO! I have to wait until the packet arrives. AAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHH. I knew this from my co-PC Invitee, Sara, so I did not even ask where. The packet was mailed Friday from DC. Hopefully it will arrive in Bloomfield on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

I’M GOING TO AFRICA JUNE 7, 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Will

What is it about going to Africa that finally made me decide to write a will? I have never really had that many assets in my life. The biggest asset was when we owned or rather the bank owned the house and we payed the mortgage on the house. but some how John and I never managed to get around to making a will.   I think we played the odds and figured we both wouldn’t die at the same  time.

So writing the will brings up many questions. So many that instead of working on my will this morning I writing about working on it! Is there something special I want to leave each child? Or do I leave general intructions for them to divide my estate equally. What does equally mean? Monetarily, emotionally or item to item?  When what I really want is for there to be no fighting and family divisions over the piddly estate I will leave.

Who will be my executor?  What about power of attorney if I’m going to be so far  away.

What about a funeral? I hate them but aren’t they for the living? So maybe I should just say I want to be cremated and if they want a casket for a viewing it should be a plain pine casket.  An Eco friendly internment of my ashes or scattering at a place that I loved like gull pond at Gordon or bearskin neck Rockport?  too many questions!

So on that cheery note I have to head off to MPOW.

-vc

Some News

For the girl who knew in 7th grade that she was going to go to Gordon College in Wenham, Mass not know when and where I am going is very hard. I am a planner and an organizer.  If I am at the 10th step of a project I want to know when I will be at step 15 and what I need to do to get to step 15 and I want to know what step 20 will be and approximately when I will get there.  

I am practicing my patience. Practice in the sense that I would practice piano to improve my playing so this waiting for the final invitation is an improvement of my patience.  When I begin to worry “How will I get everything in order if they give me only 6 weeks notice” I calm my self and think of the things I can do NOW even if I don’t know the exact date.  I try to keep busy with family and friends. So I am learning that keeping busy and not worrying is the best way to wait.

So the news. The news is that there is no news except that the Placement Office now has my file and I should here 3 months to 6 weeks before I am scheduled to be in country.

 -vc

My XO has arrived

I was heading through the mail room into my office and a FedEx guy came through the door. Before he even got the question out about where to deliver the package (he was a new FedEx man) I scanned the box and saw the XO logo on it. Well let’s just say there was a little bit of noise and some jumping up and down! He said “This has never happened before”.  So I explained a little about the computer to him as I was signing for it. I said thanks so much and started to walk away. He said “you’re not going to show it to me!” Well with an interested audience of course I was going to show it to him!!

I spent the rest of my lunch hour showing everyone my new toy!

It’s very small, my fingers are going to have to get use to a much smaller keyboard but it makes it easy to carry with me.  Boy do I need to learn linux. So many programs already on it and of course we find the video camera and record something right away! I connected to the library wireless network quickly but am having some issues with my home network. I am sure the community will have some answers.  Can’t wait for the weekend so I can explore it more in depth.

With my XO computer is here. I feel like I am half way to Africa.

-vc

I’m not pregnant but it feels like it!

Both my babies were late, so during the last few days  of my pregnancies everyone was asking “When is the baby coming?”. Of course I had not idea when each of them were coming.  I didn’t know the sex of my children before birth. I hoped my kids would come before my birthday.  I realized on some level after my kids were born my life would change.

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How does this apply to the Peace Corps? I have a the equivalent of a  due date, June 2008, but that is as flexible as a baby’s due date. The government will finish my paperwork in its own time.  I know I am going to Africa, like I knew I was having a child, but I don’t know where, like I didn’t know the sex of my child. Kind people ask me if I have heard anything and I try reply that I hope to know before Christmas but I really have no more control over that than I did my babies coming before my birthday.  And I imagine that my life will change as drastically as it did after my children were born.

So I am experiencing many of the same feelings now as I wait for the Peace Corps as I did when I was waiting for the birth of my girls. I am eager for the day to come. I am impatient. I don’t like feeling of not controlling my destiny. I have so many things to prepare before I go but many of them depend on the country I go to.  I am wondering how my life will change and trying with limited knowledge to figure out how to adjust to those changes. So I have the conflicting emotions of anticipation and aggravation.

To my friends I say keep asking. I’ll not take my frustration out on you and your asking shows your care and concern. maybe you could ask “is the baby arrived yet?” and we could laugh about it!

-vc

Thanksgiving 2007

Yesterday was the start of saying goodbye. It was my last Thanksgiving with family for a few years, if all goes as planned. It was a fun, happy, warm and yummy thanksgiving, tinges with a bit of sadness. My daughter and my new son-in-law had it at their house. Liz cooked up a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Fiya, my granddaughter and their niece, was there and so was Liz’s friend Sammi. After dinner we girls watched football with Eric. Love that player named Kitten or was it Witten? We ate to much. We laughed a ton.

I love my family

My family is crazy, loving, supportive, funny and loud! I am going to miss the convergence of personalities that make my family. They  better come visit me!

-vc

OLPC On Order!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I bought the cute little green computer created by One Laptop Per Child. I set my alarm for 5:45 a.m. so I could order the minute it became available at 6:00 a.m. this morning. AND I GOT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This will be another lesson in patience! They hope they can ship them all by Christmas! oh my! So instead of a birthday present for myself I guess it will be a Christmas present for myself.

I of course want this computer because it was designed for just the conditions I will be living in when I am in Africa. It’s practically indestructible, open source software, loaded with video, audio, networking etc.

I will of course share what I find as I play with this new toy/tool.

If you bought on and live in the Hartford Area please join my Facebook Group OLPC Hartford CT.

-vc

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