While I was in New Jersey en route to New York City during my vacation last week, I received via telephone my official invitation to serve in the Peace Corps. My placement officer offered me a position teaching in Indonesia, on the south-central island of Java. I was told that this placement would be unique in its challenges because 2010 is the first year the United States will be sending volunteers to Indonesia since 1963, so the program is completely unestablished. After reviewing a brief description of the program, I accepted my invitation the following day. My placement officer said “Congratulations, and welcome to the Peace Corps!” and that was that. After a year’s worth of communications, applications, interviews, doctor’s appointments, waiting, and uncertainty, I have received and accepted my invitation… and it seems surreal, after all this waiting.
I don’t think it’s truly set in yet. I had an anxious couple of days in NYC where I had no internet or library access, but feel better after being home in Bloomington and able to begin researching my new home. It’s difficult, though, not being with my relatives now. I have a great family here in Bloomington, but I’ll be happy to be with my Michigan family in a few weeks. I’m experiencing so many emotions, from terror to elation to sorrow and everything in between. Peace Corps usually gives at least six weeks notice before you leave the country; I have five weeks to wrap up my life here and say goodbye.
I’ll be flying to Java in 35 days.