Friday, December 31, 2010

Summing up 2010 - A Year of Waiting

We were getting in the car to go to the gym for one last workout in 2010.  Steve said, "Well, it's the end of a decade."  To which I replied, "Well, every year is the end of a decade, right?"  Smart mouth.

What 2010 was for us, however, was a year of waiting, hoping, anticipating, and feeling frustration, too.  Anyone who reads this post trying to learn about applying to the Peace Corps should be aware that it is always a long process, but is especially so for married couples.

At the end of 2009, we had had our initial interview with the Peace Corps recruiter, Step 2 of the PC application process. (Step 1 is filling out the written application - about an 8-hour exercise.)  She assured us that we were PC material and would soon receive a nomination - Step 3.

So we waited.  We finally heard from her in March that they were extending a nomination for a volunteer position in English-speaking Africa, and that we would most likely leave between October and December.  So we got busy gathering all the medical and dental information they needed.  We also got REALLY busy trying to sell our house.

In August, we learned that our assigned projects in Africa had been cancelled and that the earliest we would deploy would be January.  Back on hold.  Sold the house and moved to a tiny apartment early September.

Mid-October - the CALL!  The Peace Corps extended the invitation (Step 4) to our assignment in Belize, but we wouldn't deploy until late March.  It's NOT typical to get an invitation with so much lead time.  I think it's more usual to learn 6-8 weeks before deployment.

We believe this is really going to happen! We have now started making lists, so we can make timelines (which lead to more lists).  I'm mentally counting down the weeks.

There were some pretty wonderful things that happened this year, too.

  • Top of our list - my son Jeff's marriage to his adorable wife, Stephanie! 
  • Steve attended his 45th high school reunion (UMS-Wright School in Mobile, Alabama).  Drove down with his two sisters and saw all the places where they had lived from 1953-1965.
  • We sold the house in about 6 months, and we didn't lose (too much) on the sale.
  • Steve finished up the last nine months at his practice, and retired at the end of September.
  • My Zumba classes have been very popular, and I'm in the best shape of my life.
  • Our fundraiser Zumbathon raised $3300 for hungry kids in North Carolina.  People are still talking about how much fun it was.
  • We were able to spend one more holiday season with our family.  And we had a white Christmas!

1 comment:

Rebecca Clay Haynes said...

Only 8 hours on that PC app? You guys are fast! I spent days and days on it, especially trying to find long-forgotten information. That said, I've put my own application on hold -- with the grandson, elderly parents and now a published short story (which encourages me to rework the remaining 13 in that series), I'm looking for shorter-term volunteer assignments overseas plus a couple of writer residencies in-between.

Good, good luck over the next few months with timelines and lists. They are fortunate to have you two. I'm off to Nicaragua for two weeks on January 21st -- are you having a going-away party? I'd love to see you before you go.