Wednesday, December 10, 2014

To Wile away the Hours....

...that turn into days and into weeks and, well, you get the picture. Suffice it to say that work is one big awful daily happening and I am starting to get antsy for the day when I am schedule to leave the states again. It's not enough to stay busy but I need to be uber-crazy-busy to not think about how much I don't like going into my job every day.

Wow. that didn't take long, did it? I've been there, what, six months?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

So here's the Skinny....

Peace Corps is trying to make the process a lot easier in order to attract more applicants. The last (and highest ever) number of applicants currently reached 17,336 as of October 8th. Why? To make more work for themselves? I mean, really? According to the Peace Corps official website,  the last count showed that there are only about 7200 openings around the globe (as of last September).

I believe that throwing out the latest tasty carrot; "You can choose where you want to serve" is what is driving up the numbers. Huh. Unfortunately, this is not quite true. Take my case. I was given a choice of 3 countries. After carefully weighing in on all three, I chose Indonesia. Where am I going? Albania. Not that I'm complaining. I'm happy to serve where ever I am needed most. And I do love Eastern Europe, so what's my beef?

I guess what the Peace Corps is trying to do is attract a greater number of qualified volunteers but this may end up back firing. When I served in Ukraine there were 500 of us...500!  The largest number of PCV's in any one country at any time. By the time I left, our numbers had dwindled by 200 and they were planning on skimming more off the top. The reason? Budget cuts. Not only did they cut the number of volunteers, they cut our allowance as well.

So, if the government was severely cutting back on services then, then why would they wish to attract more applicants? As far as I can tell the US is still not back on track with our economy. Wouldn't it make more sense to try to get along with the numbers they have rather than adding more volunteers and cutting services?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

News Flash...Life is Calling

I got my official invitation from the Peace Corps yesterday and I find myself returning once again to Eastern Europe!  Next stop, Albania!  I don't know a thing about Albania, but I have a friend from Romania who says it's beautiful. I saw some pictures and it does look rather nice but you never really get a good sense of anyplace until your feet actually touch the ground.

Some of the people I've told have expressed concern for me since I wasn't placed in Indonesia...the country where I was nominated to. I'm not disappointed in the least! In fact, I'm actually very excited to be returning to Eastern Europe...and to a country where they use a Latin alphabet! Huge bonus for me, absolutely. Maybe this time around I'll have a lot less stress about the language. To this day I am still able to think in Russian and use Russian words but it's an enormous relief to not have to try to converse with someone!!

Interesting fact: Albania is about the size of Maryland, yet has only 3 million people! This amazes me as there are almost a million folks here in Rhode Island and you can fit about 10 Rhode Islands into Albania!  More on this country as I learn about it.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Since I haven't written in a long time, I wasn't sure what to title this blog. I've sat down to write at least 10 times since I last wrote but nothing was really note worthy so I gave up.  After that last week later, as a matter of fact, I was offered a job with that company I wrote about who interviewed me for 90 minutes and then told me they weren't hiring.I like the work but the job is terrible. The person in charge of the main floor is a control freak and micro-manages everyone...and I mean EVERYONE. No one is immune to her nit-picking. The only reason I put up with it is because it's only temporary. I figured since March is only about 6 months away, I can put up with just about anything. Some day's are tougher than others, however, and it's a wonder none of us storms out in exasperation.

That aside, I heard from the Peace Corps placement office last week. I take this to mean that my letter of invitation is on the way although I may not be going to Indonesia like I thought. The girl in placement asked me if I would be willing to return to Eastern Europe. Of course I said yes...I'll go anywhere they send me now. I got to thinking too...about how much I miss my friends in Romania and Ukraine. It wouldn't be so bad to be closer to them again. I think the Peace Corps really does it's homework as far as placement goes. Knowing I have worked in the Eastern European school system does give me a distinct edge. All the former communist bloc countries have/had similar structures and since I am going to be training teachers, it would make sense to send me back.

Not knowing where I will end up has spiced up my life a bit. Normally surprises are not something I welcome, but this time it feels sorta nice. I am imagining all kinds of places and cultures where I may end up and the excitement just keeps building. I remember the wait for the first invitation with the Peace Corps was filled with anxiety. I was afraid to go to certain countries and the fear of the unknown kept me up on more than one occasion. This time is totally different. I am comfortable with where ever I am sent and with what ever happens. I think that being a seasoned veteran definitely has its advantages.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Unemployment: A Strange and Perilous Road

A few months ago I did a volunteer workshop at a daycare center for folks with Alzheimer's disease and it turned into a great experience for everyone involved. I introduced a simple loom on which they could use to create small rag rugs or whatever they wanted to make with it.  After this experience the director was interested in offering me employment and after thinking about it for a while, I sent in my work credentials hoping to land a job. I have a friend who works here and according to all reports, I had an immediate in. I was, NEEDED, to give the place some fresh ideas and new insight. I even sent away for a BCI (criminal background thingy), knowing they would be requiring one on condition of employment. Why wait? I knew this job was mine for the asking.

Or so I thought.

Keeping a long story short, the director was thrilled that I was considering employment with them so she set up an interview for me last Thursday. I met with her and the administrator for 90 minutes. This was the longest interview I ever had in all my years of employment! (I'm talking 40 years, folks)It was a great interview and at the end I had the impression all parties agreed that it would be beneficial for me to start work immediately. I remember thinking at the time that I could start the following week! There was one problem though- something that blind-sided me so completely I am still shaking my head in wonderment....

They. Weren't. Hiring.