Friday, July 29, 2005

Things to do before I'm ...

My friend Jennifer is creating a list of thing to do now that she's moving to NC. I had a list of things to do before I turn thirty including Qualify for the Boston Marathon, build a garage, build a deck, learn to dance (wasn't looking forward to that, but i still thought it'd be an honorable thing) and paint a mural. Peace Corps changed that entire list, but if you have any suggestions for her, she'd like to know. Check out her blog and offer some suggestions.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Life for sale

Closeout sale! Everything must go! House, Truck, even the Dogs (Bear & Leighla)! The house is officially listed w/ Century 21. The real estate agent said the house looked VERY clean for 2 guys living there, what do you expect when one (me) was a janitor in college and whose mother is the likeness of June Cleaver. Hey! I got it honestly... Once the house sells there should be some significant changes in the process. On the Medical front, I've had a HECK of a time getting an appointment w/ my dentist. IU school of dentistry = cheap, not accomodating. Remember that children. Which do you value higher?? Money or service? I've heard that the medical clearance is what takes the longest in the app process and that is certainly coming true. A Physical, blood work, signatures from physicians who had prescribed me medications dating back 5 years, dental clearance, optical information, and because i had taken depression medication 3 years ago, information from my counselor... It all adds up to red tape and delays. Oh what fun! Ghana, Africa. I have a cousin, Dixie, who, ironicly, had applied to the Peace Corps a few months before I had, has recieved her Formal Invitation from the PC office and she'll be in Ghana!!! "Business Advising in ecotourism sector". She has begun a blog and I'll link it later. Most ironicly is that neither of us knew the other was applying. When i told my mom I was doing this she said, "Your cousin Dixie is doing the same thing!!" Wouldn't that be ironic if we were even remotely close to each other while doing this expedition?? Of all things and all places in the world to be... It's a little too ironic, and yeah, i really do think. If anyone is interested in the doggers, truck or house let me know!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Nice Pants!

N, originally uploaded by dunnbrian.

This is the first picture i'm trying to blog, and isn't it a doozy! Taken in Rushville Indiana. Does that explain it??

Broken ball joints and MATHIAS!!!

I was due to attend a peace corps picnic last night for which I had just stoppedy by the Discount Den of child labor otherwise known as Wal-Mart when my truck decided to break down. Fortunately, right there nearby was a Big O Tire (which I believe is an Irish name) and my former place of occupation, Applebees. Easy solution, tow the truck to Big O, supper tonight at the 'Neighborhood Bar & Grill'. While there, I made a striking discovery. Is there anyplace that offers you more unconditional love and support than your fellow restaurant employees? I get more care, concern and attention from my Apple-buddies than from friends, co-workers and especially church folk... what's up with that?? Any thoughts are welcome. Included, you'll find a link to Mathias' blog. Mathias is a Redneck, straight up, and one of my best friends that I don't know. Our relationship extends to me yelling MATHIAS at the top of my lungs whenever i see him, to which he replies 'PERVIS' and that's about as far as we ever get. If you want to see pictures of Tractor Pulls and Combine Derby's check out his blog. A true education for all City Dwellers.

Friday, July 08, 2005

So why are you doing this?

Here are as many of the reasons why as i can think of. Some big, some small, but all of them reasons: * I was VERY bored at work one day late in May of 2005. Frustrated about career paths or lack there of. I wasn't using my degree to teach. I was't getting any fulfillment from my current position. I had hit another praverbial and inevitable career wall. I was standing there with a blank sheet of paper in front of me and on it I wrote 2 questions: "What am I supposed to do with my life?" followed soon after by "What about the Peace Corps?" That's where it really started. That's all it took. Those questions haunted me deeply and sent me into an inner search for meaning. Prior to that i had been job searching. Looking for work and not a path. An income and not a life's work. I had an application w/ the Fishers Fire Department but 6 months ago i had no ambition to be a fireman, it was a job. A means to fit an income. * My beloved teacher Mr Doyle and I were talking after choir this spring and he had remarked how Jacob Froman took a life path that he really admired. After high school, Jacob joined the Navy and traveled around the world. It gave him a chance to shake the dust off of Rushville and Indiana and to find himself in the somewhere out there. He left high school a squirly, aloof and mildy naive student and he came back a well rounded and assertive young man. In his travels he found a greater sense of what he had to offer to the world, what the world needed, and what he needed to do to achieve that. * Roger Williams, youth minister at Trinity Park UMC has enlightened me to a more global picture of the world outside. He continuly teaches his kids to just get out there and see it. You don't have to make big changes necessarly, just open your eyes and see what's there. Thanks for the talks at Starbucks, Rog! And i'll still swear that when you mentioned the Peace Corps I totally dismissed it as an non plausable option that i completely wasn't interested in, but it totally planted a seed. (They should seriously think about paying you for recruiting) * Ever seen the movie "The Motorcycle Diaries"? Need I say more? This movie more than anything else gave me a desire finally to drop everything, sell my house and go. As the story goes, two men from Argentina (one of them being Che Guavara) take a motorcycle trip through Latin America. It was supposed to be just a trip, covering 6000 km, but in the midst of their travels they saw a world that before had only been known through still pictures. The landscape came to life. Indigineous people, poverty, social injustice, oppression, hardships. It created a stir in them that not enough was being done to help. The rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer and by seeing it first hand they were able to sense on a deeper level their need to uncover the cause and contribute in their own way to the solution. * I am VERY single. It's not uncommon for me to go years between dating. You've got your whole life to be married, and i'm definately looking forward to that, but there are very different things you can do and experience while you're single, so take advantage of it. * At 26, I am young (the average age of a peace corps volunteer is 28) * After praying about the decison i just felt a great sense of peace about having a direction and a goal in life. It gave me new sense of life and a greater sense of purpose. One that wasn't driven by the corporate ladder or by an income level. It's about breaking free, experiencing life in a way few others have. By losing everything, I'm gaining. *I believe that I have a call to serve. Just as mother Theresa served the poorest of the poor. Just as Jesus lived, taught, served, healed, and died for His people. * The thought of the Peace Corps was a speck in my mind when i graduated from Purdue in December of 2001, but i had other things i wanted to do. I wanted to move to Boston. To find a job. Work. Live. Experience a big city and to have a big city experience me. To see what the world (at least a portion in New England) had to offer. On January 15, 2002 i had my car packed, ready to leave when something happened that altered my path. My grandmother had a massive stroke and i decided to move in w/ my grandfather and go ahead and use my degree and teach. Taught for 2 years, bought a house. Those were 2 things on my 'list'. Teaching shop wasn't for me and owning a home is a more expensive hobby than i had first realized. So check those off the list and the next thing was Peace Corps. *Jennifer MeGee just served a 2 year stint in Haiti and the Dominican Republic with the PC and after speaking to her at length it only solidified my desire to join. She spoke of life in her village and how different it was than she could have anticipated. She made friendships she never thought were possible. Close, intimate friendships. She wasn't just doing soemthing for people, she worked side by side with the Hatians and people of the Dominican Rebublic teaching them how to provide for themselves on a small scale a better way of life. But mostly it was relational work. Relating with people. Communing with people. Sharing life with people, despite the difference in skin color, religion, race and creed.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

What is the Peace Corps exaclty?

"...i mean, i've heard of it and all, but what exactly is it and what do they really do?" Good question! The best place for this info is the Peace Corps website. The Peace Corps (PC) was begun by John F. Kennedy in 1961. The mision was to send US volunteers to live and work in developing countries. Volunteers are asked to spend 2 years in another country in fields such as agriculture, environmental protection, AIDS/health care, construction, teaching english, and information technology to name a few. Since that time, more than 178,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have been invited by 138 host countries! The Peace Corps has 3 goals: 1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their needs for trained men and women. 2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served. 3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of all Americans. History Peace Corps officially established: March 1, 1961 Total number of Volunteers and trainees to date: 178,000 Total number of countries served: 138 Volunteers Current number of Volunteers and Trainees:7,733 Gender:58% female, 42% male Marital Status:89% single, 10% married People of Color:15% of Peace Corps Volunteers Age:28 years old (average), 25 years old (median) Volunteers over age 50:6% (oldest Volunteer is 82) Education:97% have at least an undergraduate degree, 14% have graduate studies or degrees Current number of countries served:72

The Process

Well, here i am after the first month of applying for the PC and i'll do my best to update you on the entire process. It was early in June (i can't remember the exact date) that i officially submitted my peace corps application. I'll write about my reasons for applying in a later post. The application itself is very long and it deters many potential applicants and general deadbeats from actually applying. The peace corps estimates that it takes approximately 8 hours to complete the application which includes 2 essays about your reasons for wanting to join as well as what cross-cultural experience you have. You need 3 letters of reccomendation from 3 very different sources: former employer (Lanny Parker Morristown Jr/Sr High Principal), someone who supervised me in volunteer work (Mark Nelson Minister Purdue Christian Campus House), and a close friend (Jill Case friend of 11 years priceless). Once the application was submitted i recieved some media from the office in Chicago requesting that i schedule an interview. I also recieved an email stating that a recruiter would be at IUPUI Friday, June 24th. I went and interviewed with Jamie. The interview went as expected. Basic questons: why i wanted to join?, how i handled stress?, how well i got along with people? They're basicly looking for red flags as to what might be difficult adjusting to 2 years away from the familiarities and comforts of my good ol' American home and way of life while working with a group of strangers who are intensly different from me. They also looked at my mad skills and did an assessment of which program i would be placed in and they have several: IT (computer stuff), Teaching English, Agriculture, Construction, Community Development, Business/Economics, Environment/Forrestry. They are all basicly teaching positions no matter what you are doing you are teaching people.

Friday, July 01, 2005

so this is blogging??

i've got to say, this is the first attempt at blogging and i feel like an old pro already. the purpose of this blog aka "weblog" is to update information about the process of the Peace Corps experience i'm about to endure. If you're unfamiliar with blogs it's essentially an online diary w/ posting and pictures that is updated periodicly to keep the who in the know. For more info, i suggest visiting more to come...