Saturday, February 18, 2006

Peace Corps Packing List

The house is scheduled to close on Feb 28. Still haven't heard back from the inspection which was on Wednesday but the couple has asked to move the closing up to earlier in the day and they've been asking about phone numbers for local elementary schools. I have flight information. I leave for Boston for 3 days of staging on Thursday, March 2 from the Indianapolis airport at 7am and I'll be flying to Uganda to begin training on Sunday March 5!! It's all happening so fast. I feel like i'm in a plane ready to parachute out and as the time approaches I keep saying, "wait a minute. am i really sure that this is what I want to do? give me a few more months to get ready and then I'll go. " And it's not that I'm not ready or psyched or totally into going, but there are still some intense feelings about leaving my friends and family behind for 2 years and venturing into the totally unknown and being totally alone in a foreign country... Oh yeah... Sold the truck on thursday. it was like saying goodbye to a good friend (except for the part where I profitted from the ordeal) A guy from Gas City saw the ad in the Star, called me that morning and that evening paid cash for the truck. So here's the list of stuff I'm taking for 2 years. It's still subject to minor changes: Clothing Dark Cargo Pants GorTex Rain Gear Underwear Sox 3 T Shirts 2 pr Jeans white oxford shirt blue oxford shirt short sleeve button up poly/cotton shirt hat ‘hoodie’ sweatshirt fleece zip up windbreaker 1 pr nice pants Electronics HeadLamp Flashlight Laptop Flash Drive IPod Nice Headphones Digital Camera Extra camer battery Extra memory card Garmin GPS Vista Battery Charger 12 AA Batteries 8 AAA Batteries Brunton Solar Battery Charger Shortwave Radio Small Speakers External CD-RW Drive (because mine is broken on my laptop) Timex Watch Power Converter/Transformer Batery Powered Beard/Mustache Clippers Tools/Utincils/Camping Leatherman Pocket Knife Non Stick Frying Pan Kitchen Pearing Knife Sleeping Bag Sleeping pad Can Opener Large Hiking Backpack Backpack Large Duffle Bag Shoes 1 pr running shoes 1 pr everyday shoes (old running) 1 pr hiking/work Wolverine boots 1 pr Chacos sandals Hygiene, etc: 2 pr glasses 9 mos contacts (daily) Vitamins Toothbrush/case/paste Nail clippers Deodorant Floss Disposable razor blades Razor Colts beech towel sunglasses Misc Harmonica Deck of Cards Cheese Packets Spices Flash Cards Ultimate Frisbee 2 Soccer Balls Books DVDs Gifts Pictures family/home/life Post cards of Indiana Stationary Stamps Money belt Games Cash Visa Card 2 rolls duct tape Dial Combination Lock Bungee Cords Revised 8/27/2006 Items I Didn't Need: Stamps (I mail things from here so US stamps have proven worthless. My idea was to send some letters with PCVs returning home, but with the internet and email, letter writing is something I don't use much of) Pocket Knife (never used one back home, don't know why I thought I would here) Windbreaker (if it rains I use my rain coat and if it's cold the fleece) Shortwave Radio (paid $100 bucks for the thing and all I use it for is listening to BBC on FM which a regular $5 radio could have done!) Power converter/transformer (most of my electronics work with the 220 voltage here including my laptop and iPod and they sell 'converters' which just change the plugin to fit their outlets) I WISH I would have brought: 1 pr nice/casual shoes (a pair of nice/casual comfortable shoes that could be worn for 'work' or 'casual') Suit (Jacob has worn his suit a couple of occasions and is glad he brought it) Food items: Hot Sauce (jacob's idea, not mine), cheese packets, individual packets of mustard and ketchup because they don't spoil, spices) Solar Shower What has proven INVALUABLE: Laptop (i use it daily! Music, DVDs, work, Outlook, updating my blog, a place to put my digital pictures, etc. It has a dozen uses a day! Other volunteers are bringing theirs home when they return for visits) GPS (i love my gps and have used it on several occasions) iPod (even though it broke during traning, it was a God-send when it worked) Digital Camera (for all of those kodak moments) Chacos (never owned a pair but it prevents me from having to do sock laundry!) Jeans (not super common and are considered 'casual wear' here, but I LOVE the fit and feel of durable jeans) Headlamp Flash Drive (256 MB) (SEVERAL uses for it)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Survey Says?

It's just not setting in. In 3 weeks I'll be IN Uganda!! That's right! My peace corps service in Uganda will begin March 6. I'll fly out of Indianapolis to Boston for staging at 7am March 2 where I'll spend a few days in orentation and then WHAM, fly straight to Africa... So here's my question to you, readers: If you were going to spend 2 years in Africa what 5 books and 5 movies would you take?? Don't be shy. Post a comment and list what you'd take and why... It might be a more difficult choice than you think. I'm not limited to just 5 books and movies, but I thought it'd be fun to see what people would choose.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The House is SOLD!!!!

It all happened so fast! Friday night I blogged my disappointment that the house hadn't sold and wasn't going to sell and that I would be forced to stay here and 'house sit' until it did sell, and then by Saturday afternoon... it was sold! There were 2 couples looking at the house. The first couple was going to make an offer on Tuesday but we never heard back from them. The 2nd couple wanted to buy the house on contract because their credit scores weren't high enough. They were going to put 2,000-5,000 down and then 'rent' until they could purchase based on improved credit score. The catch would be that all that down payment would go toward realty fees and there's still no guarantee they would buy the house. So back to the first couple: my realtor and I agreed to put a deadline on them. They needed to make an offer by 5pm on friday due to the urgency that it needed to be sold. Friday came and went and we never heard from them. I didn't feel comfortable pressuring someone into a major purchase like that, but I was willing to give it a try. On saturday morning, I awoke w/ an idea. What if we offered to reduce the price of the house and make an offer to THEM? Sort of like a 'red tag clearance sale' if you will. So I called my realtor and we drew up the contract (only in reverse for what a buyer would submit) and made the offer. Within an hour and a half they signed!!! Amazing! Completely amazing! No words to really express the weight that was lifted. I am now free to go to the peace corps (pending the inspection, so i'm not totally out of the woods...) Ever see the movie Rudy?? I cry at that movie. Do you know where? Not at the end when he gets the sack. That's a big part, but not THE part. The one i'm talking about is when he's been going to Holy Cross and applying to Notre Dame over and over and over and each time he gets rejected. His last chance of eligibility he applies one more time and he recieves the envelope that contains the information of whether all of his hard work paid off or not. He has worked so hard and studied so much and poured his heart and soul into getting into Notre Dame. It has been his life dream. So he sits on a bench by a river and opens the envelope, removes the letter and reads: "Congratulations, you have been accepted to the University of Notre Dame" He cries tears of pure joy as he reads through the letter and then tucks it into a book and runs off. Saturday was my Rudy moment!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

an announcement to make:

the house is SOLD!!! (pending inspection)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Nothing Yet...

No offers yet. The woman who was interested did get approved for the loan but then decided that she wasn't ready to buy for another 6 months. Understandable but it doesn't help me out. Since then I've had 2 people look it this past week 3 times each. The first woman has yet to make an offer but seems very interested. The other is a middle aged couple who wants to buy it on contract, meaning they want to pay $$$ down and 'rent' it until they are qualified to buy it. If they back out then they would lose their $$$ down, however, it's not like i'll just be holding that money. If the sale were to go through their $$$ would go to paying the realator and I would be left with hardly nothing and a sincere hope that they do actually buy the house in 6 months or whatever. Not the best of scenereos but it's all i've got right now. My big concern is leaving financial responsibilities to my 80 yr old father. He shouldn't be financially responsible for my house mortgage if something happens, and I can't be responsible for it half way around the world, so I don't know what to do. Just wait and see I guess. I wish i would have sold it in november and taken a little bit of a loss. It would have been better than this...