A little more PC news... I sent Jill (my Placement Assistant) another email asking about her service and she replied with lots of information about her time in Paraguay. It sounds like she did a TON of stuff in 2 years, which is pretty cool. Some of the books I've read don't seem to describe much in terms of the projects that people do, so it's exciting to know that it is possible to accomplish quite a bit during the short service. It's weird that I'm describing two years as short, but in thinking about my past experience, I feel like it can take a lot of time to accomplish very little, especially when dealing with work-place politics and red tape and bureaucracy. I would expect this to be amplified when dealing with foreign and U.S. government.
Anyway, Jill recommended that I read some volunteer blogs (LOL!!!!) and also said the following:
"I am glad you have taken some time to consider how important flexibility is! The best way to go into Peace Corps is with an open mind and remembering why you wanted to do Peace Corps in the first place. Most of us what to do Peace Corps to help others and continue with service work, so this is possible no matter what country you may end up in." So true.
In response, I sent another email on Sunday and pushed my luck by asking if she knew when I would hear from my Placement Specialist, even though last week she told me the "few weeks or so" that had me so incensed. I lucked out and got this response yesterday:
"I think your Placement Specialist will most likely complete her final review of your application materials sometime this week. She may contact you with some follow up questions once that is complete." Did you read that? SOMETIME THIS WEEK!!! No, "OR SO"! Even if "sometime this week" means next week, it's definitely more promising than "a few weeks or so." I'm happy.
In other news, one of our cats, May, is very sick. I took him to the vet yesterday and he has something wrong with his liver and has lost a majority of his body weight, which we didn't notice because he is so fluffy and I guess we're terrible cat parents. He's on antibiotics and some sort of liver functioning medication and on Thursday, we're taking him for an ultrasound. Yes, to those of you without pets, this probably sounds really crazy. And for those of you with children, I don't mean to offend or minimize human offspring, but our cats are like children to us. We'd probably feel differently if we had children, but this is as close as we've gotten, and it's heartbreaking to think about losing one of them. I know it's inevitable, and every time I've lost a pet, I wonder why anyone would ever have pets because it's so hard when they die (and you typically outlive them). Yet, somehow, after losing a cat and a dog growing up, I find myself with three cats to whom I am unnaturally attached. May is our sweetheart. He wants nothing more than to sit on a lap and be rubbed. He loves to be touched or spoken to and tolerates everything (except blowing air in his face, to which my sister can attest). He and Molly (his brother) will be six years old in March. We've had them since they were about six weeks old. We've had Moo since she was only a few days old and now she's four. It's hard to think about leaving them for two years. When Colin was deployed both times, you could tell they really missed him. Molly went on Prozac (really) to deal with his separation anxiety. The cats are the best thing about being at our house to us. They drive us crazy sometimes, but they've enriched our lives and we really love them. Most people who meet our cats think they're pretty strange, and they are. They're all very affectionate and needy for human attention, which is sort of unusual because a lot of cats are all aloof and independent. They're lap-cats who like to be carried around and we indulge them in that. We're really hoping that May pulls through. I know it's off-topic and makes me out to be a crazy cat lady, but it had to be said. We love our May.
That's all for now! On to more waiting... for PC and for May's prognosis to become more clear.