Archive for November, 2005

1. My Peace Corps country will be the 7th country I’ve lived in and the 3rd country I’ve lived in with Will. The qualifying countries are those in which I’ve lived for more than a year: America, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Spain and Australia

2. We will live in our first house. Possibly with a small garden where we can grow herbs. Possibly with a fruit tree out front with which to make fruit juices with.

3. I won’t have to speak English all the time. I like having options of being able to speak another language if I felt inclined to do so.

4. Will is finally going to become fluent in Spanish. He’s been dangling on the edge of becoming fluent for some time now. Moving to a Spanish-speaking country and eating, drinking and breathing Spanish for 27 months tends to cause such things.

5. My assignment will be my first real job in the real world. I don’t know the specifics yet but I’m sure it has a top ranking among entry level jobs. All of a sudden leaving going from the world of academia to the world of working doesn’t seem that daunting.

6. I will be living in the same place for 2 years = a sense of stability and comfort

7. Beans, rice and queso fresco! Completely vegetarian-friendly.

8. I’m finally going to be let in on the secret of what it really means to be Latina. I’ve lived in Latin America before, but I was a prominent member of the expat community then. That almost counts.

9. The idea of having our first pet, whose names have already been chosen: Toorak for male and Murrumbeena for female.

10. I’m hoping to become less attached to material things and get over my obsession with belts. I’m looking forwards to living a more “simple” life for awhile: free of credit card payments, reduced exposure to GMO foods, carrying around a wallet with a library card, supermarket points card, university ID card, driver’s license, old reciepts, met cards, candy wrappers, building ID card, door key-card, video rental card and frequent customer cards, not having to worry about wasting, saving, losing or gaining time…

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It has arrived!

I just check the tracking progress of our FedExed medical clearance documents and they have arrived in DC. Well, technically they are at the sorting facility in Dulles, VA–pretty much there.


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When we (I) had originally sent the medical clearance documents, I placed them inside the FedEx envelope that Peace Corps provides for free and placed that envelope inside a non-marked Australia post envelope. We didn’t think FedEx existed here, so I figured they might want that envelope back.

Well, let me tell you that FedEx DOES exist here and it cost $60 to send those papers yesterday. $60!!! We better get medically cleared without any snags or questions asked. That’s all I’ve got to say on the topic.

End of story.

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FedEx Does Exist

Apparently FedEx does exist in Australia-it would have been a good idea to have figured that out before sending in the originals. So we took a little trip to FedEx Kinkos yesterday to resend our medical clearance documents and apparently you need a passport to send anything. We decided to come back the next day, as we had just missed the courier for the day, and we were NOT going to walk back home to pick up a passport. Hopefully resending the documents will finally get this show on the road.

Medical clearance: Take 2

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Before heading off to work this morning I gave the medical screening office a call and someone magically answered the phone! The person I spoke to was really helpful and even turned out to be the person in charge of medical clearance for Central and South America. He checked our details in the system and confirmed that Peace Corps has not received our documents. At the end of the phone call he gave me an address to re-send the documents, a local number to call him at, as well as an email where we can contact him with any questions. Nice guy, that one.

I checked with the Australia Post and according to them Economy Mail and Sea Mail are only options if you request them. Some weeks ago I sent a care package to a Peace Corps friend in Zambia and was given several shipping options– Air Mail and Sea Mail. Being that our Medical Kit was only documents, it has to have been send via air mail, therefore only needing 4-6 work days to reach America. The address I was given over the phone is the exact one that I remember writing on the envelope, so it clearly must be a fault in the postal system.

This must be the 50 millionth post about mail! But just like any other nominee, I too am anxious. Everyone speaks of having patience, but that is very difficult to do when such exciting things lie in the future!

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Running out and away

After reading about several people who have received medical clearance this past week, including some who’ve posted their documents after us, I’m officially worrried. I tried to call the screening office on Friday morning (Thursday afternoon DC time) and realized that 1800 numbers cannot be dialed from here so I had to call the main Peace Corps office in DC and have them transfer me–three times. I reached an answering machine all three times. It’s not like I can ask them to call me back, and that “by the way the number is in Australia.”

Well, if worse comes to worse, we’ve got copies of everything. *sigh*

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No Status, Same Status

I’m officially going to stop wondering when my Toolkit will change. We’re months away from our departure date, so I suppose there’s no sense in anticipating anything just yet.

November+December+January+February+March+April+May = 7 months of waiting for Peace Corps Departure

November+December = amount of time working at cushy job

November+December+January = estimated time to receive medical clearance

December (10 days) = amount of time parents will be visiting

December+January+February+March = months we will be in Thailand

March+April+May+June = amount of time to finish last semester of grad school and prepare for move

June = month we leave Australia, head to America for last minute preparations and depart for Latin America

That should just about cover all the stuff we have to do from now until then.

*For those interested parties, the right-hand sidebar now offers a nifty place to receive these blog entries via email.

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