Tuesday, June 2, 2009

So Guess What...

Hey Faithful Readers

I'm back in Kombo through Friday to see off a few more good friends of mine whos time here has come to an end. Life and work in Chargel is pretty much about the same as the last time I sent out updates, but I DO have an update about my future plans which I am very excited to share.

No! I'm NOT getting married...

I have been offered, and accepted, the opportunity to extend my Peace Corps service to work with "at-risk" youth in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan!

And just in case you're interested, this is how it happened:

I had an informal conversation with my Peace Corps country director about my future, long-term goals of working with "at risk" populations in the Mid-East, and within just a few days I was contacted by Peace Corps/Jordan, suggesting I apply for an extension to serve as a Youth Development Volunteer there.

I had an impromptu phone interview with the Area Peace Corps Director of Jordan, and one could say that my resume with experience as a wellness RA, working with refugees in Denmark, work with the Kossuth Teen Center, and of course the projects and experiences I've been working with in Gambia were basically a slam dunk.

Really, this is nothing less than an absolute dream come true...to say the least. I will be working with at-risk youth in a community/youth center, promoting primarily informal education and recreation activities. Basically, two years of summer camp in the Middle East working with primarily Palestinian youth. I mean really... Plus, since my long term goals are to continue working with "at risk" populations in the Mid-East, primarily in relation to Palestinian refugees, this is about as good as it can get. (and I'm guessing the Arabic language skills will be a plus in the future, also...)

Life certainly progresses in creative ways, and I can see certain aspects of why this time in Gambia may have been a necessary pre-requisite to my life before taking on this opportunity. After all, personal maturity and self-confidence is a must, and I know these years in Gambia have been a great turning point in my life.

So... This means you all actually get to see me sooner than you expected! I will head back to the States in mid September for a month of vacation before heading to Jordan mid October to begin Training...again. It will be another two years of service, but I really don't have any qualms with that since this is something I thought I would have to have an MA or something to be able to work with. Something I didn't think I would get to do for quite some time. It seems almost too good to be true.

Another upside is that Jordan is quite developed, comparatively, so access to internet and cell phone reception won't be an issue anymore. So, while I will continue to work overseas for a few more years, communication will definitely be improved!

Plus, can I just mention how exciting it will be to work in a country with mountains, a RANGE of temperatures, and ABSOLUTELY AMAZING FOOD (can we say kabob? falafel? shwarma? hummus??)

As you can tell, I'm excited to share this news with you.

Until Next Time,