Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Like Being 14 Again

When I was 14, I had a crush on a boy named David. He seemed to like me, too, and even though my parents said I was too young to date, I was thrilled when David said he'd call.

I waited by the phone. I invented the "laws of attraction", focusing all my energy on willing David to call. Every time the phone rang I transformed into a panther to leap on it, growling at any family member who tried to beat me to it. The anticipation of "the call" was almost a physical pain. David never did call.

I'm feeling the pain again now. I faxed everything Medical Services requested back last Friday. All tests were great except for one. My doctor says the result was so close to normal, I should just ignore it. Will the Peace Corps agree?

Every time the phone rings or an email pops up, I jump, hoping it will be word that I've been medically cleared. Good friends may be getting a touch annoyed with hearing "Oh, it's only you." when they call me. My mailman thinks I'm stalking him because I've been spending so much time hanging around the mailbox, waiting for a letter from the Peace Corps.

I'm taking deep breaths. I'm working on patience. Peace Corps, please, don't do me like David did.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mail From Medical

I picked up my mail today on my way to run some errands. Immediately spotted the Peace Corps return address and decided to wait until I got home to open the envelope. My resolve lasted about 30 seconds until I hit a red light, then I was ripping that puppy open.

The good news is that this is the first time I've heard from the PC medical folks. All in all, the news doesn't seem too bad. I need a couple of more blood tests. I got the Hep B surface test, but not the Hep B core test. Who knew there were two? The Dr. also missed checking two boxes on the form. Not sure how that happened since the Dr. double checked, her PA double checked and I triple checked. Perhaps because there were 437 pages of forms?

I'm seeing the Dr. and visiting my friends at the lab next week, so should be able to fax everything back by the end of the week. Hopefully, that will be all required for me to be medically cleared. Next step is placement and (hopefully) an invitation.

So, I'm still on tenterhooks, waiting for if/when I get the invitation. BTW, I've always wondered what a tenterhook was. Seems the term goes back to the 14th century and refers to a tool used in making woolen cloth. I'm sure that tidbit of information will be useful...to someone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Application Status Update

Application Status Update: that's what every PC nominee wants to see as a new email subject. Finally, there's progress on my application! I wanted to savor the moment, so took a deep breath and slowly logged into the PC site, so I could read the exciting update.

Glad I didn't call friends so that they could join me in celebrating. It would have been a bit embarrassing. The update is that now, in addition to having a legal hold on my account, there's also a medical hold. In a way, that's good news, since it means that someone in D.C. is reviewing my medical file.

Since I'd actually heard that was happening from my recruiter, it was a bit anticlimactic. She'd also told me that I'd cleared the legal review.

So the update is old news. But it really doesn't matter, since every day I know that progress is being made. Perhaps not as quickly or transparently as I'd like, but things are moving forward.

My recruiter didn't lie when she said the application process would give me a chance to practice the patience I'd need for my time in the PC.

In the meantime...

While I'm home, practicing being patient, I love to hang out at Black Hammock on Lake Jessup. I drag everyone who visits me there for an air boat ride and a cold beer. The sunsets are spectacular.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Gonna Miss This

Want to really appreciate how good your life is? Apply for the Peace Corps.

Long before I hit the "enter" key to send my application on November 26,2009, I researched and thought about how my life would change. Putting aside for a minute all the enormous emotional, psychological life-changing stuff that will no doubt come from living in a different culture, let's think about the small things we take for granted. Or, perhaps I'm the only one who takes for granted all the creature comforts most of us have.

Yesterday, I put my laptop down so I could toss a load of laundry into the washer. Took another load out of the dryer. Walked back into the cool, clean, quiet family room where my computer was still connected to the Wi-Fi.

A bit later, stepped outside to turn on the gas grill. Threw some ribs on to cook, then turned on the stove inside to sauté some fresh sweetcorn. Took salad fixings out of the fridge - romaine, strawberries, blue cheese. Tossed on a few almonds for good measure. Poured a glass of pretty good red wine.

Later, put down Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" and turned out the light. Stretched out on clean sheets, with the temperature/humidity perfectly controlled. The silence was so loud I could hear it.

After a great night's sleep, I got up early this morning and headed out for a walk. I saw ducks and a great blue heron. Enjoyed a view of the lake while talking with a friend on my cell phone. Avoided getting run over in the crosswalk by an impatient young woman who ran a red light.

Got home and took two tons (ok, maybe a few hundred lbs) of trash out to the curb. Between the walk and hauling out all the stuff I'd cleaned out of my garage I was really feeling the heat/humidity. Took off my sweaty clothes and dropped them in the washer. Walked through the house and hit the pool for a short, refreshing swim.

Back in the house for a hot shower. Then, hopped in the convertible to head to the store to stock up on groceries. After work today, I'll be getting a massage.

I have a very, very good life. I'll miss all the creature comforts that I've taken for granted for most of my life. Having electricity at the flip of a switch. Clean water at the turn of a faucet. Air-conditioning. A flush toilet and hot shower. A huge variety of food. Control over my environment and schedule.

I'll miss all that. I won't miss dodging impatient drivers in cross-walks.

Six months from now, when I'm whining in this blog about mosquitoes, humidity and roosters, feel free to tell me to suck it up and remind me that I chose to leave my cushy life in Florida. I'll be working on focusing on the bigger and more important stuff so I don't notice I don't have a flush toilet.

Photos were all taken near City Hall in Lake Mary, FL.