Friday, May 08, 2009

A Fill-Up On The Enthusiasm Tank

It has been some time since I have had any word on my application to the Peace Corps and honestly, without any news the whole idea recedes into the back of my mind if there isn't something new to ingest. Over the past week or two I have been more preoccupied with my upcoming vacation than with an update on my medical kit from Washington, D.C.

An enthusiasm gap was settling in - will I ever get going with this? Do I still want to do this if it should come to pass? Without the wind in my sails I felt more adrift, and just a touch less ready to get to that next stage.

Tonight's get together over in Northampton changed my perspective somewhat. Past and future Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) were invited to a pot luck dinner and meet-and-greet at a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer's (RPCV) house. This was the fastest 3 hours I've spent at a pot luck ever. The time whizzed by as I was privileged to speak with those who have already been through the process and gone through the emotions. My very good friend (and RPCV herself) Rebecca was there, as well as my brand new RPCV friends Joe, Jill, Sara, and "Betsy". Many more were in attendance but once you get rolling with the questions and the answers come at you in waves it is difficult to talk to and meet everyone. Probably about 20 in all were in attendance.

It is hard to pinpoint what I gleaned from the evening as there were 3 suggestions and 2 intriguing stories for every question I had, all of which I wanted to memorize or do my best to store away for later use if I am so lucky to be invited, but the most important thing I got from this evening was that connectedness to something bigger, grand, and exciting. It has been quite some time since I felt like that, possibly even going all the way back to the night where I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about applying. Just tremendous fun to talk about this possible life.

I really took too much of Sara's time with my questions, but she had served in Lesotho (a pronunciation that sounds much more like leh-SU-too than how I was accustomed to saying it) and I was zoning in on those who served in Africa without realizing it. Great information from her as she described what it was like living there, getting used to the situation, making new friends, and even coming back and the difficulties that imposes on the volunteer.

I could go on but the picture is pretty much done there - a friendlier group of people it would be hard to find.

As the night of stories moved along I realized that some of those old comforts that I am so used to right now won't be here for long if I really were depart in July or August (who knows when the date might be), so I strolled over to the convenience store that is open 24 hours a day just for a whim such as mine and walked out with a pint of ice cream. I know I shouldn't do that, but while I still can...

I made the exception. It was delicious! Enthusiasm and blood sugars are at an all-time high.

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