A cool thing happened yesterday morning at 8AM CST. Myself and about 12 other individuals had a conference call with our Country Director (CD) in Indonesia. The CD gave us some basics on what happens when we arrive in Indonesia, training timeline, some advice from currently serving Peace Corp Volunteers (PCVs), and answered some of our questions. The people in my conference call asked a lot of great questions about packing and clothes (professional for staging and swearing in later and business casual for 1st week of training), about having a U.S. debt and credit card (yes to both). I asked about shipping and the CD said we should wait until after training when we are placed in a district to see what my needs are and also said we will be able to find a lot of what we need in country. The CD said we can bring an unlocked phone or we can also buy a phone in country, Apple products are okay there, bring small/ little gifts for host family, we will be given a bike or money to buy a bike (this will be our main mode of transportation), in terms of bringing materials for class the CD said we should wait to see what the school has since a lot of schools have plenty of resources or are getting more resources but then added that PC tries to place us in schools with little resources (so I guess wait and see and have things shipped later). This is kind of the breakdown of the Q&A portion of the call.
I didn’t realize how much I really needed this call because it reinforced that the decision I made to apply and accept my invitation into the Peace Corps (PC) was correct. The process towards becoming a PCV is so long and without much communication from PC it can either motivate you more or start to make you question your decision. During the actual application process, interviews, and up until invitation I had no doubts about joining the PC but as my departure date started to get closer (really at the one month before departure date) I began to feel fear for the first time and worry. This is completely normal but it’s difficult to actually deal with. I was already missing my ummie (mother) before I even left her and wondering if I made the right decision. BUT because I am a weird person and processes comfort me, hearing the mundane information about “Ok, when you arrive I will be there and we will go…” here and there and then on this day you will do this, and the next day you will do that. Having an idea of a schedule actually really comforted me. Hearing someone’s voice who is actually in country really helped me get over some of my fears and reignited my excitement towards joining the PC.
I have to keep reminding myself that there will always be doubt and that the only way to subside those doubts is to seek knowledge to answer your questions. Don’t fester in ignorance otherwise it will keep you from growth and trying new things.