The Fun That Was Peace Corps Guyana - Mark's Blog

Postings from just north of the equator. Let's see if training in CPR and First Aid prepares me to teach Health Education in a small, remote village in Guyana. I'm thinking... no. Read all about this ill advised decision! In addition, here is the required Peace Corps disclaimer: "The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps." So, please, don't confuse me with the White House Press Secretary.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hold Your Horses!

Peace Corps called me today to inform me that my planned departure in six days is no more. Because of current and future rain and flooding in Guyana, they are delaying my group's departure for one month. So now I leave on February 28th for Miami; then March 3rd from Miami to Guyana. I can't say that I am mad, angry, or frustrated. I am more just slightly shocked. But most of all, I need to figure out what I am going to do with myself for the next month. I had been in San Francisco for two weeks, twiddling my thumbs and watching the paint peel. That worked when I only had two weeks before I left. But now, I don't think I can continue that for another four or five weeks.

So what is Mark to do with his new-found vacation? First of all, I think I might go snowboarding. I briefly thought about the Swiss Alps, but then I remembered that Peace Corps has my passport. (And by the way, I like to imagine that money is no object, so bear with me.) So not only can I not board the Alps, but I can't even get to Whistler (stupid America-Canada borders with their stupid passport requirements). So now I'm stuck in America, which is B-O-R-I-N-G. I mean, come on. It's only one of the larger countries in the world with lots of geographical, environmental, and climate diversity, not to mention where almost all my friend are. Who cares?

My best guess is that I will be in Tahoe snowboarding (or maybe Colorado or Utah - I've never been either of those places), the Northwest again for Farewell Tour 2006 Part II, and maybe down south to LA. Though I should note that I make no promises to be anywhere and see anyone. I'm just speculating as I try to comprehend my new situation. On the other hand, if people want to promise me gifts, sleeping places (I like couches and futons), or fun adventures, that will surely increase the odds you get to see Mark before he leaves (again).

In closing, I now have much more time to fret over my clothes decisions. Yipee!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It gets more real...

About a week ago I made my plane reservations for Peace Corps. So now I am leaving San Francisco on Monday, January 30th on a non-stop flight to Miami. Orientation begins on Tuesday at 2PM. This goes on for about two and half days. As far as I can tell, we sit in big rooms, listen to lectures, fill out paperwork, get shots of vaccines and whatnot, and generally question our decision to move to a third world country in South America. It sounds like fun! Then on February 2nd, we fly to Georgetown, Guyana (through Barbados). And the mistake of a lifetime begins.

So I'm getting a little anxious. I have things to do, but I could probably get them done in about three days. However, I have two weeks. The few friends that I have still in San Francisco suck because they have jobs. So I basically sit and stare at the walls of room. Which reminds me of the stupid little things I need to get done before I leave, such as dismantling my bedroom. I dread this for a few reasons, though I also want to do it. My room is a timewarp to high school. I have newspaper clippings of Michael Jordan, Mark McGuire, and other great sports accomplishments of the MID TO LATE 1990s!!! Crazy. On top of that, I've mixed in a few posters of ladies in bikinis, including one of Pamela Anderson. Pamela?! What was I thinking? I mean, I know what I was thinking, but still... It's slightly depressing everytime I go in there. But it's going to take so much effort and I am uncommonly lazy about things like this. So I'm battling that.

But basically, I get to sit and let my nerves eat me up. I'm truly excited, but I can do nothing to make it start any faster. So I must sit in anticipation of the unknown. And as I sit, I begin to question my decisions. Of course, my decisions have all pertained to what I've bought to bring down. So I look at my shoes and try to decide if they work or if I need to return them and get a new pair. And I think if I have enough business casual. And then, of course, I question what the hell business casual means in Guyana. I hardly have a sense of what it means in the US. And then I pull my hair out because these are such petty things to think about. I really just want to start this thing! Let's get to Guyana and begin my life-changing experience, okay?!

Anyways, that's what's going on here. I sign my living will on Friday. You know who my beneficiaries are? My children. So... if you anyone is or knows any of my children, let me know. Because if I don't have any, which is the impression I'm under, then my nieces and nephews are the beneficiaries. But there's still time for me to change that. And no, I don't mean that I could have a baby. So if anyone wants something of mine, like my kick-ass grey North Face fleece that I seem to wear about four times a week, claim it now. I know Peter, Tippy, and the Captain are going to fight over my OutKast CDs.

Peace Corps Farewell Tour 2005-2006

Thanks to everyone who put up with me in Seattle and the surrounding areas in the first two weeks of the new year. It was a grand ol' time. And I'm sorry to everyone I didn't get to talk to enough or properly say good bye. The Peace Corps Farewell Tour 2005-2006 was a sucess nonetheless. Thanks everyone!