The Vaiala Heroes at Culture Day

Culture Day at Vaipua Primary

Books Donated from Darien Aid

Tree Planting with funds donated from WaterCharity

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


After dad and I sat outside for another 30 minutes reading about the project I'm to do and where I'm to go and all about the "next steps", I send Sarah Jennerjahn, at Bennett's, an email delaring my last day to be October 1st, to which she promptly replies. "This is a big deal! Congratulations!" That was a relief to have done. Starbucks took a bit longer, I actually just did it today, pretending as if I hadn't known until the day before. Christine at Starbucks seemed dissappointed, but genuinly happy for me. So I have a definite day I'm through with these dead-end jobs. Nice. I bought a few books on Samoa, including a dictionary, a Lonely Planet, a map, as well as a converter for electronics (hey, it was only $3 on Amazon!). I haven't received them yet, but am looking forward to it this "weekend" over at dads.

On a non-PC note, I found on craiglist, picked up and brought over with Charlie, two huge newer T.V.s to dad's. One 35 inches, the other 27. Dad had been watching nothing but VHS tapes on his 12 inch screen for the past while since the big wooden set broke and it was just too small. It's been high time for a bigger, better TV, especially for someone who spends half his leisure time watching one movie, of course I'm referring to Contact. He's even written a screenplay for the sequel. I came across a sheet of lined scratch paper with which he had been brainstorming his ideas for it's title. I read them aloud to Alanna and Dad when I snatched it off the table. "Contact II" "The Second Contact" "E=MC2 Contact". At the last one, we burst into a fit of laughter at him, but he laughed along, embarrassed but admittedly amused by his silly idea.

Now, I've called the Office and have formally accepted my invitation and I need to worry about getting my wisdom teeth pulled and cavities taken care of. Hopefully Grandpa will help me pay for them, until dad can pay him back with my earned portion of the house sale. And get the "no fee" passport information Fed Exed today!

Oh, and Dad had another contractor make an estimate on the work the house needs and he quoted us at HALF the price the buyer's contractor did! Yay!


The Long Awaited Invitation Arrives!

So Wednesday (Aug 19th), being the beginning of my two and a half day weekend, is usually packed with errands and things right? I paid a couple bills, made some phone calls, and most importantly, went to the Snohomish County Court House to file the Excise Tax and Quit Claim Deed for dad's house. This included a long wait at a plastic table on a hard plastic chair across from a spotty looking drawn faced young man and a jolly fat woman. The lady who was "assisting" me I found very rude. I inched up to her desk as no one was around and there were no signs saying to "Please Wait" or "Take a Number" and I just wanted to ask whether I should be standing here or sitting there or what. She snapped at me before I even opened my mouth and caused me to straighten up quickly. "You need to take a number and sit down please, I have three people ahead of you and another lady on the phone" she exclaimed, exhasperated. I politely replied "I'm sorry, I didn't realize." Then looked around for the number to take, probably looking like an idiot. I waited, borrowed the sallow youth's pen, forged my dad's signature because I forgot to have him sign it, my number "17" was called and I hurried up to the lady's desk. I paid $72. Done.
After returning to my parking space (which was down the hill and a bit far away being that my nice primo parking space was snatched away by a guy, after I was sitting there on the opposite side of the street with my blinker on, patiently waiting!) I see that I missed a call on my phone and that I have a message. Dad's voice says "Hey, uh, you got a Fed Ex package here. It's from the Peace Corps. Isn't this what you've been looking for? That's all. Bye" I sigh something like relief, anxiety and resolution all mingled into one. My thoughts at the time are "It's finally here, what does it say?!, whatever it says I've got to do it, maybe I shouldn't get too excited because I won't be able to accept anyway..." I ride home at normal speed, I'm not so excited to open it that I skip the plans I had of dropping off my audio books at the library and making a fax at QFC. I do those first, and leisurely head home. I see the white package on the dining room table. Fed Ex envelopes seem to sparkle a bit don't they? Or maybe "it was just my imagination...running away with meeeee" *singing* I pick it up and dad's standing on my left at the dining room table, reading my expression. He says "Well...are you gonna open it?" I say "Let's go outside and open it". As we walk down the stairs I nervously banter "Do you realize how long I've been waiting for this envelope, the one that's in my hands right now? I feel like it's been 3 years...but it's really only been 9 months...Long enough I say." I sit on the grass and dad pulls up a blue and white beaten up lawn chair and eases himself into it next to me, avoiding putting pressure on his "bum" left shoulder. I hand it to him "You open it". He says "You sure?" I say "Yeah! Sure". Then I change my mind, "Wait, no, sorry, I want to". He smiles "I thought you would". I open it up, take out the blue box with the Peace Corps logo on the bottom left, stare at it and pull open the velcro flap. Without having to look or read anything, On a tall thin slip of paper at the very front, highlighted in bright yellow and typed in Times New Roman there reads the block letters "SAMOA".

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Congratulations on your choice to become a volunteer in ."

I received an email on Saturday announcing that I have indeed, been INVITED to Peace Corps service. That means I'm no longer being considered, nothing is being reviewed, my application is no longer active, it's DONE. All I have to do now, is accept or decline.


But the most important piece of information is still missing! Where am I supposed to be going?! The website even says "Congratulations on your choice to become a volunteer in ."
Just a blank space and a period. Again with the waiting! Well, after a year (three if you count the prior two years I was reJECTed), what's a few more days, eh?

AND, I finally got my mom to sign the Quit Claim Deed for my Dad to sell his house today. Phew!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Howling...It Grows and Grows!

I've stolen a "Catheters" album title for my blog. Why? Because the anxiety of not knowing, of waiting and especially of not being able to plan for the 27 months of service abroad I may or may not be doing is howling and growing. I'm like a runner with shoes on the kick stand at the start, muscles tensed, fingers pressing into the dirt and waiting for the "BANG!" of the gun.

My mantra: Fiji, Micronesia, Palau, Tonga, Samoa or Vanuatu. Fiji, Micronesia, Palau, Tonga, Samoa or Vanuatu.

Family Photo!

Vaipu'a Women's Committee

Reaching the Last Waterfall on the River Fale Trip

River Fale Trip


Mother's Day Skit