Saturday, October 09, 2004

3D Movie

I'm sitting in the Wilde Roast Cafe in downtown Minneapolis.

I am experiencing a strange sort of detached feeling -- it's not a bad feeling -- it's a calm feeling.

There are sounds going on all around me. None of the sounds are so loud that they destroy the other sounds. I can direct my ears towards the Jazz singer in the background or the couple talking to the left of me. I can hear the group of friends behind me laughing with each other and the sounds from the kitchen. When I look out the window, I see cars floating by.

It almost feels like I'm watching a 3D movie that is happening all around me. Like I'm here, but not impacting what is happening. I don't feel lonely, just seperate.

I entered this detached state, when I realized that in a little while, I will be far from here, in a very different place. It's kinda like this place I am in now is becoming less real -- I think to make room for the next place.

(I know the soonest I could go is October 2005, but it actually doesn't feel far away to me)

Friday, October 08, 2004

Peace Corps Stats

I've been trying to find some juicy Peace Corps statistics for a while now. There does not seem to be many sources of said statistics.

With that said, I have found a few interesting stats. Here they are, in no particular order:

Application Statistics (compiled from a variety of sources):

  • The Peace Corps receives over 120,000 inquiries each year from people interested in applying.
  • The Peace Corps receives approximately 11,000 applications each year.
  • There are approximately 4,000 volunteer positions available each year (36%).

Electricity availability (from a 1997 survey)

  • 50% of PCVs always had electricity
  • 25% of PCVs lived with electricity sometimes
  • 25% of PCVs lived with no electricity

Water availability (from a 1997 survey)

  • 42% of PCVs had reliable sources of running water
  • 30% of PCVs sometimes had running water
  • 28% of PCVs had no running water

Email availability (from a 1997 survey)

  • 7% of PCVs always had access to email
  • 8% of PCVs sometimes had access to email
  • 85% of PCVs never had access to email

Weight gain/loss

  • Most men lost weight while serving
  • Most women gained weight while serving (just a few pounds)


This Blog Now Sporting PSAs 24x7

I have been working with Google's Adsense group to find a way to have only public service announcements (PSAs) show up on my web.

They have been wonderfully responsive and just today made changes to their system so that only PSAs would show up on my site (in the little box just below my web page title on the right).

Thanks Google's Adsense -- you guys rock!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Aspiring PCV Resources

One thing that all aspiring PCVs seem to have in common, is a search for information about the Peace Corps. With that in mind, I am starting to compile a list of grade A resources about becoming (and being) a PCV -- at least that way I feel like I am doing something while I am waiting...
I put a link to the list in my "Quick Links" section to the right. Here it is again for your browsing convenience.

Monday, October 04, 2004

This and That

Well, finally there is less than a month left before I can be nominated!

I am currently reading the book "So You Want To Join the Peace Corps". It describes the entire Peace Corps life-cycle (from getting pregnant in the host country to readjusting to life back in the States).

According to the book, when I am nominated, I will be told the following things:

  • the Peace Corps program I have been assigned to (IT, education, small business, forestry...)
  • the region of the world I will most likely serve
  • the language requirements of the region
  • my approximate date of departure

Neither of the two potential motorcycle buyers showed up this weekend -- oh well. If I don't get it sold this fall I will try to sell it in the spring. Maybe I'll have enough money saved up so that I can keep it!

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

What Seeds?

Who Knows What Seeds We Plant In Others
(or which ones we water)

About once a month, a certain memory passes through my thoughts -- I think it is looking for an outlet.

I had been in Nepal for about three weeks. During the entire trip I relentlessly practiced my Nepali language skills on anyone that would listen. Given any chance, I would whip out my Nepali language phrase book and begin uttering. As a result, I had learned a few common Nepali phrases. I could confidently handle the first three minutes of any initial conversion.

I was in Kathmandu, and had been there for about three days. I was comfortable with the surroundings, and had already bought most of the gifts I had planned to buy. I decided to spend a whole day just walking around talking to whomever would listen.

Each session with a new stranger would start out with me attempting to speak in Nepali. After no time at all, I would bust out my Nepali phrase book and together we would slowly become acquaintances sharing the small, tattered book with each other.

During one of these sessions I was talking with a shop keeper. About halfway through, he asked me if I was with the Peace Corps. I remember thinking:

    I wish I could say yes -- It would be so cool if I could say yes -- Even a stranger sees that potential in me -- why aren't I in the Peace Corps?

This memory has been a frequent visitor of my consciousness ever since.