Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sitting on an Invitation

Feb. 22, 2009
At last our invitations arrived in the mail on Tuesday Feb 17. We knew it was coming as we had talked to the placement officer for Eastern Europe on Thursday Feb. 12 and were informed that we had been accepted. Though he would not disclose where we were going over the phone, we had a good idea and were correct in thinking it would be Bulgaria.. With all the places in the world that Peace Corps serves we are happy to be going to Bulgaria. We still need to formally accept the invitation and have until the end of this week to do that. Before we do we will talk to the job project directors for Bulgaria to get a clearer picture of what our jobs will be. Can't imagine anything they say will deter us from going, as we are very excited and still sure this is what we want to be doing. Although Bulgaria will be different in many ways from home, there will be enough "familiar" things to keep us from being "traumatized" by a whole new way of living.

The packet we received from PC was about 1" thick. Most of that was general information for both us and family left behind. There is also a list of things that need to get done for them immediately. We have a list of our own and are slowly hacking away at it. There are big decisions and little details, all which need to be thought out. There is also conflicting information on such things as how to store cars long term. Some suggest raising the tires off the ground to save them. Others suggest not suspending them as that will have deleterious effects on the suspension. Fill the gas tank or not? Keep both cars or sell one? Close the house or get house sitters? It will all shake out in time. We have about 100 days till departure of which Mike will still be working about half of that time.

Along with our lists Mike obviously has so much to do at work to transition responsibilities to others. What makes that difficult is that it will take awhile before it is even decided if they will replace him or just redistribute his responsibilities. It is very possible even if the position will be filled that the designated person will not be found by the beginning of April when he begins vacation.

Although the Bulgarians have their own language, we are continuing to learn Russian for the moment. Both languages use the same alphabet so we hope there is some carryover between the two. I don't think we run the risk of having difficulty "overriding" the Russian with Bulgarian as the Russian is certainly not "well ingrained". Once we accept our invitation I believe there are net links to sites for learning Bulgarian.

Plans have been set in motion for seeing family and friends before we go. Reservations have been made for a two week trip south to Texas,Ga and Fla. We hoped to have a large family gathering the weekend of May 16-17 in New England

Not sure how often I will get to this blogging before we go, but whenever anything important is happening I will try to post it. In the meantime phones and email are quick and easy here in the US.