My reaction, I am sure, was partly because I had a very good idea of what my assignment would be already, but I had also decided early on in the process of applying to the Peace Corps that this experience will be what I make of it. When applying, you are essentially putting control of a lot of decisions affecting you for two years in someone else's hands - what country will I be placed in?, what program within the Peace Corp will I be working in?, once in-country what family will I live with?, what other volunteers within the group will be part for my "cluster"?, who will my teacher be?, etc...
A good portion of this all comes down to chance (or fate depending on your view) and what develops from it is really up to me. To date here, I have not had much of a voice or opinion in what I have done or where I have gone and it has been all good (even the not so good). Looking back I would not change the experience or any component of it. Therefore, I continued on with that philosophy and although I did have some specific requests, I also wanted to rely on the experience and expertise of my Program Manager, Elmir. He is a really bright guy, who knows far more than I do and can see a much larger view of the picture here than I can. I completely trust his judgement and wanted to see where that would take me.
With that being said, I can now honestly say that I could not have requested or hoped for a better assignment. As most of you know, I started volunteering in Romania about 7 years ago working with orphaned and abandoned children and from the start it felt like I found the thing I was supposed to be doing with my life. It just always felt right. My biggest hope when I applied to the Peace Corps was that I would be able to, in some capacity, work in support of efforts for children and continue along the path of the work I began in Romania.
So, now with all that being said, I am incredibly happy to say that my site assignment is in a city called "Mingachevir" (which I am told is beautiful) and I will be working with "World Vision". For those of you not familiar with World Vision, they are a non-governmental international humanitarian development agency and have been working in Azerbaijan since 1994. They are dedicated to working with children, families, and communities and serve some of the most at-risk and vulnerable people in the world. I have a great level of respect for the work they do and am humbled at the prospect of assisting in any way I can here.