Friday, November 11, 2011

Site assignments

So yesterday was the day we found out where we would be placed for the next two years and which organization we would be working with. This, obviously, was a pretty important day for all of us and there was definitely a good mix of excitement and anxiety in the room. Looking around the room I found myself pretty subdued and not many nerves though.

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.

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