Monday, May 08, 2006

French my new language

I have started listening to French tapes to start refreshing my tongue since Guinea's official language is French; although, many people don't know French. I will have to learn the local language of the village I will be living in.

The challenge of teaching science in French is daunting. I never majored in French. I don't really write French that well. The reason I know conversational French is because when I was about 12 I attended a French speaking school where I sat not understanding a thing for about half a year. Does that background give me the credentials to teach in French?


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Packing for Guinea

I am numb about the Peace Corps invitation to Guinea, Africa. I am neither excited nor depressed about it. I am indifferent. The application process is a long one kind of like earning a PhD where your final defense is a bit anti-climatic.

I have led a simplistic, anti-materialistic life or so I believe. I do not feel stressed about the thought of how the hell am I going to fit all of my stuff into two bags. That is actually pretty simple. Clothes as they should be will take up the least space. The bigger questions are what comforts of home do I need to pack and what hobbies do I need to bring to occupy my free time?

For the past 7 months, I have been an unemployed nomad so I pretty much know what things are important to me: a pillow, writing and art materials, rubber bands and hair clips, craft materials like hooks, needles, and yarn, books and music. Yet these simple things exist in a place where I can buy anything else I want. I wonder what things will I miss in my new new home. What things do I take for granted? What do I need to pack?

Friday, May 05, 2006


I started the Peace Corps application process at the end of my 6 years of graduate school. It would have been smarter to start it a year before graduation. I would have then had medical insurance to help pay for some of the medical tests for the application process.

For those who are interested in the Peace Corps application timeline, here is mine. Each person's application is unique and my timeline would be different from others.

August 2005 Started online application
September 2005 Submitted online application
November 1, 2005 Interview in Atlanta and was nominated for Francophone Africa as a science teacher
Week later received medical application forms
February 4, 2006 Submitted medical forms
April 11, 2006 Medically cleared
April 24, 2006 Invited to teach secondary science: physics and chemistry in Guinea, Africa leaving July 5, 2006