Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Destroyer of Nations

First of all, I'd like to apologize to everyone in the Mauritania (RIM) June 2009 Staging class. Everyone, I'm sorry. I thought I could hold it together, but I couldn't, and now I've caused postponement-for-political reasons. Also known as "Causing political strife in a country to which I was supposed to go with an institution"...It's my fault, I know it doesn't matter that I didn't do it on purpose. I'm sorry, okay?

Everyone else, it may be a result of my sense of humor.

You: "Your sense of humor causes international disasters? Yes, we knew that."

You guys are so funny. Now, lady, gentleman--and all of the rest of y'all--let me present the EXCITING NEW EVIDENCE, the evidence we've all been waiting for--the evidence for interpreting my dark and cynical humor as being too powerful for everyday use. Lights? Thank you.

When I was finally in the airport to leave for Madagascar, my dad said, "Well, now we know you're finally going!" I said, "Haha, no, all we can be sure of now is that I'm going to make it all the way to Philly!" 32 hours later...my goodness, what do we have here? We're going back home!

Sunday, a member of the RIM June 09 stage class sent me a message that said, basically, "I heard rumors of us getting postponed, but I don't think that will happen, 'cuz I'm sure they would've told us by now." I said, "Yeah, well, actually if we don't get calls today or tomorrow, we can be fairly sure that it'll be a surprise to them if we can't go." And yes, we started getting calls yesterday telling us that yes, in fact, we are postponed.

You: "Postponed? Postponed until when?"

My goodness, y'all are a bit impatient, aren't ya? Peace Corps wouldn't like that. Because there's no way for them to know--or at least, if there is, they're keeping quite mum--exactly why the Mauritanian government did not give us the visas, there's no way to know when that will change. But if you make bets, consider the following:

~ There has been enough strife about the upcoming Mauritanian election that they postponed it from June 5 to July 18, with the runoff election to be held August 1.
~ There's not likely to NOT be unrest after the election, to my way of thinking.
~ The POTUS recently sent a letter of support to the ousted-last-August-in-a-coup ex-president of the RIM.
~ August COS PCVs have been given the option of COSing in a week or so.
~ [EDIT] Peace Corps "estimates that we will have at least four weeks of notice before staging."
~ We won't be considered to be moved into other programs until we have gone through September without obtaining visas [EDIT] which have NOT been denied, but merely quite delayed.
~ The RIM wants Peace Corps to continue its programs there. (I don't know its position on Peace Corps programs in other places, so I can't speak to that.)

So, there's a good (I'd say, maybe 60%, but that's just me guessing) chance that we'll depart in August. I hear rumors of August 11th being 'the day,' but I see no reason to suppose it'll be the 11th rather than, say the 10th or the 12th or the 22d, other than perhaps those days are weekends. However, if there's, like, Me-grade political unrest (I hear it's normally too hot to riot in Mauritania, so this may be unlikely), then it would not be at all surprising if they postponed us until September. I'd give that whole scenario maybe a 40% chance of happening, with about 40% once that has happened that we'll be postponed again. So, the rundown on my expectations by probability:

60% chance leave sometime in August
40% chance leave in September, 40% chance of being postponed after that

Another factor in this game is that my Medical and Dental clearances may have expired. If that has happened, it introduces a whole new factor into this game, which is, "Do I want to try to get medical and dental clearance all over again?" Maybe so, maybe no. This is an argument for applying to the Peace Corps very last-minute, because if I'd applied later, I would've gotten my medical clearance later.

Another factor in that is that GradSchool v.2010 is an option, although I'd have to get my rear in serious gear with respect to finding a field in which I'd want a Ph.D. I mean, I can't just do what I did for undergrad.

In the meantime, I'm looking for jobs. In the Ithaca area, primarily, so if you know of any...don't tell anyone else!

That's the news from the Destroyer of Nations--Destroyer of Nations, Accept No Substitute! (For those of you who do not believe me, try this and this.)


Boydo said...

Hey, you want to transfer to North Korea, the Sudan, or maybe Burma? I'm sure the CIA would be truly happy to have a little political instability in those places...

Katherine Crocker said...

Unfortunately, Peace Corps has no presence there, so I'd have to get hired by...the government. It would make my father happy, anyway. He's been after me for years to work for the CIA...