Wednesday, July 12, 2006

premium dancer

Hilarity and first-rate dancers run amuck in Ukraine.
Tyzh mene pidmanula - Chornobryvtsi

This is what I am getting myself into. It’s a rap video from Ukraine that translates to, I think, “you tease me so”? I find it reminiscent of Pygmalion and a White Snake video. Notice the Little People that appear for no apparent reason. Stay classy Ukraine.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Step: Ohhh Thousands

I have a feeling that the Peace Corps application process was designed to be as ingratiating and tedious as hell. My theory is that they believe if you can make it through everything it takes just to leave the country, than you can survive your 27 months of service. Some of my more memorable examples are as follows:

Medical Screening:
They say it’s because you must, of course, be healthy to serve. However, the amount of prodding and poking my body went through was amazing. Blood tests, urine samples, OBGYN visits all seemed to occur on a weekly basis during my two month crusade to become medically cleared. The amount of personal and physical information the government now has on me is staggering.
Furthermore if you ever went to a therapist or took anti-depressants you must go to a psychologist, who after analyzing you will decipher if you are fit to serve. He will also hand you a hefty sized check and a fake smile. Luckily, amazingly (?), I bypassed that application step.
I am simply astounded that you were not also asked to submit a 11X10 body shot and the names and phone numbers of all your previous partners. Followed by those you just had a crush on, and then people you shook hands with.

Dental Clearance:
This is where they got me. And they are still getting me. On July 20th I will fly home and have all four of my wisdom teeth removed. Are they coming in? Are they impacted? Are they annoying me at all? The answer is a resounding no and yet, they must still come out. All four. So if you call me on my birthday, which is three days later, and I talk incoherently or pass out mid-way through our conversation, know it’s not you. It’s just the combination of intense-swelling and codeine laced Tylenol.

Aspiration Statement:
After nine months I received my invitation to serve. It’s comes in a big, blue, portfolio-type thing and has all sorts of paperwork and files to sort through. It intimidated me at first so for the first day or two I would simply open it and then close it. Open-close. Files-folders. Open-close. When I finally set down and sorted through it all the nausea set in; Visa applications, governmental passport registration cards, resumes, language questionnaires, and Ukraine’s cultural breakdown which subsequently led to mine. When I finally made it to the “Aspiration Statement” (a paper in which you outline your concerns, expectations, and goals) I was sure I sounded like a goon. A giant goon!

There is more, but isn’t there always. However, I couldn’t be more excited. If my theory holds true and this is just some test, than hopefully I will be able to succeed in my 27 months of service. I am not looking forward to the beverage of choice being Vodka (we’re talking like bathtub Vodka here) but I am looking to learning Russian. Хороший бог!