A few years on

Wow. It’s weird reading back over the posts I put up here three or so years ago. So much has happened. Some good, some terrible. But a lot has happened. To recap and follow on from my last post in which I was applying to be a volunteer with the Peace Corps…to now… I am a volunteer, but not in quite the way I’d imagined.

So…I’d done my Peace Corps interview, blogged about it, and was ruminating about it’s fate. It’s hard to recall the exact order of events- I’d not been rejected, but they weren’t exactly banging down my door with a enthusiastic offer either- that much I do remember. I seem to recall there wasn’t much happening at all for some weeks following the interview, when I received an unexpected email.

It was from the United Nations Volunteer program. Apparently I’d submitted (and promptly forgotten about) an application to their pool of wannabe volunteers some time prior. They’d pulled my application from file and were considering me for a volunteer role…in Afghanistan.

I wasn’t expecting that. I’m not sure what I was expecting the email to say, but I’m fairly sure that, had they not picked me, I probably wouldn’t have volunteered to volunteer for a role in quite so dangerous a place.

But there it was, right in front of me. A chance to go to the middle-east. What now? I’m a white, unmarried, agnostic-with-strong-atheist-leanings woman with a distinctly Jewish sounding surname. And they want to send me to Afghanistan?

How much do I really want to volunteer?

A great deal of soul-searching-what-am-I-thinking-how-will-I-break-this-to-my-poor-dear-Mum ensued. It’s one thing to volunteer to go to a undeveloped or developing country- it’s quite another to go somewhere where your kind are in the ‘soft target’ category (as I was later to learn UNV’s are, to some groups thinking, regarded in that part of the world).

At any rate, to cut a not so long story even shorter, I responded to the email, was interviewed, selected, and within a month or two of contact was standing in queue to board a plane to Dubai to get my Afghan visa. Looking back I should have known once I’d been made the offer I’d have to go- there’s no way my curiosity wasn’t going to get the better of me. And so the adventure began.

I heard from the Peace Corps some time later. They didn’t want me.

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