HOWEVER, recent developments have changed all that. Specifically, in late October I received a call from my Peace Corps Placement Officer in Washington, D.C. informing me that my invitation/assignment was in the mail. Within a few days of that phone call, I received my invitation packet. Here is a summary of the material that was sent to me:
Program: Health, HIV/AIDS, Organizational Capacity Development
Position Title: Community Health & Organizational Development
Orientation: January 2009
Pre-Service Training: January 2009 - April 2009
Dates of Service: April 2009-April 2011
Brief Program Description:
You will be part of the first group of volunteers to re-enter Rwanda after a 15 year absence... The country is currently peaceful and stable with a government that has a clear plan for development across many sectors, is responsive to development partners, and works to ensure that the work of the partners fits with the country's development goals...Peace Corps Rwanda's primary mandate is to assist communities, service providers and organizations in mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS. You will be working towards this goal through developing the capacity and functions of health facilities and organizations providing services related to health, HIV/AIDS and development. Your role as a Volunteer will primarily be focused on capacity building and will take on different forms during your service: coach, facilitator, teacher, change agent, and trusted colleague.
Soooooooo...I finally have something to write about! I would have gotten to this blog a bit sooner, but I have been spending the last few weeks studying and spending time with family and friends. I am going to try VERY hard to keep this blog updated and interesting. I anticipate my entries to be frequent, descriptive, and hopefully full of pictures (and full of speeling and gramaticale mistakes...I apologize ahead of time); I know for sure that I will have picture albums posted on facebook, so check my facebook page routinely for updates as well.
A final note about this blog: I need your help in developing it! E-mail and/or facebook me any and all questions, comments, and concerns you have so I can make this as much of an interactive and fun experience as possible. Your questions are important because they will give me some direction in my blog entries...I tend to go off on tangents and if I am not focused, then I will talk and/or write on and on and on...like this one time I was talking to Kevin about this very same thing and...Ah! See! There I go again!
Okay, here are some good sample questions and some VERY brief sample answers:
What's next, Emmett?
Great question, reader. I have a few more weeks in the States, so I will be spending this time researching HIV/AIDS (the history of the disease, the medical terminology, etc.), studying up on Rwanda (history, culture, politics, etc.), and learning French. Honestly, though, the bulk of my time is going to be spent with friends and family.
Where will you be stationed in Rwanda?
I don't know for sure yet. I expect to receive my staging materials any day now. Staging materials are mailed to Peace Corps volunteers 3-6 weeks before their expected departure date. The materials in my staging kit will detail many things, including where I am staying and what to pack.
Why do you have to learn French?
I actually need to know three languages! The people of Rwanda speak Kinyarwandan (I know nothing about this language), English (I'm fluent...no problem there), and French (I know enough to impress and flirt with girls here in the States). Back to your question...Rwanda was originally a German occupied colony in 1899, but was soon taken over by Belgium. Rwanda and Belgium had decades worth of interaction. Belgians speak French. I'm sure you can connect the dots on this one.
Okay, so, you get it? I would like to start each blog entry with something I have found interesting, a brief update on my status, my thoughts and rants, etc., BUT I would like to close each entry with questions taken from YOU! With that said, what are your questions?