Monday, December 15, 2008

The Package on the Doorstep

It came in a FedEx box left on the doorstep sometime Friday.

After arriving home from a day of subbing, I first checked the mail. No sign of the highly anticipated package. My arms now loaded down with my bags and the hefty stack of mail, I began fishing for my keys and heading for the front door. Then I saw it. A thin, white, FedEx package just the right size for...

Juggling the array of personal possessions and junk mail, I bent to pick-up the box--could this be it? or just a Christmas present from some out of town relative? I flipped the box, nearly losing the stack of mail in the process. Peace Corps. The package was from the Peace Corps. This was it.

I don't remember entering the house. The next thing I remember is ripping open the package, several of the bags still in my hand. I sunk into a chair as a bright blue folder filled to the brim with reading materials and forms spilled out onto the table. The first item was a pamphlet with the words "Your Assignment" printed across the top of it. I skimmed through the first few lines:

Country: Republic of South Africa
Program: Community HIV/AIDS Outreach
Job Title: HIV Outreach Worker
Orientation Dates: February 2, 2009--February 3, 2009
Pre-Service Training (in South Africa): February 4, 2009--March 29, 2009
Dates of Service: March 29, 2009--March 29, 2011

Suddenly everything around me slowed. It was the bit in movies where some overarching truth sets in for the protagonist and everything around the character seems to stop. But there was also a quickening of the Spirit in me, yes...Yes.

After further reading:

I will live and work in the KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga or NorthWest Provinces. During Pre-Service Training, Peace Corps staff will match me with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based upon their knowledge of the organization and their knowledge of my skills and experience. Their is a possiblity of many roles that I will fill with that organization, but in whatever role I will likely be working with youth to educate and create HIV/AIDS awareness. I will not know whether I will be in a rural or urban area until training.

Throughout Pre-Service Training, I will be living with a host family, learning the culture, langauage and history of the region. I will especially be learning how I fit into a place that is still healing from Apartheid. I will also be learning how to build relationships and establish myself in a culture with a very different gender and age dynamic.

The next seven weeks will be precious time with my family, as well as, preparation for my departure. Please be praying for my family as we've all become comfortable with my being back in Lubbock. It has been a little over a year since I began the application process for the Peace Corps, and I think we all began to believe that this day might never come.

As I learn more about my assignment, I will share with you new information and prayer requests. I hope that you will all share in my joy. And thank you for the many, many prayers you have already offered. Peace and blessing.

6 comments:

ewall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ewall said...

I have been sitting here for a few minutes, not certain how to frame my words.

I am so, so glad for you. :)

I love the way you told this story-- this moment that you have waited on, very patiently and hopefully.

I have read through this post at least 3 times -- I am so excited to hear what you know so far, and what will be to come. (The looming clock on the sidebar really puts this into reality!)

Praying for you and your family! Excited. :) love you homie--

Amber said...

fantastic! even more fantastic is the fact that i'll be travelling to south africa in june 2010!

Caris Power said...

Amanda,

I'm so stoked for you babe! I only wish we would get to connect one last time before you left. Did you ever meet Trevor and Chrissy Davies? They were friends of mine on staff with InterVarsity. He is a white south African and she is a black American. Well, they just moved to South Africa two weeks ago to begin working with the poor there with Servant Partners. You should connect sometime with them when you get there. I can't remember what city they said they would be in but I'll find out for you.

How long is your assignment?

Love you!

Caris

heather said...

Congratulations Amanda!! That's SO amazing!

Marti said...

Thank you for including me in your posting offer.

I just wanted to let you know that we miss you here in Colorado. It just isn't the same without you. Your replacement is OK, but no Amanda. You are very special.

I can tell from your post that you are VERY excited and I am excited for you. Years, MANY years, ago I applied to the Peace Corp and didn't follow through. I would like to keep in touch through your blog to see how your adventure progresses.

Good Luck, Amanda.

Marti in Colorado