Friday, March 23, 2012

The Journey Continues...aka the Fork in the Road

Life is filled with choices, options, decisions and forks in the road.  I am at one of those forks in the road again.  It seems that my 3rd year extension with Peace Corps to stay in Mongolia was denied.

I got this news days ago and have been "processing" it ever since.  The news was relayed through a phone call from the Country Director who was very gracious.  When I inquired about any possible appeal or reconsideration, the answer was no. I thanked her and hung up.

My head swirled with thoughts and emotions.  My initial reaction was one of anger and betrayal... how dare they (PC) not see the importance of these children I work with and find me worthy of staying another year?! Can't they see that my love and devotion to these kids, their school, this country is so important.....i kept thinking... It's not fair, blah, blah, naseum.

Wallowing in self pity can only last so long, though I like to hold onto my self righteous anger. . . And so i did for a few days at least, until I was just sick of myself and my feeling wronged.
Honestly, remove the emotions from the situation and it can be seen for exactly what it is... a job applied for that was not offered to me.

PC has a limited budget, with only so many slots available for extensions.  According to PCM, this year there were a record busting number of applicants who wished to stay here and continue their work.  Of course several of my friends were accepted, and I have received many conciliatory calls and texts, and though still feeling a little miffed, I am happy for those who will be staying.

This whole situation also encouraged me to examine my own motivations and reasons for wanting to stay.  After all, a large part of my PC journey has been for me to learn and grow.  Disappointments and difficulties are opportunities to learn and grow and I need to go with the flow and see this event as such.

I really love and adore the students I've worked with, but whose to say that I wouldn't love and adore any and all students I will work with in the future?  I am comfortable living here in my town, in this country and perhaps was resistant to having to make a decision, to accept change again.  One thing I have learned about myself is that when I am comfortable though antsy for change at the same time, I need a nudge to forge ahead.  This is my nudge:)

The fork in the road can be seen up ahead in the distance.  August to be precise.  At that time I will have finished up my PC service.  I have some exciting plans to travel with Sharayah and Brittany to SE Asia for a few weeks, then to travel "home" to Ohio for a month long visit.  After that, I will be on to my next adventure.  For now I'm exploring the seemingly endless possibilities of where to go next.  There are many places abroad to teach English and I am leaning toward Eastern Europe; a totally different culture, landscape, people.  The world is my oyster, and I'm gonna need to take that fork.


  1. Hey Joanne,
    Sorry to hear about the disappointing PC news, but I like your attitude--there are indeed many places that could use your skills in teaching English. I have several friends who teach overseas, and they say that their work is not only rewarding on an everyday scale, but it has led to many wonderful adventures (which have given them the opportunity to see the world). Here's to your next adventure!

    I'll be coming to Mongolia in June as a CYD volunteer. A current PCV passed me your information as a good person to contact in regards to the type of work a CYD does. I've read through your blog, but was wondering if I could contact you with more specific questions. Please let me know. Thanks a bunch.

    1. Yes thanks Devon! Yes, I think I just saw your post on the M23 page... I'll respond to that and you can email me at