Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Last post for a while...

I've been putting off writing on this thing because I don't really want to accept or write about the fact that my Peace Corps experience has been put on hold... indefinitely. I don't want to talk in detail about what it is like to be back in MN in the middle of winter, having not had the chance to go back to Umer to get all my shit or (more importantly) say goodbye to anyone. Writing about all of this gives me a chance come to grips with the fact that I have NO idea what I want to do with myself (my life). It makes me think about the fact that I spent over a year preparing to become a PCV, and now, a mere 8 months in to it all, I am back in the states... bashfully explaining to people why I'm here. I'm embarassed; I forget this wasn't my choice or my fault (or anyone's). Bottom line: this situation SUCKS. And there's nothing I can do about it.

After two weeks of being in limbo (in Tanzania) the powers that be in DC decided that it would be better for us to be in limbo in the US (because... well... I won't speculate, but I don't necessarily feel that our best interest was in mind). I don't know what happened to all the options they gave us before. All the talk of humanitarian work, of site changes... we were given so much hope. And then were told that we, within the week, would either have to take interuption of service (IOS) and go back to the states indefinitely; take IOS and hang out in Africa (on our own dime) and wait for Kenya to reopen, or do a direct transfer to another country and "never look back," even if Kenya became OK again. Here I am. I'm waiting for PC to call and send me back to my site; I'm expecting PC not to call; I'm expecting that if they do call, they will not send me back to my site (something about them saying "going back to your site, at any point is HIGHLY unlikely" gave me that impression...). So... yeah. Damn.

They say they will send us weekly emails, updating us on the situation and our options. We'll see. I'm trying to enjoy the comforts that I thought I'd be doing without for the next couple years, as long as I'm here... it certainly is comfy:)

That's all for now... I'll let you know if, by some miracle, I end up on a plane somewhere warm (Kenya, please??) any time soon.



Nancy said...

Dear Hannah, I am so sorry. This is terrible for you personally, and one wonders what "the message" is. Did they (PC) give you any idea how long "to hope?" Needless to say, the news in the media re: Kenya is discouraging. To be honest, I am at a loss to think what should be your next "move"...wait longer, go with another PCV program or (I hope not) quit altogether.
Anyway, I'm thinking of you. (Jim just got back in Ith and is out again so he may not know all this. I'll catch him up when he returns). Nancy

Posey said...

If you want to come to London while you're in limbo, let us know!

You could easily find work - friends of ours need a nanny urgently from mid-Feb - or just use us as a base to travel or do volunteer work. Let me know!


Adrienne Riviere said...


I am James' mom. Your reporting is helpful for those of us whose sons and daughters aren't sharing as easily as others.

James came back really strung out. Just said he couldn't talk about the whole PC thing for awhile. Now, a week after his return he is beginning to talk. Given the current news, he is realistic about the idea of returning to Kenya anytime in the near future. Therefore, getting a job and starting graduate school appear to be the next step. He is working his way through this period of shock.

I will share your latest blog input with him. He seems to be blocking input from other PCVs. I know you are all very disappointed, given your rather grand assignment in Kenya (compared to assignments in other parts of Africa).

I wish you well and will keep reading your blog looking for hopeful news.

Adrienne Riviere