10. Having to Learn Armenian- have you seen Armenian? If not google it really quickly. It is intimidating. It is scary. It is impossible? I mean it is a combination of Russian and Arabic symbols that are suppose to make sounds. I keep looking at letters and thinking symbols do not make sounds!!! Ugh! I took Spanish for years, and to be completely honest, all my conversational skills are gone. I suck at foreign language! I am so scared that I will be lost on a bus and not even know how to read what city I am in!
9. Gaining weight- I know it sounds completely lame, but I don't care. I'll admit it, I am afraid to get fat. I run almost every day at least 3 miles a day, and I watch what I eat. Ever since I found out I have heart problems I have really forced myself to take care of myself. But let's face it, I am not going to be able to run everyday in Armenia. I don't know what the water situation will be, and I am not working up a sweat when I can't shower. I can barely stand to be dirty as it is, I am not going to make the problem worse. Also most of the time, at least in training I won't have much control over what I eat. I will live with a family, and what they eat I will have to eat.
8. Not being connected back home- Will I have access to the internet in Armenia?? That remains to be seen. I am sure that I will have some sort of connection at some point, I just may have to travel to get to it. I see a lot of volunteers that are already in Armenia online all the time, but for the most part they are in different sectors than I am. They are business development volunteers. I have to go in with the expectation that I will have very limited connection. This makes me anxious. I talk to someone in my family every day of my life. I email my friends multiple times a day. I facebook chat, and text incessantly. How am I going to know how everyone is doing if I can't talk to them?
7. Getting Sick when I am Far Away7- If you know me, you know I am sickly. I am the type of girl that doesn't just get the flu, I get mono, or bronchitis or worse yet, pneumonia. I have a heart condition, and stomach condition. What if something bad happens when I am overseas? I will be in a village all alone, far away from other Americans, who will take care of me? Because of my heart the PC put a restriction on how far I can be away from a medical center, so I am sure I will be somewhat nearby, but what if it isn't close enough?
6. Having to use a Squat Toilet- is any explanation needed for this one? I mean wouldn't you be scared?
5. The Armenian Winter- I am a California girl. We don't have winter in California. It gets cold in Palmdale, and on occasion it has snowed, but I have never really seen temperatures below 30. I had to buy all new cloths to go to Armenia. Warm cloths. I have no idea if I bought the right stuff because I have nothing to compare it to. I hope my coat is warm enough, it's 600 down and cost me a pretty 250 dollars, but how am I suppose to know which of the 20 coats available for cold weather is appropriate?
4. Lucca thinking I abandoned her- I adopted Lucca four years ago at an animal hospital. She wasn't a lucky foster dog who stayed with a nice family untill she found a home. She was locked up in a hospital for three months because she had to be looked after by a vet, and to be honest no one wanted to take her. She was attacked by a big dog at her previous home. She lost her eye and had some other facial scaring. He family abandoned her because if they turned in the other big dog, he would be put down because he was violent. So they gave Lucca up. From the moment I met her in a small little patients room, she knew I was her momma. She came straight to me wagging her whole body with excitement. And since that time she has never really left my side. This past week she has known something is up. She will not even let me take a shower alone. She has to have her eye on me at all times. As I sit here typing this, she is asleep in my lap. I am afraid that when I leave she will think that I am never coming back, or that I don't love her. I know it may seem silly to some of you, but it makes me so sad.
3. Not having control over my life- I am a control freak. Everyone knows this. I always have to throw my own birthday parties, because I can't stand letting someone else do it for me. Letting Megs and Bets be in charge of my last night out was painful!! I just wanted to do it myself because it's hard for me to trust others, but thank God I did! As a PCV you have almost no control. The Peace Corps tells you to be flexible. I have never been good at flexible. I like to be in charge and get things done. How am I suppose to just give my life over to an organization and wake up every morning not really sure what the days agenda will be?
2. Living with a host family- When I first applied to the Peace Corps, I knew I would have to live with a host family. As a general rule, you live with a host family for the first three months of training. It scared me, but I thought anyone can handle three months. Well for some unknown reason, in Armenia you have to live with a host family for the first three months of training and then the next four months at site. That is two different host families for seven months! Living with people is very difficult for me. I tend to be a loner at home. I like to just be alone and relax. Furthermore I am a moody person. What if my host family doesn't get me? What if they think I am rude? What if we don't get along at all? Worse yet, what if I have to live with a creepy dad or something like that? yeah, I am terrified of my host family!
1. Leaving my family behind- I know my family will be fine without me. I know that they can all handle their own lives. But the thing is I can't help but to feel that they need me. I may not have the money to help them, nor the caregivers heart to take care of them when they are sick, but I like to think that in some way I kind of meld us together. I like to think that I organize events and holidays and plan the gifts and in a way that keeps us all together. I go home to Palmdale a few times a month to visit my parents, I have dinner with my sister when she has had a bad day, I give girl advice to my brother. I mean all of these things are small, but in a way I feel they are important. Maybe I just don't know what I will do without all of them, so I feel that I must be needed if I need them. I know they will be ok, I just worry so much.