When do you leave?
My last day at the Zoo will be April 14th. My last day in Maryland will be May 1st. We leave for Peace Corps from my parents house in Cincinnati on may 14th.
Where are you going in the Peace Corps? How long will you be there?
We are going to Panama. We don’t know exactly where in Panama yet. Peace Corps is a 2 year & 3 month commitment. The first three months will be job, language, and culture training in Panama just outside Panama City. During that training they will assign us to a specific community to serve out our 2 years.
Why go to the Peace Corps now?
I have wanted to join the Peace Corps since I was a freshman in college (let’s not be specific about when that was). When I got married just out of college I found out that my husband had done an internship at the NSA while in college….and the Peace Corps will not accept you for 10 years after you work with NSA or FBI (never for CIA- They don’t want anything in your recent past to bring your reasons for serving into question for your host country.). So I stopped thinking about it. Well, the ten year mark recently passed and I realized that I either go live the dream now…or wait until I retire. Plenty of volunteers here at the Zoo have made me aware of just how busy I will be in retirement…so now is the moment!
What will you do in the Peace Corps?
I will be assigned to work with in a community teaching environmental education with a group called the Community Environmental Conservation. The CEC has been working in Panama for over 14 years. Kevin will be working to promote sustainable agriculture and forestry.
Did you pick Panama? Do you speak Spanish?
You can make placement requests with your Peace Corps application. We requested 1. we want a Spanish speaking country (they said don’t count on it) 2. Prefer not Russia or former Russian countries (I had has some Russian in college and didn’t want to start that again). We were thrilled to hear Panama was the assignment.
As to Spanish…well, we are working on it. We have been taking Spanish classes at the local college for a while now…and I think I know just enough to be a little scared and very excited. I would have gone almost anywhere in the world with Peace Corps…but I really wanted to learn Spanish.
What are you doing with: house, dog / cat, Veggie oil burning VW Beetle?
The house is going up for rent for 2 years. Viking the current Guiding Eyes puppy is moving to another veteran puppy raiser here in Baltimore. Max, my cat, is going to live with Diana Trujillo past intern and JZC instructor. The Veggie Bug I haven’t decided about, I love it and don’t really want to let it go….if you know someone seriously interested in running on vegetable oil, I am open to offers.