His entire group was in the midst of introducing themselves to each other when Peace Corps officials came in and delivered the bad news. They had just received word that the Turkmen Government did not want any volunteers coming into the country until Fall 2010. No other information was given to the volunteers about why they didn't want them coming in this year.
The entire group is devastated. Several volunteers had sold their homes and/or their cars, quit jobs, cancelled health insurance policies and now have no where to go.
The Peace Corps is scrambling to either start up a new program so they can keep this group together, or place them in existing programs between now and November. They do have programs in the neighboring countries of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as well as throughout Asia and on other continents so there might be a chance he could get into one of those.
It's such a bummer. Ski has been studying Russian and Turkmen for the last 6+ months. He might be able to use Russian in Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan. This group has been communicating with each other for the past 6+ months since they all got their country assignments and now they will be split up.
We haven't spoken to Ski about where he wants to be placed or what he's going to do.
I'm sure this will be a waiting game for the next few weeks to see what happens.
Apparently they can start calling in tomorrow to the PC to see if anything has opened up in other countries. From what I've read on the other volunteers blogs, this group will have 1st choice of anything that becomes available.
Since I've been teaching this Photo Editing Class over at Two Peas, I've had photos on the brain. I'm currently working on some photo-related gifts for friends and family for Christmas, a digital album for our friends we stayed with in Paris and a big canvas with our family photo on it for my mom.
Here are a couple of photo product gift sites to check out:
Ski left this morning for his 2+ year Peace Corps assignment.
He'll spend a few days in Pennsylvania/DC? with the rest of the volunteers getting oriented and then they will fly out later this week to Turkmenistan where he'll spend 3 months training in the capital before being shipped off to his 2 year post.
Up until yesterday, I haven't felt emotional about it but during church it really hit me. That's a LONG time to not have him around! This morning when I asked him if he had his cell phone so we could call him tonight, he told me he had already thrown it in a lake. At that, I burst into tears, realizing that he would no longer be just a phone call away. Then when I went upstairs and saw the Bueno Bar sitting on the post with a little stickie note that said, "GOOD BYE," I really lost it. This is going to be much harder than I thought.
I'll miss seeing all his stuff spread out in the dining room that he called "his office."
I'll miss him asking me every afternoon, "what's for dinner."
I'll miss playing the card game Wizard with him.
I'll miss seeing him in those tattered black gym shorts and wishing I could throw them in the garbage.
I'll miss having him change the station on the radio everytime we got in the car.
Each session is 30 minutes long and the minimum donation required is $150. We would love if you could donate more to this great cause, especially since your donation will be doubled! You will receive all digital images on a disc from your session-copyright free. 100% of our profits will go to the organization. We just want to do this to try to give back a little because we have been so truly blessed in our lives.
Time slots will be limited and are on a first come, first serve basis. There will be a morning session in downtown Ogden for a more urban feel and in the late afternnon/evening at Beus Pond in Ogden with fall leaves and the pond. These sessions can be for families up to 6 people, children, seniors, teens, bridals or even engagements.
A non-refundable deposit of $75 is due on October 10th to hold your time slot. The remaining donation (minimum of another $75) is reauired on October 24th.
This month's theme at Two Peas was to use Found Objects...totally something I LOVE to do!
I created this altered book using a book cover that 7 Gypsies sells but putting several things on and in it that I found at the Flea Market's in Paris. The book is all about those Flea Markets. I also used a lot of the products that I designed for 7 Gypsies like the Gypsy Journaling papers, Ephemera and Tags.
Here are a couple pages, but click on the link above to see the entire book.
For the weekend we fly to California so that my mom and my brother Scott's family could see Ski before he heads to Turkmenistan. It was a super quick trip that was spent eating way too much of my mom's fabulous cooking, playing about a million hands of Wizard (our favorite card game) and visiting with friends and family.
Ski, Mike and Spencer stayed in CA to hike Half Dome in Yosemite, while Mick and I came back because of work and school.
The vineyards were full of grapes. It's been so long since I've been to CA in the early fall that I had forgotten it was grape picking season. The trees were full of peaches and apples too. Yum!