For the past few months, ever since I received my lovely invite, I haven’t really been able to answer questions about what I’ll be doing in Albania. I have a title, Community Health Educator, but all additional details are decided and explained once I arrive. The PC ideally wants to place volunteers in jobs that suit our strengths and interests, which is why I wont know more until I get there.
According to my staging information, I’ll be flying to DC for orientation and then to Tirana. Once we arrive in Tirana (right now my group is around 40 people I think), we will be split into smaller groups and each of us will individually join a host family. From what I understand, we’ll be going to school every day for language and technical training and then, at around 5 weeks, the training gets more specific depending on what we’ll be doing after our Pre-Service Training (PST). Health volunteers do a multitude of things (some of which do not include health education at all, such as English language tutoring and computer tech). We do various projects on preventative care, work with clinics and organizations to improve health care systems and efficiency, train and give educational lessons to youth, and much much more. What do I want to do? I’ve had to fill out numerous forms on this very subject - what do I expect to be doing, what skills can I bring to the group, what am I comfortable doing, etc. I try not to expect anything specific; rather, I hope I do something relating to my interest in health care. For now, I’m going in with a blank slate (or as much of one as possible) because at this point I have no clue what my daily activities will entail or what my community will need.
After PST, I will officially be sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer and will begin my two-year service. I will move to my permanent site (to be announced sometime during PST) and will work and live among the community. I will know so much more once I arrive. Until then, I am faced with lovely emotions that resonate uncertainty. Words cannot express how excited I am to begin this adventure…or how nervous I am with all of these unknowns.