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Back in the USofA

8 09 2008

The refugees have returned home and are now soul searching once again. The future holds many options for us, which is always a good position to be in, but now we have decisions to make. As for Peace Corps, we have 3 options. The first was to transfer directly from Armenia. However, given that our training in Georgia had been so intense, that we had invested so much of ourselves into learning the language and culture, that we had really grown attached to the Georgian people, the country, the Peace Corps staff and our fellow volunteers, we knew that we would constantly compare our experience in the new assignment to that in Georgia, quite probably with a negative attitude towards our new situation. Another option we have is to re-enroll sometime in the next two years, going to a different country altogether and starting training all over again. The soonest that would be is after January, but Peace Corps will try to give us a little priority in placement since this situation was beyond our control. Our third option is to potentially go back to Georgia, but unfortunately no one knows when that might be. We have tossed potential job ideas around and have started grad school investigations just to keep other options open. There is a lot to think about.
So we are back in the US, and in the meantime, we thought we would take advantage of the fact that New York is in between Colorado and Armenia and have stopped to visit the city and friends/family upstate. We first spent a wonderful 3 days in New York City with cousins of fellow Georgia volunteers who live in Brooklyn. They have a great house that they so generously opened up to us even though they are renovating and it would have been much easier to opt out of hosting. They are a really fun couple, and we are so happy to have met them.
In New York we ate lots of great food and ended all of our cravings. We had Mexican, Asian fusion, Cuban, bagels, pizza, doughnuts, giant and delicious sandwiches from Carnegie Deli, and cheesecake. Luckily we did a lot of walking to compensate for this crazy influx of calories. We walked over the Brooklyn bridge, went to Wall Street, shopped at FAO Schwarz, strolled through Central Park, tried to figure out the meaning of art in the Met, attempted to absorb the stimuli in Times Square, picked up supplemental T-shirts in Chinatown, saw the city from the top of the Empire State Building.
From the city we took a train upstate. The train was wonderful with tons of leg room (unlike the airplane where I almost got in the face because the guy in front of me stretched his arms overhead), leg rests,a dining car and even outlets for our electronic devices. The welcoming committee was waiting for us at the train station. They’re so great! Once again arrival was delayed past the already late scheduled time, but our family was there with smiles and even pizza!! We then stayed up until 3am chatting away. It is nice to be home.
The next day we saw Erin’s house!! It is so cute! We are very excited for her. It was a great day of hanging out with everyone, including the fast growing but always adorable Alex.
Now we are in Syracuse visiting the Sloan side of the family. We went to craft fair nearby with lots of entertainment, fresh doughnuts and apple cider. What could be better, really? Tomorrow we will head to Colgate so Steve can see Meghan’s old stomping ground and then back up to Rochester. More to come…



3 responses to “Back in the USofA”

9 09 2008
Naomi (03:32:30) :

I’m speaking from long and bitter experience - avoid Grad school given all options (unless it’s a 1 year masters type thing - I’m OK with them).
Glad you’re both safe and very jealous of all your travels (as ever).
Speak when hopefully, my hell is over.

9 09 2008
Nicole and Dan (15:19:19) :

Hey guys!

Great to hear you are back in the States. I am glad you have so many options! I am meeting with a grad school advisor myself on Thursday to see some options myself, but don’t know if I am fully committed to that step, AGAIN……

Can’t wait to see you guys soon. Have fun upstate and enjoy the start of a real fall there!

Nicole and Dan

11 09 2008
FDE (12:39:27) :

Are they offering you a choice of country in the retraining? Usually the PCV gets to choose.

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