Monday, January 29, 2007

Excitement Wanes, Now the Mundane

The excitement of getting our Peace Corps Invitation and learning the country of service and date of departure is quickly passing. People have decreasingly responded with words of amazement and statements of praise for such a worthwhile endeveaour. Most have never heard of Samoa before, others think it is where S'mores originated. Their lives continue as before, some wondering what it will be like without the Shuraleff's around.

Now there is a sense of panic on my part about all the things we yet have to do. Along with the Invitation came a lot of paper work for new passports, visas, statements for the Samoan government about our "aspirations", FBI investigations into our background, and a few manuals about Peace Corps policies and rules (Failure to wear a bicycle helmet is a serious infraction and may result in administrative separation.).

We are filling storage boxes and moving them to the garage in hopes that a nearly empty house is more attractive to a prospective buyer. It is a difficult process trying to determine what to keep, what to give away, and what is simply trash. There are no rules to guide you. After twenty years in a house you and your children can accumulate a lot of stuff.

"Staging" a house for sale is something I liken to celebrities walking down the red carpet before the Oscar Awards. Image is everything. Mary is our resident "Stager". She continues to paint, then repaint rooms. She has done redecorating wonders. The house looks great! The stage is now set to put up the "For Sale" sign.

We have been reading the blogs of other Samoan Peace Corps Volunteers to get a feel of what we might expect (see Samoa, Peace Corps Journals link on our blog). None comment about what their Peace Corps job is on Samoa. It seems like the "Samoan Way" does not include work. Why work when you grow your food, catch fish, easily build a shelter (house), and make your own clothing out of a sheet? Maybe it really is paradise!

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