December 17, 2003


Here is the Peace Corps contact information if anyone has questions about my safety and status while at post in Uz. In the event of an emergency, they have the latest information as to my status and whereabouts if you cannot get in touch with me. But before you use it, PLEASE go through the following considerations FIRST:

ONE: Remember that lapses in communication with me either by phone, mail, e-mail, or posting on this site, DOES NOT mean that there is something wrong. Sometimes mail gets lost, phone service is unreliable, internet service is too slow to post often, or I have merely immersed myself in work and do not have time.

TWO: PLEASE use rational judgment should a perceived emergency arise, such as seeing or reading news reports about an event in or near Uz. DO NOT assume that I will be directly affected and DO NOT assume the worst until you learn more about what is really going on. Wait a day or two before you call to give everyone in the system a chance to gather information.

THREE: The Peace Corps has a very effective and proven emergency response system to reach everyone in country, even in remote areas, and will ensure our safety as their first priority in the event of an emergency. DO NOT PANIC.

General Questions and Status, from 9am-5pm EST, Mon.-Fri.
Office of Special Services (OSS)
(800) 424-8580 ext. 1470
(202) 692-1470

Emergency, after hours answering service of OSS above
(202) 638-2574

December 16, 2003

4 Weeks 'Til Uzbekistan!!!

Received my "Staging Kit" today from the Peace Corps. Staging is a two day event that takes place for all volunteers prior to leaving the country. UZ17 will have our staging in Philadelphia from 13-15 January, and the schedule looks like an intense cram of introductions, policies/procedures, safety, cross-cultural issues, logistics, and how to ensure success in the upcoming three months of training in Uz.

There is also the pre-departure checklist, which includes very important considerations like assigning a Power of Attorney to someone who can handle my affairs (i.e., banking, taxes, apartment sub-let, etc.). This will most likely be a neutral party like my lawyer. I must also choose two emergency contacts who can react quickly and rationally (the instructions ask NOT to assign parents, although they can be contacted, too). Lastly, it feels morbid, but I should have a will drawn up.

Someone also has to open my mail, assess their relative importance, send them to me, and handle follow up instructions when things come up. I'll have to collect all the things I need to file my taxes from overseas, too! There is just a bunch of little logistical life matters that must be either covered remotely, or done by someone I can trust. All I can say is thank God for internet and telephone banking, automatic bill payments, etc. At least I can still maintain a level of direct control over my finances. *hope*

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