Saturday, August 9, 2008

Plan C

Country Preferences:

1) My first choice for deployment continues to be China. I want to learn Mandarin and I’d like to gain intimate knowledge of one of the world’s foremost upcoming economies. However this is unlikely to happen because most of their programs are focused on teaching English. Other than personally having a strong handle on the English language, having a personal passion for learning, and having had several wonderful teachers who I could mimic, I have no official teaching qualifications.

2) My second preference is currently the Middle East/North Africa (Jordan or Morocco): Arabic is the 5th most common language in the world so these language skills would be the most useful. The Middle East is a very dynamic area culturally that would significantly challenge my thinking and cultural understanding.

3) East Europe & Central Asia (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz republic, Turkmenistan): These countries have less readily transferable language skills, but they may be easier for me to pick up than Arabic or Mandarin. Also culturally I think I’d fit in better in some of these countries than in the Middle East. It would also be very easy to use my days off to leapfrog to China, Russia, and Western Europe. There’s a war going on in Georgia right now. That would certainly make for interesting work.

4) Asia (Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Mongolia): These countries are still in Asia, which would seem to be the cultural areas I am most interested in learning about. However the languages probably have low transferability to my post-PC life.

Places I do not want to go:
Africa: The languages here are not transferable to my post=PC life.
Pacific Islands: I just don’t want to be stuck on an island in the middle of the ocean.
Central or South America: Been there, have a good understanding of the culture and the language. I want to learn something new.

Pre-Deployment Plans:
· Work diligently to close up the medical process
· Communication clearly with my placement officer to find a new placement. When I recieve a new placement, get very specific country, job, and orientation date and location information
· Continue my employment with the Red Cross hopefully until I deploy
· Save more money for in-country travel
· Attend the Red Cross’ Leadership Development Retreat on September 5-7
· Living arrangements: couch surfing for the next week or two until I’m able to get more information about my placement. Find a sublease until I deploy.
· Travel around the country a bit. Atlanta here I come.
· Get through my reading list. I’m number 5 on the waitlist for one of my books, so I may have to wait a while. Good thing I’m not going to China anytime soon or I would missed it, and that would have been a tragedy.
· Fully transfer Alternative Spring Break and the American Red Cross Youth Services to the appropriate people.
· Complete personal projects
· Learn the appropriate language once I know where I’m deploying.
· Buy another gym membership. I’ll pay better attention to the cancelation policy this time.

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