27 August 2010

A shiny new career begins

So, as you can see from the new(ish) title and the changes to the sidebar, I've finished my service with the Peace Corps. Joining the Peace Corps is one of the best decisions I've ever made, and both because it is so recent an experience and because it is so profound an experience, you'll find I still reference it a great deal. But that's no longer what this blog is about. Basically what I'm saying is I'm too lazy to make a new blog just because I have a new job title. Which is, by the way, "Development Specialist Assistant." I'm pretty sure that's NGO-speak for "newbie." While my contract in that position doesn't technically start for another couple days, I've just spent the last two in meetings getting a whirlwind orientation to the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Washington, D.C., and what sort of stuff they do in Burkina Faso. So it's reasonable to go ahead and refer to this post as my first as a development worker for the U.S. government.

I was both excited and nervous about this job already. My orientation has intensified both of those feelings. The MCC does REALLY cool stuff! That's the excitement part. The nervous part is wondering how well I'll do - because the learning curve is steep, the responsibilities many, the time short. But at least I'll never be bored.

Walk a mile in my shoe
When I arrived in Largo (which is a nice area, but very far from DC center), I asked at the front desk about a shuttle to a nearby shopping center. For whatever reason, their every-half-hour shuttle wasn't running that half hour, and since I like walking anyway I decided not to wait to start the mile-and-a-half walk to the area. After about a half mile, the sole of my right shoe peeled away from the leather of the shoe. Fun! Of course, I could have turned around and halved my time walking half-shoeless, but that's just not my style. I eventually made it to a grocery store where I found Krazy glue and fixed my shoe. After putting it back on, I shopped a bit in the area. As I was checking out at a nearby pharmacy, an older lady tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, weren't you walking around with one shoe earlier?" I responded in the affirmative and explained the situation. She said, "Oh, I'm glad I ran into you, because I saw you on the street and I wondered what on earth that crazy guy was doing!"

Fair enough. My blisters wonder the same thing - apparently a month back in the US is enough to lose some of the hard-earned callouses I built up in BF.

On being old
Picture me in a suit and tie, sitting at a Starbucks sipping a soy latté and reading government contracts to prepare for a meeting. I felt so urban and professional! I felt like a real, for true adult!

Then a young woman walked in. She was dressed much as you'd expect a young professional to be. But she looked about 13! I thought to myself, "Surely I'm not so old that someone in her early 20s looks that young. How depressing." A few minutes later I overheard her telling her coffee companion about how 7th grade was going. Whew! I'm NOT so old!

I hate running
Did it in grad school. I lost weight and quit smoking. Running is good for you. But I don't enjoy it. Not at all. That said, there's a really large number of good-looking women in DC who jog. So, if I ever find I just have to take it up for some reason, I'll have to consider moving here to increase my motivation.

Don't jaywalk in DC
Not because you'll get a ticket. Just because you're likely to get hit. Traffic here is merciless. Don't worry, I neither got a ticket nor hit. But I almost got hit by a turning vehicle...a Segway, to be precise. Which made me wonder: since the Segway is supposed to replace walking, which of us had the right-of-way? As always, of course, the answer is the one that would have better survived the collision. Win: Segway.

My favorite tie and my favorite...
It's bright orange. It's kind of shiny. And it always gets compliments. I wore it to my first day of meetings. My favorite comment I got that day was that I displayed "sartorial derring-do." Sartorial is such a fun word!

1 comment:

Marg said...

All this new stuff is VERY exciting! I want to see this tie. Pics, or it didn't happen. :P