agIsh: MOTHER RRRUSSIA!! (or: I guess I'm going to Vietnam)
As all things, it started with an idea. Really innocuous too...not that going to Vietnam is necessarily dangerous or anything. It started with extra credit. The students were to volunteer at least two hours of their time for 10 points of extra credit. Some students gave blood. Some students volunteered at a hospital. One dude even signed up to donate blood marrow! However, a couple of students said, "We technically haven't volunteered time yet, but we are going to Vietnam in July to help needy children."
Knowing that I'd be finished with my thesis by that point, I guess that's all it took. I went to a meeting and was introduced to the coordinator. I was immediately welcomed with, "Oh! That's so great! We have the perfect job for you!" That night I emailed copies of my passport and Visa application. My next step is to book my flight and get my immunizations. So, in a matter of a week, I went from not giving Vietnam a thought to volunteering for two weeks.
I gotta tell you that I'm really looking forward to this trip. It's going to be hot as hell, we're going to be worked to the bone, and I'm sure I'm going to experience extreme culture shock...but I am really optimistic about this trip. The foundation (Project Vietnam, pvnf.org) aims to take people out of their comfort zone in the service of others and I can't wait.
I don't know why I didn't submit to my usual apprehensions on this one. Something about this...adventure, for the lack of a better term, clicked with me. And so, instead of mulling around and letting my fears wash the anticipation away, I acted. In retrospect, my reaction confuses me. Then again, I have no qualms about going. So, I guess it's all okay. Or maybe I've hit the too-old-to-care stage.