February 22, 2008

I received formal acceptance into the program on Tuesday.  I was never worried, but it’s nice to have that taken care of.  The application materials were endless, I thought, but that was prior to seeing the complicated mess that is the pre-departure package.  The items themselves are not difficult, but the order and timeline of completion is already confusing.   I can’t pay the $1,300+flight costs in initial fees until I get a loan.  I can’t get my flight information until I pay all of my fees.  I can’t get a visa until I have my flight information, but that comes no earlier than one month prior to departure, and you’re supposed to allow a month to receive a visa.  Plus, I have to have a few vaccinations, but I can’t have those until I have a “travel consultation” which seems like the stupidest thing in the world.  Just give me the shots, I don’t need you to tell me you’re going to give me shots.  I’ve got it.  There are risks involved.  But really, has anyone ever gone through a planning process and then gone to the mandatory consultation and decided “You know, that process was hell, but the extremely generic, illinformed information this professional just gave me puts a new light on things.  Prior to this meeting, I had taken leaving the country for an extended period of time, transplanting myself to a completely different part of the world and paying thousands and thousand and thousands of dollars rather lightly.  Thank you for telling me the medical services are different there!”
Regardless, I’m going to that because I have to complete that to get on the list to get the yellow fever vaccination.  Apparently there’s a shortage of single doses so they have to do multiple doses at once.  Therefore, I must wait until 5 other people need the vaccination to be able to get it, because once the package is opened, it has to be used within the hour or it becomes toxic or ineffective or something.
Oh, and I need a loan before I do any of the medical stuff because all expenses are out of pocket. Since its optional travel, insurance doesn’t cover any of it.

I started looking at loans today.  Boo.  I don’t really know what to look for on the internet, I think everything is a scam.  At the same time, there’s little to no chance I’m going to walk from bank to bank asking about their loan rates and such, especially since they can’t give me any information without my credit information and my credit information is zero and I’ll need a co-signer.  I really want to go to the financial aid office and have them tell me “Go will this creditor!” and have it be done with.  I’m going to be screwed, I know.  I wish the government offered supplemental loans for things like study abroad.  I am not a fan of interest rates.

So first, I have to wait for my mom to try to find my vaccination records.  If that’s successful, I go to my appointment on Tuesday and hopefully soon after have my vaccinations.  In the mean time, I need to get my acceptance package from home.  I don’t want to wait until spring break to start on everything.  I can’t wait until everything is taken care of and I can just focus on the joy of going.

Also, today I accepted a position helping to produce a short for the Film and Video Society here.  That might have been a stupid choice.  I have Serving with Honor as an on-going obligation and I really wanted to get more involved with an African issues organization this spring.  VOX is cosponsoring Take Back the Night this spring and since all of the leaders are graduating, I was hoping to take a leading role in that partnership so I could get a leadership position next year.  Those three things are time consuming.  I’ll also get another conversation partner in the spring.  AND I want/need to get involved in anti-war activities again.  CAN formed a chapter here but they’re flakey, of course, and I can never get in touch with anyone from FNB Columbus.  I’m not sure how to go about it.  In the end though, I’m least interested in the Film and Video stuff and this job could be time consuming, potentially.  Maybe I should put everything else on hold and gain experience in that field, but I already have the obligations.  We’ll see how it goes.
Oh, yeah, I’m also taking classes.  Classes that are getting more and more difficult.  The school part of school really gets in the way of everything else I’d like to be doing.


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