Tuesday Talk: Thanks for the challenge, universe

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The last week and a half has been a bit of a journey. As you may remember from a post last MARCH (!), Alex and I applied for the Peace Corps.

Last March.

And still don’t know when or if we will have the opportunity to be placed in jobs for Peace Corps. Sigh.Tis Peace Corps, so I hear.

So much waiting.

So, there we were last week, anxiously awaiting an invitation to the program we had been nominated for: Malawi, June 2015. The Peace Corps promised to let us know by January 15 whether or not we were selected for this program, and the date was drawing closer! Instead of an invitation, we got an email about a different program: Mozambique, September 2015.

This was all fine and good; we both knew that our nomination could change and we were up for going any where from the start. Plus, the thought of spending another summer in the mountains was great. And the thought of not missing a close friend’s wedding in August was great! And the thought of not leaving 10 days after school gets out was great!

I then found out that because we will learn Portuguese in Mozambique, I need to prove my Spanish ability to the Peace Corps. Apparently the 2 languages are closely aligned, so Peace Corps only accepts people with a Spanish background into this program. Alex took college Spanish so he is good to go!

However, I considered my Spanish ability to be fairly low. I felt like I could communicate and get by, but passing a listening and reading comprehension test for the college level, seemed a little tough!

So I freaked out for an hour or two, feeling like the plan for our near future rests on my shoulders. Then Alex and I talked. Then my BFF Sarah sent me a super inspirational quote. Then I got to thinking about the reason for challenges and how I could choose my attitude while trying to pretty much learn a language in a matter of weeks.

I asked myself if I wanted to spend these weeks being stressed and worried about this test (a small amount of this is inevitable, I think) or if I wanted to spend the time remembering that: A) most things are not the end of the world, even if the lower-order thinking part of my brain says so for a minute. B) challenges are a good way to tell if things are meant to be or not. Can I overcome this challenge, or is it there to shove me in a new direction? C) it’s important to remember that if things are meant to be they will be…listen to the higher-order thinking 🙂 D) Challenges are one of the biggest paths of learning…we need them. E) knowledge doesn’t take up any space in the brain.

And most importantly: the universe has a plan for me! I have no clue what it is 🙂

And also most importantly:

SI, YO PUEDO! (YES, I CAN!)

I later found out that I can do an Oral Proficiency Interview, which will test my ability to communicate and get by, as well as my ability to perform higher-level speaking tasks in Spanish! Because all of my Spanish experience has to do with speaking, I think I can definitely get the score that Peace Corps needs to place us in Mozambique!

By keeping calm, working hard, and having fun with Spanish, I think that I have learned more in the past 10 days than in the past 6 months, since coming home from Ecuador!

Wish me luck on my test this Saturday! Hopefully by next week’s Tuesday Talk I will know my score 🙂

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