It is not uncommon for PCVs who are TEFL volunteers, and sometimes YDs, to get a very short notice that they are to teach a class. Like, 10 minutes notice. I am not sure how the individual volunteer responds to this being sprung on them, but I know that most of them roll with it. One person I know said “nope, not going to do it.”
Luckily for me, as I am not a teacher, I am generally able to avoid that. But surprises are not new to me here either (more than once I show up to something but no one had told me I should have dressed up for it). However, I have had two surprises in the past day, which is really, well, how to describe it? Frustrating, irritating?
(Constantly reminding myself of the motto that we all have, from the time we submit our applications to Peace Corps – patience and flexibility.)
Surprise number one – on the way to my photo session yesterday, Vika said “So I got a call from V- (the director of the housing at the Technical University, where I live).” My immediate thought is “busted” for something I have and think I am not supposed to have (no, it’s not a cat). But no, nothing that simple. Apparently they want to move me to another room. Today. I declined, and said I was fine where I live, thank you very much. I only moved into this room 10 days ago, just put stuff up on the walls. I also said I am a bit concerned because the dorm where I am is said to be the “nicest” of the four buildings and this new room was in a different building. I also said this room has been approved by Peace Corps, as it meets the minimum standards, etc. In short, I tried to come up with any excuse not to move. She said I should at least look at the other room. I said fine, I will (with every intention of again saying “thank you very much, but I am fine where I am”). So we arranged for V-‘s assistant to show me this morning around 8:00 a.m.
She did not show. I waited until 8:30, said the heck with this, and left. They called Vika later, said I had left “as they were approaching me” (not true) and wanted to show me the room today. Want me to move today. Again, I declined on the move to a room I have not even seen, and am starting to wonder what is the hurry anyway? I work during the week. IF the room is okay, I can move on the weekend.
That was surprise number one. Apparently, whether I want to or not, I am to move to this other room. My seeing it is merely a formality. However, I won’t be moving until the weekend, as I need to pack up and schlep all my things to a new location. Fun.
Surprise number two came today. I was going to the Technical College to help conduct the English Club there, and had been asked to prepare a presentation on Peace Corps, and what I do here. Luckily I have already given this presentation, so I set out to meet Viktoriya (another Viktoriya, not to be confused with Vika). I got there and noticed a large amount of students gathered in what I will call the assembly hall. Apparently they were to have a program to celebrate the college’s 140th anniversary. So we sat through it, and were ready to conduct the English club after it ended, when the Rector told the students that I was to give this presentation about Peace Corps. To all of them. In English (because it was meant for the English Club).
Suffice it to say, surprise! Luckily I had the materials, but…I wore jeans today, because I did not anticipate something like this happening. Why didn’t I anticipate this?
Ah well. Other than students getting really antsy and talking during the presentation (what a shock), it went well, and a few students came up to me afterward to tell me they have ideas and want to work with me – yay!
But I’m tired right now. And I don’t want any more surprises for now, thank you very much. However, my life here seems to sometimes border on the absurd, so I fully anticipate another one tomorrow.
On another note, the photo session went, and I got the photos back today. Here is one (untouched) for your “enjoyment”: