An email came yesterday evening from the placement team for the United States Peace Corps. Seeing this address in my inbox had me at my knees with my heart beating so fast I could barely bring myself to click on the small blue dot to open the message. I touched the box and the message opened. It told me that I am in consideration for the destination of Timor-Leste. First thought, where is that? Second thought, what happens next? In the next few months my application is going to be processed more, and I may receive an interview. I may also be considered for other volunteer locations, and I will be notified of those opportunities as well.
On to the greater question, where is Timor Leste? Well, as I quickly found out from a .93 second search on Google, Timor-Leste is part of the island Timor. Leste is derived from Portuguese, meaning East, aka East Timor. The island is located between Indonesia and Australia. It is a mainly tropical atmosphere with exotic wildlife and oceanic creatures. The waters are populated with coral reefs and whale watching for days. The main languages are Portuguese and Tetun, both I would need to learn. Timor was first colonized by Portugal in the 16th century. It was then invaded and occupied by Indonesia, and then became the first new sovereign state in 2002. It also is a member of the United Nations and is one of the only two Christian nations in Southeast Asia. The culture of Timor-Leste is rich and vibrant with many architectural styles, the art of weaving, and scarf making is very widespread.
Community development and health education seems to be a primary focus for this part of the Peace Corps mission. After leaving the country for nine years, the Peace Corps is coming back in its new wave, I would be part of the second group of volunteers to embark on this experience. There is nothing set in stone yet, but this is the first step into an amazing experience and opportunity. More updates to come soon.