Below are some Frequently Asked Questions, with editorial comments from friends in paranthesis.

Why in the world are we doing this (for heaven’s sake)? For the adventure! It’s something we’ve always wanted to do (that just sounds like something you would do), and it’s good timing for us. Neither of us is fully employed, and our parents are still in good health.

When do you leave? We plan to leave Raleigh around Feb 18th to begin a cross-country trek to visit friends and family and drop off stuff for them to store for us (What are you going to with …..Can I keep that for you?). Carol’s sister in Chapel Hill is absorbing most of the load, but we have some friends all the way in Long Beach who are going to take care of some other stuff for us. So we plan to be in Burkburnett, Tx from around Feb 23 or 24 until about March 6, then on to Long Beach, and back to ABQ around March 15 until we depart for staging (in NY we think) on or around March 20th.

Why Albania (of all places)? We didn’t get to pick the country, only the region. Central/Eastern Europe sounded interesting, though, and the business development job we picked turned out to be in Albania.

What’s business development (in a country like that)? It’s a way old people like us can help in the Peace Corps. Here’s the job description we received:

“Two Business Development Workers (the more advanced of Peace Corp’s business programs, requires higher skill and experience levels than the Business Advisor positions mentioned previously). Departing March 2006 for Central/Eastern Europe. You will not live together during training (approx 3 months). One Business Development worker will work in Community & economic development, focused on grassroots organizations & municipal agencies. You must be comfortable training, conducting outreach, and working in unstructured environments. The assignments are rural and challenging; must be in good physical condition. The other Business Development worker will do similar work though there may be some differences.”

How long is your assignment? A total of 2 years and 3 months, the first 3 months for training before our actual assignment begins. After the initial 3 month training, we are officially sworn in. We guess that gives them one last chance to boot us out because one of us can’t learn the language.

Where will you be in Albania? We don’t know yet. (You don’t know yet? Who’s running the Peace Corps these days anyway?) They won’t make our final assignment until we successfully complete the training. They want to assess us in person and see how well we adapt before finalizing the assignment.

Can we come visit you? Yes, yes, please yes! Apparently, the Albanians love it when you have visitors. Or, we can always meet you in Italy or Greece on your next European vacation!

Will you have email or a cell phone? Yes, we will have both, although internet access may be further away than we’re used to. We hope to put up a web site and a blog to help keep in touch. Hey, you’re reading it!

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