Log in

Flight Information

Jul. 6th, 2006 | 02:32 pm
mood: Stressed like it's nobody's business


Monday - July 24, 2006
US Airways Flight number 196

Depart: Los Angeles, CA - 10:40am
Arrive: Philadelphia, PA - 6:53pm

Staging is at the Sheraton in Philadelphia from 1:30pm July 25th to 1pm July 27th.


International Flight Itinerary:

27 July 2006 - Thursday
Delta Air Lines Flight number 8557
Depart - New York (JFK) - 840pm

Arrive: Paris, Charles de Gaulle - 940am (28 July 2006)

Depart: Paris, Charles de Gaulle - 1110am
Delta Air Lines Flight number 8548
(No time to mess around in Paris)

Arrive: Niamey (Niger!) - 330pm

Link | Leave a comment | Share

So far

Jun. 23rd, 2006 | 12:35 am
mood: restlessrestless

On Tuesday I met up with Vannghi for for dessert and we got caught up with everything since I left school. The last time we hung out was for the WAC Smash dance show and before that, there were several months where we lost contact. I got invited to go to Mammoth this weekend, but I’m stuck with working 2nd job. Even though the weekend job is literally the most laid back job, I missed two weekends in a row for surgery recovery and Bernadette’s graduation.

Today I went for a post-op follow up with the dentist and everything is on track. For anyone that didn’t know, I got my wisdom teeth pulled almost two weeks ago and it was completely painless (no swelling either) from the time they put me to sleep until now. They kept telling me that my teeth were positioned really well, but I didn’t expect it to go this well. I went to the UCLA School of Dentistry and got 4 teeth pulled + anesthesia for $580. That’s a huge bargain.

I’ve been trying to visit as many friends as I can before I leave and it’s been really difficult. In the past I just wouldn’t have cared, but for some reason, I feel anxiety at the most random moments. I was worried that I wouldn’t have heard back from one of my friends since it’s been a week, but I got an email today and my reaction was the opposite. Instead of relief, I once again had to face the reality that in a month, it will be a whole new ballgame.

I have one more week of work for the full time job. July will be set aside for getting everything completed, NY (maybe DC and Boston), and friends/family.

Every time I try to articulate what I’m thinking, it just never works out. Especially now. The biggest reason for it right now is that I’m not sure what should be running through my head. I ended up calling Tani to get some perspective.

In it’s current state, all this seems to be is a chronology of events. Maybe tomorrow I will give it another go.

It's 146am and I'm still up. People often ask me about what my friends and family think. I don't know. This is all I can say. In terms of major decisions, I've always been someone that just goes through with it when others would have taken the normal path. Now it seems like everyone is silent.

I'm looking forward to the experience. I thought that the distance between others and I would appear later, but it's already in place. Maybe it's just awkwardness.

Link | Leave a comment {2} | Share


May. 15th, 2006 | 10:37 pm
mood: thirstythirsty

I snuck out during one of my breaks to shoot some photos. Boring subjects, but it was great to be behind the lens again. I was beat when I got home, but things picked up when I did some shooting around the house. I tried to improve on something I did several years back and experimented with other techniques (painting). I’m interested to see how the results from the lab are.

I also watched this documentary on the suspect 2000 election. You know how all documentaries are, but I was really hooked by this one. It’s mission accomplished for the director, but I can’t help believing every part of it. I believed it all along, but I didn’t know the highway robbery was that bad.

Except for the rat bastard refs, the playoffs have been really good this year.

Link | Leave a comment | Share


May. 15th, 2006 | 09:41 am

I got my hands on a vintage handheld movie camera from 1950. Other than having to wind it up, I have no clue how to use it.
I wasted this whole weekend when I should have been completing the visa, passport, and life insurance applications. I also have to write an aspiration statement for Niger so they know what I hope to do. This will be their first impression since Peace Corps isn’t sending any of the application materials to them. Where do I start?

Link | Leave a comment | Share

PCV wins contest

May. 9th, 2006 | 05:03 pm
mood: tiredtired

One of my LJ friends posted this. I remember reading it sometime last year, but I forgot about it. Vanity Fair has an essay writing contest and a volunteer won first place.


Thanks to Meggan for posting this.

Link | Leave a comment | Share


May. 9th, 2006 | 10:06 am
mood: hyperhyper

On Saturday I received my invitation from the Peace Corps. I will be serving in Niger as a Community Health Agent. Staging is from July 25th-27th and occurs in a US city near the point of departure. At staging, all the volunteers for the region will meet each other and sign registration forms to officially become a Peace Corps trainee. Immunizations are also done.

From then on, the next three months are for the Pre-Service Training (PST). This focuses on instructing volunteers on language and culture, their technical assignment, health awareness, cross-cultural situations, how to recognize hazards, etc. In Niger, French is especially important for health and education volunteers. Each volunteer also has to become functional in Hasua, Zarma, or Tamashek, as command of the languages are crucial to becoming accepted in the village. During the PST, each volunteers usually stays with a host family in order to ease the transition from life in the States to life as a volunteer. At the end of the 3 months, you are sworn in as an official Peace Corps volunteer and sent to your assigned area.

Niger is about twice the size of Texas with a population of 12 million inhabitants. A large part of the norther area lies in the Sahara desert and the temperatures rage from 40 degrees to 124, depending on the part of the year. Dealing with the high dust levels will take some getting used to. Niger’s harsh climate, location, lack of natural resources, environmental degradation, and huge population growth makes it one of the poorest nations in the world. It’s ranked 176 out of 177. The per capita GDP in 2003 was $185 and the people are primarily concerned with meeting the basic needs that are taken for granted elsewhere.

The regional office had a dinner on Sunday at an Ethiopian restaurant for applicants that are leaving this year. There was one current volunteer that extended his service for an extra year to complete his project. He was on leave and came to the dinner to describe his assignment. He’s a liaison between farmers and NGO’s that are working to plant trees in a deforested area. He was able to make farmers agree to plant trees and next month, they plan on placing 8000 in the ground. His description is a lot better than what I just wrote, but I was amazed at the work that some do. I have other stories, but the point is that their experiences brings some truth to the notion that one person can have an impact.

I have to call my placement officer today to accept the invitation. I will let everyone know more about my assignment later today. You guys don’t know how relieved I was to know that there is no more uncertainty. Now I just have to get my wisdom teeth pulled. Nice.

You can see where Niger is and see brief details.

Link | Leave a comment {1} | Share

Medically cleared

Apr. 27th, 2006 | 05:28 pm
mood: goodgood

Hi Zachary,
Thanks for the update. It looks like everything was received and you were
given medical clearance on April 25th! Congratulations! You should be
hearing from us in the next few weeks regarding placement. Thanks again and
we look forward to working with you!
Stephanie Sears
Student Aide, Africa Placement Team
Peace Corps Headquarters

Link | Leave a comment | Share

Monday, March 27, 2006 4:28 PM

Mar. 27th, 2006 | 04:28 pm

I just got back home.

Recently I got a chance to see V for Vendetta and Inside Man. V for Vendetta was good, but you never really got the sense that the citizens were truly fearful of their government. Both movies used humor.

Tomorrow I will be finishing the medical portion of the packet and Wednesday, the dental examination should be completed. Hopefully the Office of Medical Svcs will receive everything by Friday and let me know if I need to have my wisdom teeth extracted. After that, I will just be waiting for an invitation from a country.

I will be in England from April 10th-17th.

Other than studying for the LSAT, I'm looking forward to seeing people since I've just been running around for appointments.

Link | Leave a comment | Share

The Fountain

Mar. 23rd, 2006 | 10:32 am

I came across this movie that I really want to see. It's called 'The Fountain'. Unfortunately for me, it's being released in December. Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream and Pi) is the director. Here are some plot summaries:

IMDB - Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world.

Yahoo - 'The Fountain' is an odyssey about one man's thousand-year struggle to save the woman he loves. His epic journey begins in Spain, where conquistador Tomas Creo (Hugh Jackman) commences his search for the Tree of Life, the legendary entity believed to grant eternal life to those who drink of its sap. As modern-day scientist Tommy Creo, he desperately struggle to find a cure for the cancer that is killing his beloved wife Isabel (Rachel Weisz). Traveling through deep space as a 26th century astronaut, Tom begins to grasp the mysteries of life that have consumed him for more than a century.

The trailer is really short.

I'm hoping that it's a good discussion on the human existence and is done well since the concept sounds interesting. I have to see Contact again.

Link | Leave a comment | Share


Dec. 2nd, 2005 | 10:01 am

This email is to confirm your Peace Corps interview on Wednesday, December 14 at 2 p.m. The interview will last between one and one-and-a-half hours. Suggested attire is business casual.
Some of the topics we will discuss during the interview include:
        •        Your motivation for joining the Peace Corps
        •        Your expectations and concerns regarding working overseas for 27 months
        •        Your leadership skills and your ability to work in an unstructured environment
        •        Your overall flexibility regarding work assignments, geographic placement and departure date
        •        Your questions or concerns regarding issues of diversity and circumstances such as current romantic relationships, and financial/legal obligations
        •        Peace Corps' drug and alcohol policy (please review attached)
The following paperwork is required in order for your application to be complete and should be brought to or filled out at the interview:
·         2 fingerprints cards
·         National Agency Check Questionnaire
·         transcripts
·         student loan form
·         statement regarding financial obligations
·         copies of Heartsaver certificates
The Peace Corps office is located just south of LAX airport:
2361 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 155
El Segundo, CA 90245
From the 405 freeway exit Rosecrans Avenue and go west. We are in an office complex located approximately one mile west of the freeway. The nearest cross street is Aviation Boulevard, which has a metro rail and train track running overhead. Turn left at Manhattan Gateway, the first traffic light west of Aviation, and park in the strip mall (we do not validate parking in the lot adjoining our office). Cross Rosecrans Avenue and enter the Continental Park office complex. Peace Corps is located in Suite 155, on the ground floor of building 2361. A map of the Continental Park complex is available online.
If you need directions the day of your interview please call our main number at (310) 356-1100.

Link | Leave a comment | Share