Archive for May, 2010

Power of attorney

May 28th, 2010

You can find a valid form for granting power of attorney in New York State in the New York State General Obligations Laws, title 15 section 5-1513. (Or just go to the Consolidated Laws of New York State page and click General Obligations, and then title 15 or whichever one says”Power of Attorney”.) You also need to file a separate power of attorney for the IRS and one for New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Some of these need to be witnessed by a notary public, but the signature of you (the principal) and the person you designate (the agent) need not be done at the same time.


More shopping

May 28th, 2010

Impulse bought today: a Cowon D2+ (personal music player: a little pricey as far as these things go, but rated for 52 hours of music playback, and supports OGG and FLAC) and a Aluratek Libre (e-ink reader: fairly inexpensive as far as these things go, and relatively small/lightweight, and I’m a sucker for anything named “Libre”). Both devices seem capable of charging via USB. I also went shopping for bug spray. The lady behind the counter advised me that a typical usage pattern involves putting on spray in the morning and in the evening, roughly corresponding to a bottle of spray per person per week. That corresponds roughly to 116 bottles of bug spray — not logistically feasible, even a little bit. My new game plan: lots of long clothing.

A part of me recognizes that I’m planning according to fear, and that most of the thing I’m bringing I’m not going to ever use or need. That doesn’t make me any less afraid, but it does put things into perspective. I just hope I haven’t crossed the 80 lbs limit for checked luggage yet (of which my actual suitcases probably take up 15 lbs..).

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Packing Guide

May 26th, 2010

So there you go.  Hope all that helps. Really, there’s no need to stress as you can either find things you forget here or have them shipped from home.  Good luck with everything, and see you all when you get here.

This is from the packing guide I got by email (as part of a nine-.doc email). Packing has been something of a focus for me over the last few weeks; it’s a little late to say “there’s no need to stress”, especially since I’ve seen four Organization-endorsed packing lists already.

On the other hand (d’un autre côté), this advice is probably pretty sage. There’s no way to prepare for something like this. You can buy things in an attempt to make yourself feel better (as I have), but since you don’t even know where in the country you’re going to go, you’re trying to predict something unknowable. I’m trying not to stress, but the entire Organization process so far has been almost designed to produce stress, from badly-designed forms to arbitrary processes and incoherent instructions demanding answers to obscure and invalid questions. It’s kind of hypocritical to turn around and say “It’ll be fine! Don’t worry!..”

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Possible issues for Volunteers of Color

May 26th, 2010

Asian-American Volunteers are often considered Chinese even when they have a different ethnic origin. They may also be assumed to be martial arts experts and asked to demonstrate their expertise.

This is in the “welcome book”, which serves as an introduction to the country I will be serving in. I found the above pretty funny — “oh, so it’s going to be just like home then?”


Starting things on the right foot

May 26th, 2010

The subject is relatively new in Cameroon. Most schools do not yet have computers, so teaching this subject will take lots of creativity.

About a month ago I got my assignment. The above is a quote.

I leave in less than a week. Of course, the story begins over a year ago when I started the application process for the Organization. Unfortunately I didn’t think to start a blog then.

I have taken to carrying my assignment with me, just to show the above sentence. It’s a little nervewracking — so much so that I impulse-bought another netbook, “just in case”.


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