Just got off the phone with Dan Wessner who informed me that there's been a flurry of email traffic between him and An Giang University and that things are 'moving forward'. While that in itself is nothing new (things have been moving forward since February) it the first real news I've had in several weeks. If things get finalized soon, it looks like Dan and I will travel to Vietnam sometime in the first two weeks of August. We will spend a day in Ho Chi Minh City and then two or three days in Long Xuyen and Can Tho meeting with the appropriate people there. So, while nothing is concrete yet, I take it as a hopeful sign that we are starting to make plans.
The timing of this phone call could not have been better! The waiting and uncertainty have been driving me pretty crazy as of late. For someone who's always been slow to make decisions, I'm incredibly impatient once the decision's been made and the transition period begins. Right now I'm just ready to be there. I'm overwhelmed with the thought of all that will need to be done once I get final approval, but I am even more excited about doing something new. I find it hard to believe that in 2 months, I may find myself half-way around the world. New context, new language, an 11 hour time difference from home, rice paddies and palm trees as my view instead the Shenandoah mountains or the hayfields of home. As intimidating as it is, my excitement increases as time passes. I know it's going to work out. I've been living with the anxiety of not knowing how or when it will happen for the past six months or so, but I don't think I've ever actually doubted that it is going to eventually work out.
Logistically, things seem to be falling into place on the homefront as well. A meeting with my SST on May 14, allowed me to introduce what I'd be doing and the Vietnamese partners to a core group of people from Johnstown and Harrisonburg. We talked about funding and covered the whole endeavor with a prayer for wisdom, guidance and a sense of peace as this process progresses. Now that things are looking more certain, I'm thinking it might be time to make this public. I've been hesitant to do any fund appeals due to the uncertainty of whether I would be offered a position or not. I only need to raise around $5000 since I already have the bulk of my necessary support comitted already. So, it looks like my project for the weekend will be to come up with a fund appeal letter and list of those to whom I'll send it.