It is the Young Adult Volunteer Program through the PC(USA). It is a year-long program, running from August '08-August '09 with both National and International placements. The program focuses on being rather than doing and is a ministry of presence. I found out about the program my sophomore year and it was then that I began playing with the idea of becoming a volunteer (YAV). I began the application process in February and have now been invited to travel to Louisville, Kentucky for the International Placement Event from August 24-27.
I've signed up to interview with Guatemala and India after thinking about Hungary, Northern Ireland, Egypt, Peru, Kenya and others. Guatemala would be amazingly relevant as I would return in Spanish and you also live with a host family which is ideal for me as it is the extreme of cultural immersion. At the India site, you live at small colleges, orphanages, or elder homes, or a hybrid of all three, which are also very culturally immersive. I would be so happy with either and am trying not to lean too much one way or the other.
So, the placement event. I'm so excited! I think it will be a lot of fun and I'll meet the people that I'll be serving with which should be really cool. It will also help because lately I have felt that a lot of people don't really "get it." They don't really understand my reasons for going, which I understand; it's a pretty counter-cultural thing to give up a year of your life. But I don't feel like that's what I'll be doing at all. I really feel like I'll be gaining so much for giving very little.
Well, I'm trying not to get too excited because there is a small chance that I won't get a placement, but I feel pretty good about the whole thing.