Michael P

What a difference a year makes…
December 3, 2008, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A year ago today i had my last day at cal poly.  It was a long but good day.  I got up, stared at my Calculus 2 final for about 15 minutes, turned it in, packed some clothes into my backpack, and boarded a 1pm Amtrak bus north.  Around 7pm i met my mom at the Larkspur ferry terminal, then we met my dad at the Melting pot for fondue.  After eating canned tuna snack packages for a week i was almost crying because the food was so good.  After eating canned tuna snack packages and bagel chips in my room for the week prior, the fondue was unimaginably good.

I’ve been reflecting on what a big year this has been for me.  I left cal poly after, i’ll admit, not really trying to make it work and at the same time not knowing exactly why it didn’t work.  Before getting in, i was seriously thinking about deferring and coming to south east asia to travel or doing some sort of volunteer work.  That idea went out the window when i got into the one school that i wanted to go to that i also expected to not get into.  After arriving at cal poly, i had absolutely no desire to be in school.  I pleaded with my parents, while most of my family told me that i was making a mistake and that i should really stay at school.  Finally they gave in.  But then the next hurdle was getting over the sense that my life was going nowhere.   On March 3rd i heard about coming here for the first time, but i always thought it would never actually happen.  Eventually things started getting more serious.  I was telling too many people what i was planning on doing so that i couldn’t back out, i was getting plane tickets, and getting my visa together.  Eventually i boarded the plane (albeit limping) and i guess the rest is history. It’s exciting to think about how different my life is after a year and how different it can be in another.  I don’t have a good idea of where i’ll be living or what my life will be like a year from now, but i’m curious to see.


Today, instead of boarding busses and eating fondue, i had an extremely frustrating day at the visa office trying to get my visa extended.  I need to get it extended by like 6 days so that i can stay when my dad, brother, and uncle arrive here in the end of December.  I’m not well versed in the art of baksheesh and i can’t speak much bangla.  I desperately tried to get someones attention so i could get an application form while most of the people around me were pulling out various amounts of taka and slipping them through the door, shortly after recieving their documents.  Not only did i not feel like tipping bribing anyone that wasn’t going to actually help, but i’m sure i would have had to “give” 3 times as much as the locals.  I also need to get a visa for vietnam and that prooved to be pretty frustrating.  When i went to where i thought the embassy was, i learned that they Lybian government had moved in and then wandered around the are following bad directions and eventually giving up.  tomorrow i’ll try for vietnam again and think about what i’ll do about my bangladeshi visa.


1 Comment so far
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I am really proud of you MIchael! Your courage to go and serve have been an inspiration for many!


Comment by Rod

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