About Me

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Kingston, Jamaica
You can email me at crrorke@yahoo.ca or find me on Skype at coreena.rorke

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Preparing for Change" Training - Ottawa June 4 - 7, 2010

So here I am in Ottawa, Canada's capitol city...and what an amazing city! I had no idea what to expect when I got here, but I am pleasantly surprised to say the least. Sheila and Linda met me out here in Thursday, and we toured the Parliment building on Friday prior to my training. We dined at an incredible resto/lounge called Eighteen in the Market district and stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. I told them that I don't think I can afford to be their friend any more! haha! Linda graciously picked up the tab for the wine...oh, and it was so worth it!

So now the real reason I am here...Preparing for Change. So far this work shop is exactly what I expected, although the major theme of this adventure that I am about to partake in is to have NO EXPECTATIONS!! We have covered a lot of ground already in just 2 days; travel documents, saying goodbye, stereo-types, expectations, defining "development", dealing with isolation and loneliness, relationships (building new ones and managing current ones), cultural differences, communication...and it's only just begun!

It is really wonderful to be surrounded with so many other like minded people. We are all so different and yet we share similar values and passions...even though some of us have a hard time defining or expressing what it is that we are feeling and our motivations, we all "get" each other! We are all here for the same underlying reason...world citizenship. Thank you to my new friend Delphine for that concept!

I am getting even more excited about my upcoming trip. The unknown is exhilarating and scary. There is so much to think about and consider...where will I go, what will I be doing, will I do a good job, will I make friends, will I be safe, what will my new home look like, will I miss my family and my friends, will they even notice I am gone, will I succeed in changing the world in only 6 short months (haha).

I take comfort in knowing that everything will work out just as it should!!

A Little History...

This whole process started on January 25, 2010 when I received an email from my Corportate Affairs department regarding a new partnership our company had formed with CUSO-VSO, North America's leading non-profit, international development organization.

Through this new CUSO-VSO Employee Fellowship Program, 3 employees in Canada would be selected to fill overseas volunteer positions for a period of 6 - 12 months.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I get to fulfill a dream of living and working in a developing country AND I am guaranteed to have my job when I return??? Where to I apply right???

Needless to say, after a 4 month application process (first through my company, then through the volunteer organization), on May 17, 2010 I received official word that out of 163 applicants, I was accepted into the program!!! YIPPEE!!!

I was then presented with an amazing opportunity to work with the Board of Directors at an inner-city organization (Youth Opportunities Unlimited), in Kingston, Jamaica!!

I depart on October 1, 2010!!

I want to thank my colleagues and superiors at my company that have unconditionally supported me in my pursuit of this life changing opportunity! Thank you to the Selection Committee for believing in me as an ambassador for my company! Thank you to CUSO-VSO for believing in my skills and abilities to potentially make a difference in the developing worlds, and as a representative of your organization. And most of all...thank you to all of my family and friends that have provided me unconditional love and support throughout this whole process!! But your work is not done yet...the hard part begins on October 1, 2010, and I do hope for your continued support once I depart to pursue this new chapter in my life!!

Check out my Journal and Photo Gallery regularly for updates throughout my journey, and PLEASE stay in touch!