My plans for the summer keep shifting in and out of tangibility. The latter part of my summer is filling up - Mercedes is coming to visit in July, then my little brother's getting married July 31, then I have the whole Cedar City thing in the wee smalls of August before school starts again.
Still, that leaves the beginning of the summer open (aside from the arrival of Rachel's baby sometime in late May), and I very much want to fill it with some interesting trip somewhere.
As you may recall, I wanted to go to Africa. The cost of the Cross-Cultural Solutions program (which is certainly one of the most expensive programs out there) and the cost of the plane ticket to Tanzania, though, pushed that goal out of reach. I've been saving for the trip, but I took a pay cut to work at MTHS which is making the funding a bit trickier than my Yay, 30! trip.
In lieu of my volunteering in Africa, Jason and I talked about taking another adventuresome trip together this summer, since the one last summer went so well. We were talking by phone a few weeks ago and he mentioned that he'd like to firm up travel plans for the summer. I told him that I wanted to travel, but I just couldn't make any plans to spend that kind of money while my job situation at school was uncertain. He said he'd send out some feelers to other friends then in the meantime.
I thought about it that night, did some plane-ticket searching, and sent him a proposal for a trip to Japan in June the next day. I had found some good ticket prices, and I figured I would be comfortable with a shorter, frugal trip in spite of the employment question.
Unfortunately, Jason's friends were much more responsive than either of us had anticipated - in the 24-hours it took me to decide on an amount I could spend, he had already made travel plans with different people.
Since then, as you know, I feel much more confident in my continued employment and also just as eager to find some interesting trip to take in June. Africa is still there, calling to me like Bloody Mary in the back of my mind, but even with the seeming assurances from my principal that I'll be working at MTHS next year, it will come at a cost. They're freezing all salaries and most likely reducing benefits, which means I'll have more costs next year with no increase. (But I'll still have a job, which I am certainly grateful for.)
I was planning to take some time this weekend to look into other volunteer programs. Pueblo Ingles is a possibility again; but although I loved my experience there last summer, I'd rather do something new. There is that French village thing, but tickets to Europe aren't cheap theses days.
However, I got an email this evening from CCS. They're doing some sort of promotional program for their alumni where certain dates and placements will be given this summer for 1/3 the cost. I wrote them back, asking for more details. Perhaps the stars are aligning?