Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Thriftiness of a Peace Corps Invitee

I have....
- 5 days until Jake and Sarah's wedding.
- 13 days left of work.
- 19 days until Heidi and Dale's wedding.
- 31 days until my sister visits.
- 52 days until I start the next 27 months of my life.

I have been spending lots of my free time figuring out what to buy/pack. There are lots of discounts available to Peace Corps Volunteers, and while there are many great ones, I have noticed sometimes the company I am looking to buy something at, isn't on the list. I have learned, it doesn't hurt to ask. SmartWool said no, unless I wanted to order like 100 pairs of their socks. However, Columbia was super generous and despite not having a deal for Peace Corps Volunteers, they offered me a one-time purchase discount at their friends/family store, which saved me over $200. Plus, Columbia has a lot of really amazing products- I've always been a fan! Other amazing companies, Teva, Eagle Creek, and Keen. And although the don't offer a discount for PCV, the staff at REI are super helpful! (Ok, enough product placement for one post!)

Since work is starting to wind down a little (side note: why can't little boys keep their hands to themselves?), I am able to start focusing more on Peace Corps and what I need to do before I leave. I am working hard on trying to figure out my insurance estimates for my travler's insurance and of course all of the paperwork that came with my invitation (never really thought at 24 I would be deciding what percentage of life insurance my dad, mom, and sister are to each receive if I die).

I also need to get dental clearance again. I still have it, however, it expires after 1 year. I gained dental clearance on September 2nd. I leave September 9th. Wah wah. I miss having clearance by one week. At least I got lucky. I called the dentist today at like 10:20 and they just had a cancellation and could get me in at 11:00 today. Plus, I actually never saw the dentist- the hygienist did all the work and the dentist just reviewed her work, so it was pretty quick and painless. The only thing I need is for the dental liaison to call me back in regards to whether I need new Panorex x-rays, since the hygienist said they are good for 5 years. She hoped Peace Corps wouldn't require them because she wanted to save me the $120 (she was so focused on saving me money that they didn't charge me for an exam, just the cost of the bitewing x-rays).

I also need to start practicing my Macedonian. On the MAK-16 Facebook site there is mixed reviews from current PCVs about whether you should start learning the language before you leave. Some say, do it now while you are excited- you won't be by your 2nd week of PST. Others say, don't bother now, spend time with friends and family as you will spend lots of time on language during PST and its easier when you have a set way of doing it instead of trying to figure it out on your own. At this point, I know how to say "hello", "I", "one", "good morning", "good afternoon", and "good night". That certainly will take me far, right?!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sara,
    Nice posting!
    I am about on the same page as you regarding progress with the language. I just started looking at the site recommended by Candy ( It looks better than any I have seen so far. However, in order to get beyond the very basic there are fees.
    Good luck.
    See you in September!