Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Places I Could Go....

I am hoping to be medically cleared within the next month. I learned last time that after I fax information in, I need to call the next day to check on my status- aka make them enter the information into their database, thus hoping giving me clearance sooner. I won't be medically cleared in time to be invited to Tonga, but here are some of the other possibilities.

According to the Peace Corps Wiki site, here are the possible places I could go (providing I leave sometime between January and March). This information is based off of the 2010 dates that countries left, because they typically leave about the same time each year.

  • Thailand- January 9
  • South Africa- January 28
  • Uganda- February 8
  • Eastern Caribbean- February 15
  • Namibia- February 16
  • Zambia- February 17
  • Malawi- February 24
  • Dominican Republic- March 2
  • Indonesia- March 15
  • Albania- March 17
  • Turkmenistan- March 23
  • Kyrgyz Republic- March 26
  • Ukraine- March 29
Right now, my preference (not that I get to choose) would be Thailand, Uganda, Zambia, or Malawi as they all specify having primary education which would be my first choice "job". Indonesia would also be a really unique experience. Any country would be I'm sure. I have decided that I don't really want a say because I trust them to find the right place for me. I am pretty open at this point.

Monday, August 30, 2010

How it all started

Well, this is the start of my Peace Corps blog. It's kind of funny because if you know me, I am not really known for taking chances and doing things without a well laid out plan. I like plans. I like lists. I like details. I like organization. However I also need a little change in my life and from that, came applying for the Peace Corps, thus taking a chance- a big chance.

I had toyed with the idea of applying to the Peace Corps for quite some time, but I would waiver back and forth and ultimately convince myself it wasn't quite right. I finished up my student teaching in December and was finally done with school. I was excited for the prospect of being able to relax a little after a busy semester. It only took until the second week of January before I was bored and wanting a new project. I was back working at the youth center, which was great, but it wasn't something new, an adventure. The idea of Peace Corps came floating back to me and I decided, one and for all, I was going to at least apply. There is no harm in applying.

I spent a fair amount of time working on my application- all 30 some pages of it! I thought about my essays, debated over how to phrase things on my resume and finally after much debate, I submitted my application on March 29, 2010. Then began the waiting. I interviewed in mid-April and was nominated the beginning of May. My nomination was for Primary Education/Teacher Training in the Pacific Islands. Since the nomination, I have been busy with lots of medical and dental paperwork- the process is quite lengthy (more detailed outline in the My Peace Corps Application Timeline tab).

At this point, I am still waiting for medical and dental clearance. Through lots of googling, I was able to deduce that I would most likely be headed for the Kingdom of Tonga as my departure date was the beginning of October. Since finding that out, I have read books on Tonga, scoured for blogs by current PCVs in Tonga, and been mentally preparing for Tonga. However, Peace Corps likes to send invitations out at least 6 weeks in advance and it is now under 6 weeks and I have no invitation yet. There is now a fork in the road with two possible paths. 1) I will not be invited to the Tonga program, but will be invited to another program in another region of the world or 2) Peace Corps likes to send invitations out at least 6 weeks in advance, but that doesn't always happen. I guess there is a 3rd path (not being invited at all), but I am choosing not to think about that.

When the 6 week deadline passed, I was disappointed at first, but the more I think about it, it just makes it more of an adventure now. Learning about Tonga and exploring current PCV's blogs is half the fun. If I am given a new placement, that will just mean I get to learn more and explore more.

A good friend of mine is a current PCV serving in Bulgaria and she has been a huge help with the whole application process. She is consistently sending me facebook updates about what she is up to as well as letting me know her experiences with the application process. I am very thankful for all of that.

My current status: My application is on hold as I am undergoing medical/dental review. I hope to have the hold removed before too long, meaning I will have medical and dental clearance as that is all that is standing between me and an official invitation.