It is hard for me to believe it is finally happening, I am going to leave for the Peace Corps. It was this time last year that I was just finishing my initial application and hitting submit, and now I am getting ready to leave for Guyana at the end of January. Looking back on the process that has gotten me to this point I have to laugh a little bit.
When I initially applied to the Peace Corps my recruiter told me I only qualified to teach ESL despite having education and work experience in health care, having a BFA in Communication Design, and work experience in advertising and publishing…but I really wanted to join the Peace Corps so I did what my recruiter asked and started volunteering for and organization teaching English. She then wanted to postpone the interview until I had a couple months experience teaching, so I decided to practice my patients and wait to do the interview. To my surprise she called two days later to set up an interview, she thought it would be best to just get the process going. I was insistent on the fact that I qualified for more than ESL and asked her to review my application one more time. The interview came around and we met at a coffee shop and I couldn’t have asked it to go better!
Again to my surprise I got a call a week later and was nominated for a health care position in Africa…and so the process of medical review began. I knew this process wouldn’t be easy for me, I am a clutz with bad health luck and well tracking down the stacks of paper when I had knee surgery or that allergic reaction was not an easy feat. I did it though and sent in all my information, and waited. I then sent them a few more odds and ends in regards to my health history and then that glorious day came, I got MEDICAL CLEARANCE!
Since getting medical clearance was a not so easy task, I was preparing myself for the tedious task of getting a placement. I received an email asking me to send an updated resume (which I did) and then a day later I got another email saying I was going to have a phone interview with my placement officer. The light at the end of the tunnel was finally in sight, I thought I would have the interview, be told they would be in touch, and play the waiting game. Rather five minutes into the interview, the wonderful lady said she thought a health care assignment in Africa would be great for me and my invitation was on its way. I was so excited I called my mom, I called my friends, it was finally happening. Then I got another phone call the program I was invited to was delayed and not leaving until later in 2012…I was given the choice of Africa later in the year or South America in January. So South America it was!
So to be completely honest I had no idea where Guyana was before receiving my invitation. But quickly learned as much as I could about it and welcomed the opportunity to go somewhere I would have never considered traveling to before. It didn’t seem real for such along time that I was going to join the Peace Corps, but now I am just over a month away from starting training and can’t wait to leave. I am finishing up my last few days at work, starting to gather my stuff, and saying goodbyes to family and friends. It’s happening and I am excited.