Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Peace Corps Timeline

I've stopped updating this entry. For a complete, up-to-date timeline, please see the separate page titled Timeline :) Thanks guys.

I've seen other PCV blogs that detail their timelines, and it always interests me because they're all so different. For the sake of comparison, my own memory, and anyone who comes across this in the middle of their own application, I am going to put mine up. I'm obviously going to have to update this as time goes on...

Three conversations in June and July of 2010 brought up the Peace Corps to me. After the third time, I decided to at least look in to it, not really committed to anything more than that because I have a cat and a dog that would need to be looked after. (And frankly I don't WANT to leave my dog, but as my sister in law said "don't NOT do something because you have pets..") My dog would have no problem finding a home, I have offers to take her off my hands at least once a week. I brought up the idea to my friend Nora who immediately declared "I'll take Nadia!" She has always loved the puddle of fur that meows at me to be fed :) And with that I decided to apply.

July 13, 2010 - I go to the PC website and look around, it's a lot different from what I thought it was (I was under the impression that it was for college students to do a semester abroad or something) It looks awesome and I begin filling out the application, I tell my cousins when they get home from work & they're ecstatic.
July 14, 2010 - I finish my essays and the health status review, I submit it all
July 28, 2010 - packet comes in the mail, my mom says she'll mail it to me
July 30, 2010 - I receive an email from my recruiter telling me that I need to send her back the forms in the packet as well as my college transcripts and financial obligation form, I also "attend" an online infosession where I ask some questions and get more and more excited about the prospect of doing this
July 31, 2010 - The packet arrives from Florida and I sort through it
August 2, 2010 - Fingerprints done at the police station in SC
August 4, 2010 - All of my references have completed the forms for me :)
August 10, 2010 - I call several people in PC to see if I need the financial obligation form notarized since I am planning on paying off my debt before leaving. I can't get in touch with anyone, leave a message for my recruiter and then have the form notarized anyway, to be safe. Recruiter calls me back after I drop everything in the mail and says what I did was fine.
August 13, 2010 - Email saying my status has changed - I check and they've received all my forms, but not all of my references. hmm. I email my recruiter to check on them.
August 14, 2010 - Email saying my status has been updated - All references are in and my recruiter will contact me soon to schedule an interview! Woo hoo!
August 23, 2010 - I haven't heard about an interview yet so I email asking if she knows what timeline to expect, she calls me right away saying that she was expecting ME to call and schedule it... miscommunication? Anyway, we schedule the interview for that Thursday, I offer to drive to Atlanta for an in-person interview.
August 26, 2010 - I show up at 10:55 for my 11:00 interview (nervous!), wait a few minutes, ask the receptionist for tips (be professional, she's not your friend, it's a job interview... got it.) We talk for almost 2 hours and I relax as I go, afterwards she tells me that she thinks I'd be a great fit for the primary teacher training program and looks over some paperwork that tells her where that program is available. She asks if I would be willing and able to ride a bike 3-5 miles a day (yes!) and then that there aren't any programs in francophone countries (sad!). I can either choose Asia leaving in January or Africa leaving in February. Now, all along I'd been thinking I'd end up in francophone Africa, since French seems in high demand, and most of the french speaking/education programs are in Africa. I've also wanted to travel there for as long as I can remember, or at least since I read Poisonwood Bible. Given that that was my first instinct, and it gave me a month more to get everything together, I picked Africa. I marvel at the fact that it's becoming more real now, that I have a region and a vague timeline to shoot for, haha.. I drive home to Florida.
August 27, 2010 - I receive an email that my status has changed - I'm a nominee now!!! I have legal clearance already, and will need to get blood tests, shots, x-rays, etc.
August 31, 2010 - I get another email that my status has been updated - My medical packet was mailed out on the 30th and I'll need to complete it and send it back.
September 2, 2010 - Medical/dental packet arrives in the mail, it's a behemoth. Separate entry for this, it's too big.
September 7, 2010 - Dentist appointment this morning, my teeth are perfect and need no work :) I had an impression taken for a new occlusal splint (to keep me from clenching my jaw at night) since mine is 10 years old and has holes in some places. I also went to the Health Department and got blood drawn for varicella immunity since I had chicken pox but no shots. I also had a TB test, Polio and Tdap boosters, and got my immunization history.

This is where I am now, waiting :)

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