This blog does not, nor will it ever represent the views of the United States or Chinese government or the Peace Corps.. Because that's how I do what I do.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Oh why hello giant blue envelope

So, this is my first "casual" blog attempt, I despised all forms of blogs in university, ask any of my former roommates, I would basically half ass any blog post required for courses. Later I learned that this was a mistake as they were graded..heavily.
Anyways, despite my hatred towards anything blog-related, I found myself drawn to them, well religiously, these past few months. Like many other PC volunteers, I scoured blogs in hopes that someone else was in the same boat as me, and I was reassured by so many posts. With this in mind, I aim to bring said hope to other PC hopefuls! This is a massive one, but hey it's my intro!
So a quick timeline for those who don't know me, and recap for those who do:

June 2010: Start PC application (aka the longest application EVER) after realizing that a degree in international relations does not provide a lot of great career options. This is done back in Australia

July 1st 2010: All forms are submitted including references, and many many thanks to them, I doubt I would be at this point now without them

July 12th: Peace Corps sends all of my forms (criminal check, fingerprints etc). Problem being they sent them to my dad in the US and I am still in Australia. A few frantic phone calls to PC to make sure they know I won't be getting them for a few weeks, I resolve to get them done as soon as father-figure arrives in Sydney.

Late July: After assuming fingerprints done by Australian police are A-Ok, send packet off with Father back to the states. The day the packet is received I get an email from initial recruiter asking  for an interview. I inform her I am still in Australia, will be in Italy visiting my mom for a month but will be back early September so can we do it then. She suggests I put my application on hold. I refuse and restate my desire to serve but am in a weird situation. Ultimately we are able to establish an interview date. Later I receive an email that said recruiter has moved on to other things and I have a new one. And he is awesome. We set a date for first week of September.

September 7: Interview with Chris. Goes swimmingly. If you are in DC area and have him, no fear his interview is like a comfortable conversation and he really is passionate about the program. I expressed my interest to serve in Asia, as post-PC I want to get my Master's degree in Strategic Studies focusing on the Asia-Pacific.
Unofficially nominated in the interview to serve in Asia starting April 2011.

Mid-September: medical and dental packets received. I resist urge to give up in mountain of paperwork/ tests that need to be done.

Note: I was in a unique situation with medical, I am part of a pilot program where the PC pays for all requisite tests, bloodwork and exams, on the stipulation that I go to their labs and doctor. Any further exams I paid on my own dime.. well my Dad's dime. 

October 1: Medical kit received by PC. At this point I have a certain medical condition which requires further follow-up, the PC knows this and will wait for all needed results. Once those were received I am put on medical hold.

November 2: After the freakishly expensive removal of all my wisdom teeth I receive dental clearance

November 9: Receive medical clearance- provisional (girls if you have some lady issues this will include you, if you have any questions please feel free to message me) Same day I receive a check up note from placement asking for an updated resume and my TESOL certification

December 14: My placement specialist emails me asking if I am still teaching ESL/ volunteering. A bit weird, since its the first thing on my updated resume but whatevs, I reply that I am spending a quiet 30 hour + week volunteering with two organizations as TAs and tutoring with both ESL and adult literacy. She thinks that's pretty cool, and says she can't send me to Asia in April due to my provisional medical clearance. At this point I was banking on Indonesia. A bit sad, but I get the choices of Eastern Europe in April, Africa or Asia in June. I reiterate my desire to work in Asia. She says well right-o, due to me being a super volunteer (who knew unemployment had benefits) she will be issuing an invite the next day.

December 16: DC decides it hates me and has a massive snow. I am stuck in a bus stop for two hours waiting for my bus. Despite the chance of frost-bite and/or hypothermia I continually call my Dad at home asking if my invite has arrived. He begins to grow frustrated, however channels that into taunting me with some gems like 'well maybe UPS is closed for the holiday', 'the UPS truck probably crashed', 'they might have delivered it to the neighbors'. Throughout the evening I open the front-door in hope that the UPS man might have ninja-dropped the package on our front door.

December 17: I wake up at 9:30. Position myself on chair overlooking window. Yell at anything that isn't a UPS truck that goes by. Eventually the damn thing shows up and I resist the urge to bear hug the UPS man.
So, after a few short months that at the time dragged on to the point of insanity due to now what I know was RAS (restless applicant syndrome) I have become a Peace Corps invitee to the Peoples Republic of China leaving June 29.

So I realize I have been incredibly fortunate in the PC draw, some of you may be wanting to sic a rage hippo on me (PC hopeful humor) and realize I lucked out when it came to my application. So, after this behemoth of a first posting, I hope all PC-hopefuls get what they want for Christmas, a big fat blue envelope!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! i didnt realize how long/stressful the whole process had been! :D
    wanted to "like" the post, but this thing isnt as cool as fb! ;) As have already mentioned several million times I am NOT happy about you leaving but at the same time am so happy that you got what you wanted!