Thursday, January 14, 2010

Application Timeline

I thought a timeline of my application process would give you an idea of how long it's taken to get to this point:

Mid-Fall Semester 08- Sent in PC Application & Recommendations

January 2009- 2 hour Phone interview with Chicago's PC Regional Office

February 3rd, 2009- Nominated for Community Development in Africa

March 09- Recieved Medical Packet, started scheduling required doctors appointments

May 09 (or later?)- Sent in all required Medical Documents (after numerous doctor and dentist appointments)

Mid-Summer 09- Sent in immunization records (including Polio) requested by the Medical Office

Late Summer/Early Fall 09 (6 or more weeks after sending in Polio Documentation)- recieved another request for polio immunization documentation-- only after calling the MO did they clarify that it has to be since you turned 18....!!!!!

November 09- Got Polio immunization booster shot, sent the MO documentation

Early December 09- Got Medical Clearance-- FINALLY!

December 16th, 2009- Call from Placement Office to ask some follow up questions, found out I might not be the best applicant for my original nomination, started thinking I might be going to Eastern Europe for Youth Development....ahhhh.

December 30th, 2009- got THE call-- invited to serve as a Preventative Health and Environmental Education Volunteer in "Africa" (he couldn't tell me the country over the phone)

January 4th, 2010- (after an agonizing long holiday weekend of waiting)- recieved my Invitation Kit in the mail. Job Title: Environmental Education Extension Agent, Staging: March 10, 2010, Training: March 12, 2010- Thiels, Senegal!

January 7th, 2010- called the Senegal Desk to accept my invitation to serve! & mailed my no-fee passport application and Visa application to SATO travel.

January 12th, 2010- emailed my updated Resume and Aspiration Statement (my first impression to the in-country staff!!)

January 14th, 2010- wrote this blog, avoided cleaning my room & packing :)

the beginning

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Ralph Waldo Emerson.

So here it is. I'm currently preparing to become a Peace Corps Trainee in the Preventative Health and Environmental Education program in Senegal, West Africa. This blog will hopefully allow all my friends, family, and all other interested people to read about my adventures, see a few of the thousands of pictures I take, and generally keep updated with my ventures.

As a general introduction of myself, I just graduated from Albion College in Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, minors in English and Psychology. I spent the first 7 months after graduation working my butt off to save money to fund my ongoing desire for random adventures. After a long 7 months on a tiny, secluded, rich east coast island (Nantucket), I flew to Phoenix, AZ for Thanksgiving, followed by 5 glorious weeks on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, where I became an extremely lazy beach bum while I waited for my PC invitation. I'm now back in Phoenix for a few weeks to visit my mom while I plan out the next two months before PC Training starts. Hopefully these next few weeks will be filled with some great final adventures with my friends throughout the mid-west (Pittsburgh, Ann Arbor, Albion, and Traverse City).

At this point, I am working on the seemingly impossible task of gathering and packing all the things I will need for the next two years, and fitting it all into two bags, 80 lbs max (total). Let me tell you, it's already been great fun. Deciding whether or not to take valuable yet critical pieces of my daily life (computer, ipod, etc) has been somewhat agonizing and challenging. I most likely won't have electricity (or running water) wherever I end up living in Senegal, so perhaps a solar charger will come in handy? The decision making process of downsizing all my material posessions has been frustrating and overwhelming at times...

Other than getting all my packing done and planning my travels back east, I've spent an inordinant amount of time sitting on the couch, using my (adorable) new Netbook to research Africa, Senegal, Peace Corps, Environmental Ed, flights back east, flights home from Senegal (perhaps if/when my oldest brother gets married?!), living conditions in Senegal, reading PC books, (starting a blog), and getting in order all my financial and legal "responsibilities" that will remain here while I'm away. Oh and in the process of all this, carving a nice sized chunk out of my summer savings now that I'm unemployed and have no income while also enjoying the end of my student loans grace periods. Lets get the ball rolling here, I'm overly ready to start training and turn my brain back on to learning new things and having daily challenges!!

Thanks for readin my ramblins,

Aloha- PEACE- (and Love)