Y’all… I’m so beyond happy/excited/thrilled/in major disbelief that this is FOR REAL.
I’M MOVING TO AFRICA IN TWO MONTHS!!!
Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, I accepted an invitation to serve as a Community Health Economic Development volunteer in Ethiopia. I leave October 1.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with the Peace Corps, here’s the short version of what it’s about (from the Executive Order Kennedy signed on March 1, 1961):
To promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower.
I’ve been hesitant to be completely open about the application process while going through it, so for anyone who has been following the journey, is in the process of applying, or might be interested in applying, here are a few details:
- The Toolkit goes offline on July 26… It looks like there will be 3 weeks of downtime. This may or may not be important.
- OMS receives my medical packet on July 9. The last date possible to ensure a medical file is opened prior to the system change (and so I don’t have to go through the process again).
- An OMS nurse emailed me mid-afternoon on Tuesday (July 17) to ask a couple questions and then let me know she was medically clearing me with the provision I sent in my missing lab work results prior to departure.
- I receive an email from a Placement Officer on Wednesday (July 18) in mid-afternoon that says I unfortunately was not invited to the program for which I was nominated, but that an invitation is in the mail for a Health-based Community Economic Development program in Anglophone Sub Saharan Africa departing early October.
- I didn’t have a placement interview.
Since everything just seemed to be taking so long (needing patience through this process is a MUST), I have spent the last several weeks convincing myself I wouldn’t be leaving in October. As soon as I made peace with that reality, I was medically cleared and had an invitation in the mail within 24 hours. Unreal.
I basked in the happiness last Thursday. Then ran to check the mail on Friday. And Saturday. And Monday. And Tuesday… by Wednesday I had pretty much given up hope the packet was ever coming (okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic but I thought it was lost in the mail). I checked my mail and the box was empty. Trudging up the stairs at my apartment complex, I saw a large envelope sitting outside my doorway. I walked calmly over and flipped it over. FROM THE PEACE CORPS! My invitation had arrived!
To anyone who is waiting on their invitation (as in, a placement officer told you the invitation is in the mail), it took mine five business days to arrive… It’s true when they say you need patience in this process!
I’m sure I will be bombarding you guys with Ethiopia related material. After the past week of anticipation, I suddenly feel as though nine weeks isn’t near enough time. I know I should have it more together, but hindsight is 20/20.
P.S. I plan to keep the blog updated, but the truth is, you never know. I also am putting together an email list for all my non-blog reading friends and family, so you can click here to sign up for it too.