Peace Corps to Date

During the Summer of 2009, It took me a while.

While I was at Surprise Lake Camp working as the Administrative Liaison, I spent the free time I had working on the very long application for the Peace Corps. Between trying to remember what i had accomplished in my short 20 years on this earth and gathering all the information, it was a relief to finish. This took approximately three weeks to fine tune and write my personal statements.

Next were the recommendations…

Peace Corps requires three letters of recommendations from each of the following, Volunteer Supervisor, Colleague/Close Friend, and Work Supervisor.

1) Cody Lister, Best friend- he wrote it on the day I asked him to and submitted it. While it was a bit lofty, as if he used a thesaurus way too many times, it did the job and I’m grateful he did it for me.

2) Sheryl Kirschenbaum, Director of Surprise Lake & Supervisor- it took her a while to write my recommendation but it came to fruition after many nudges and pleads.

3) Tim Marshall, Provost of The New School, who had been a kind of adviser to the University Student Senate. While the Senate is not your average volunteer activity, it is, nonetheless Volunteer work, so I thought it would qualify for the recommendation letters.

Besides the recommendations…

I had to be fingerprinted for various background checks, fill out an abundance of paperwork, and wait for an interview.

The Interview

I was interview in the beginning of September. Although I cannot remember the exact date, I can tell you that it was a sunny but breezy day and I was glad to go inside. After going through metal detectors, I arrived at the office and anxiously awaited what would turn out to be an over 2 hour interview with my recruiter.

The wait for the nomination…

I waited, waited, waited for approximately two weeks until I found out I was nominated for Business Advising July 2010 in AFRICA, despite my regional preferences.

I am just happy I was nominated. Now, I realize that that wait for the nomination was easy compared to now. But, I’ll get to that in a moment.
Medical clearance

October 9, 2009. I was nominated for my assignment.

October 17, 2009. I had almost every piece of my medical and dental histories and examinations from physicians.Fortunately, the International College of Dentists provide free exams and x-rays to peace corps applicants.

However, since I had seen a counselor for a few sessions during my Junior year of college, Peace Corps wanted me to get the counseling papers filled out, which was not so difficult. This was, however, until they lost the entire envelope with the papers- but not to worry- I had my counselor fax them over- it did take time but it was fine.

In addition, while I had received a Polio vaccine when I was 15, it was not satisfactory for their requirement of a booster after the age of 18. I did not receive this until I FINALLY went to the Department of Health in Chelsea, NY in early April 2010. This was due to the fact that a) my health insurance does not cover preventative care b) my health services nor many doctors in the city carry the vaccine c) as a poor student I could not afford the Dr. visit and/or the full cost of the vaccine. The DOH phone never worked and no one ever picked up until that faithful day in April. I went in the morning, waited for an hour and then got my vaccines- faxed the records into the office and was fully medically cleared within two weeks.

Since then, it has been a roller-coaster of emotion, anticipation, obsessive checking of the Peace Corps wiki site and journals. I will explain more in my next posting.

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