Category Archives: Application Process
Wow! Nothing is better on your Birthday than an email saying ” We have processed your invitation! Congratulations!” Yes! Congratulations :)
This is great news! Our search is over, the waiting is pretty much finished and although I’m still nervous I couldn’t be more ready to start Peace Corps service! Our placement adviser said our invitation will be in the mail by the end of the week and we will receive it in at least 10 business days! Our final Region is Francophone Africa leaving June 2012. So that means we are going to: Burkina-Faso, Benin, Cameroon, or Senegal! Wow. Africa … The craziest thing is that the first time I applied (in college 2007) I was nominated for this same region… and to be going there again is really a huge sign that it is right. Sometimes it just takes awhile and a couple of new turns to get you where you are supposed to be. Brett is beyond thrilled especially with his job description! Water and Sanitation has been on his heart for a long time and I am glad he will be able to live that out. Now, once again we are waiting… but this time there are some cold hard facts at the other end of it. In our packet will be the departure date, specific country, and job titles. :) I can’t even believe it. Throughout this process I have tried to prepare myself for a 18+ month wait, some couples take even longer, but we have been placed and will leave all within 14 months of submitting our application! I feel lucky, so blessed to have this opportunity!
Happy Birthday To Me!!!!!! 26 Years Old and Moving To Africa!
Today we have officially completed everything we are required to do. Our job is over, and now we wait. Its liberating knowing that we can’t do anything further, but at the same time frustrating because it will still be awhile before we have any definite answers.
If you have watched the news there have been some changes with Peace Corps. Along with budget cuts there have also been cancelled programs. Meaning everyone who was supposed to leave in the next couple of months for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have to now be re-assigned to different countries. Apparently the security risks have escalated in those countries and Peace Corps has decided to pull out. Good thing for those new volunteers, bad thing for all of us waiting. Now, all invitations have been put on hold and we have to wait until the offices find homes for them first. Our Placement Officer said couples programs should not be affected but couldn’t give us anything specific. So now, we just wait until the water settles. I am hoping it doesn’t take too long… I can’t wait to get this journey started. :0 ) For all of you S. America volunteers I am so sorry your dreams have been put on hold! Hopefully they will have answers for you soon!
To those of you who still have the final interview to go, don’t sweat it! I was a little nervous because I couldn’t find any information as to what to expect – but I found there is a reason for that. It’s not something to worry about. Basically you get to talk to you new “life line” ask any questions, and she reviews information with you. Basic catch up conversation and then she gives you a run down as to what to expect next.
It was nice to speak with her, and get an update – but now we just wait again. Seriously, when they say learn patience – they mean it!
Well we were contacted by the Education Department of Placement and asked for updated resumes and skills. We also had to answer some questions about why we want to teach in other countries. I thought this was going to be the last stage, and we could expect an invitation really soon. However, they said that our files were now transferred to another placement official and were waiting another review. I know we are qualified so it can’t be that, its just timing I guess.
What do we do!? I am getting so antsy and just want to know details. Especially because people are receiving invitations for May, June and July!!! I am so happy for them, but we are supposed to leave in April and have gotten nadda as far as details. Any encouragement would help… Should I call them in a week or so? Or should I just wait patiently?? I do understand the greatness to being patient I am just so ready to start the next phase of life :)
Thanks for your help!
Well, can’t say they didn’t warn us! Medical Clearance is just what they make it out to be – long, tedious, and sort of redundant. Here is the run down:
October 27th, 2011 : We both received a letter (via snail mail) from the medical team requesting additional information. I needed to repeat my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel due to abnormal values and attach the original labs from my OBGYN. Brett needed to write a personal statement about a kidney surgery he had as a newborn. SO we get to it and I make an appointment with my physician for the next day!
October 31st, 2011: We faxed all of the necessary paperwork back in to the RN on our case.
November 1st, 2011: Get a call from our RN that says my physician didn’t run the right test (well he did, just left part of it out – the necessary abnormal part). So I immediately get on the phone with him and we talk about the mis-communication and luckily they were able to catch the lab and add in the test before the sample would be thrown out – or filed – or whatever they do with peoples blood.
November 3rd, 2011: I grab my test results and personal statement and email them to our RN. Almost at the same time she calls Brett and tells him that now HE has to get a repeat Comprehensive Metabolic Panel to test his kidney function. SO he has an appointment on the 4th, and I will be waiting on a call to make sure I have done everything right. My results still came back low so its very likely I will have to get more tests done. Along with my blood results I had to have my physician attach a letter explaining why he thought my TSH was low and whether or not I needed to go through any treatments. Dr. Iwata has been amazing through this whole ordeal and I couldn’t be happier with him as our doctor so it didn’t surprise me when he already had the letter written and signed saying that I do not need further tests or treatments; that he believes I am healthy as can be! I just hope the Peace Corps doctors think the same thing. Please, Please, Please :)
November 7th, 2011: Brett got his results back! YAY! Of course, he is perfect :) I heard back from our RN and she said that the PC doctor is fine with my low results for now but I need to have them re-checked in 3 months and then we will figure it out from there. At least I am cleared… whoosh! Brett emailed his results to the RN and we should know by tomorrow whether or not we can start talking placement!! YAY!
November 8th, 2011: We are in the clear! Wow I feel like that was so stressful but we are finally finished with this stage. I just have to go back in February and get my TSH re-tested but I am still cleared!! Big Relief.
Now, we wait again for placement to call us… So close!
I woke up this morning to an amazing email on my phone!! “Your Peace Corps Application Status has been UPDATED!!” It is always so exciting to get these emails! So I jumped out of bed and ran to the computer and there it was, I have passed my dental clearance! And let me tell you, that was a BIG relief. For all of you people out there worried about your teeth, it is OK you will pass :) Just have to spend thousands of dollars to make it happen.
Now we wait again on the Medical Clearance, but from what I hear it should come in just a few days. Things should start moving along now that the review process has started. I just hope we don’t get any delays. We have talked to a lot of applicants that have had their departure dates pushed back months and months and I pray and pray that it is not true for us. If it happens though, a lot of good will come from it. I will get to go to my cousins wedding, my best friends wedding, Brett’s best friends wedding and my Dads Wedding. SO needless to say it will be Bitter Sweet. But why couldn’t these people just get married sooner? Just kidding!! Its not all about me. :)
That is it for now! Hopefully soon I will get another one of those amazing emails!
I was so worried about our Medical and Dental Forms! Peace Corps is VERY specific about what to write, how to write it, where you write it… and because there wasn’t space for a return address I didn’t add one! I should of done it regardless just to put my mind at ease about it getting lost… But thank Goodness we heard from them on October 6th! Yay! They have all of the forms and now our file is once again on hold. We have prepared ourselves for this waiting game, every applicant will tell you this is the toughest part of the application process. They tell you just enough information to get you REALLY excited and then they make you wait for the rest! I guess the most frustrating part is that we have an idea of where we are going but can’t really start to prepare yet for fear that it might change.
For example, I have a theory that we are going to Indonesia or the Philippines. I gathered this theory by looking deep into the Peace Corps Wiki Calendar of Stagings. I found that more times than not each country leaves in the same month. If this stays true then we are going to the Islands!!! Whoop! However, we won’t know for sure and because of that cannot start learning the language or any specifics about the culture, ect. It’s irritating, but only because I am so excited! So I can’t really complain. :o)
Now we just have to be patient. The website says that if we aren’t nominated to leave before the month of January 2012 then we might not even hear back from them until then. Our application is again on hold, we won’t even know if we are medically cleared.
In the meantime, we are still praying and looking into alternatives just in case something were to go astray. Samaritans Purse has sent our application through and we are hoping to hear back from them in the next couple of weeks. Brett is putting a mission trip to Haiti in as a priority. I am a little nervous about this. One of his best friends lives there now and raves about how amazing an experience it is. He feels as though God really has called him there and that we would benefit from taking a visit for a couple weeks to a month. I know we would, I have no doubt about that, but I am more focused on meeting our financial goals here to prepare for over two years without an income. We will just have to wait it out and see… I feel like the last two years have been such a limbo period! I am ready to have a couple of years planned for my future, it would eliminate some stress I do believe :)
Praying for quick responses and some concrete plans to come about soon! I can’t wait!!!
Everyone who applies for Peace Corps has a completely different timeline of major events. So if you are looking to this for answers I hope it helps, but it might look very different from what you experience and have in your future. This will be pretty short… A simple calender of major Peace Corps moments up until now!
April 12, 2011 : Started Peace Corps Application
April 14, 2011 : Finished It!!! Yay!
April 18, 2011 : Contacted By a Recruiter to Set Up a Meeting.
April 26, 2011 : Initial Meeting and Finger Printing/ Background Check.
June 14, 2011 : First Interview!! (Over the Phone)
June 21, 2011 : Sent In Additional Requested Forms.
August 3, 2011 : Nominated to Serve!! AWESOME! Region of Asia, Leaving April 2012!!
August 10, 2011 : Received Medical and Dental Evaluations.
September 15, 2011 : Sent Back Medical and Dental Evaluations.
October 6, 2011 : Received Word That They Received Our Medical and Dental Forms!!!
October 25, 2011: We have gotten our dental clearance!!! Took a lot less time than I thought
October 27, 2011: Received mail requesting repeat tests for the Medical Clearance. I had to repeat my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel and Brett has to write a personal statement about a kidney surgery he had when he was a newborn.
November 8th, 2011: We are in the medical clear! Wow I feel like that was so stressful but we are finally finished with this stage. I just have to go back in February and get my TSH re-tested but I am still cleared!! Big Relief.
November 17th, 2011: Heard from one office of Placement. The education department. Had to send in updated resumes and skills.
November 22nd, 2011: We sent everything back on the 18th but heard from her today saying that we still had to wait on our actual Placement Officer to review our files and it could be more weeks! Patience is getting hard… But I guess we are lucky to get nominated for April, it takes most couples over a year from the time the start the application. STILL… I am so ready to know details!!
December 16th, 2011: We were contacted by our final Placement Officer!! She has changed our assignment to French speaking Africa , Departing May 2011, with new job assignments too! Now, we couldn’t be happier!
December 30th, 2011: Final Interview! It went really well. Nothing to fear if you are about to go through this stage. It is basically a catch up conversation and a chance for you to ask questions and state concerns. She did tell us that it could be several weeks before we received an invitation because they are on a hold! So sad to keep waiting but at least we are in!!
January 16th, 2011: Our invitation arrives!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!!!!! We are going to Mali! Awesome!!!!!!!! The wait is over. From start to finish it only took us 14 months. A record for couples placement. I am so Fired Up!!!!