Friday, March 14, 2008


I'm still recovering from the excitement of opening my invitation and reading "Madagascar."

So I've taken a break from doing my visa, passport, writing my aspiration statement, etc to start one of these fangled blogging things. I suppose it would be customary to describe my application process. I think I started it probably a year ago. The initial online application is a bit overwhelming, but if you can't handle it, you probably wouldn't make a good volunteer. I didn't actually submit my application for a while (I spent a few months not working on my essays, all the while having intentions to revise them to be THE GREATEST PEACE CORPS APPLICATION ESSAYS EVER). I finally decided to take the plunge and submit everything the way it was last October when I heard there would be a Peace Corps representative in my city, so I could easily do my interview. My interview was actually really fun. Shortly after (2 weeks??) my interview 'guy' (I forget his title) called me to let me know that he was nominating me to a Francophone African country for English Education leaving in June. (Pretty much a perfect fit; I 'speak' French, have a TESOL certificate, and wanted to leave in June. Good call.) Then began the legal/medical/dental clearance. I'll spare you a rant on the medical and instead do a list of all the fun things I got to do: 3 vaccinations, TB testing, girlie stuff, teeth cleaning, wisdom teeth removal, & lots of vials of blood drawn. I submitted everything in early January. After a brief (and boring) speed bump, I finally got my medical clearance (*med clearance dance*) at the end of February. Dental clearance was much faster. I still have a legal hold because of student loan excitement. I got the fateful update that my invitation on March 1st. After a week spent stalking the mail carrier and rushing home in between work and school, it arrived (along with the biggest snow storm of the year) on March 7th (but I had to let it thaw as it was frozen by the snow covering it on my front porch). (Getting snowed in the weekend you get your invite is a good excuse to spend 12 hours straight reading about your country!) I knew Madagascar was a Francophone country with an English program leaving in June, but I kept myself from getting my hopes up. I was so excited that I had to read the word Madagascar a few times before it sank in.
Overall the application process can seem pretty daunting, but it does serve as a good 'gate keeper.' It prevents people who aren't serious about becoming a Peace Corps volunteer from getting through.

A few things about my writing style (that you probably already realized):
I'm excessively long winded
I overuse parentheses
My spelling is artoshious

In three months I'll be arriving on the red island / eighth continent / Madagascar.

Until then I will be working as much as I can so that I might have funds with which to travel around and maybe have some sort of future upon my return.

(A now a legal message brought to you to cover the Peace Corps and consiquently the US government in case I say anything crazy: This Web site is maintained by Dorothy Mayne, a Peace Corps volunteer. Its content is the opinion of the volunteer and reflects the positions of neither the U.S. government nor the Peace Corps.)