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.)


Jennifer said...

OMG i am so excited about your madagascar blog!!! i also really like the font you chose. nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I've been reading lots of PC blogs while I wait for my turn (would like to finish grad school next year). Can't wait to see your blog on "OMG I have to pack 2 years of my life in 2 bags". That's always one of my faves to see. Best of luck on your journey.

Jason Samuelian said...

Hey Just checked out your website! Looks great! I am a PCV in Lesotho and I have set up a WIKI for the volunteers in the Southern Africa Region. You should check it out at
If you want you can pass this site on to friends and family members. It will hopefully become a home for all of us volunteers! Let all your fellow PCV's know about it too. All the best
Jason Samuelian

Kinsey said...

just stumbled across your blog...i think i may be going to madagascar with you in june! i, too, am scheduled to leave in june '08 to teach english. i would love to know anything you've found out from other volunteers, such as what to pack. congrats!

Anonymous said...

Hello Dorothy! You found my blog through the awesome power of Google. I love it! lol Definitely let's stay in touch. As you can tell from my blog, I'm happy with Madagascar for a number of reasons. Let's just hope this Maddie (what I've taken to calling it hehehe) love doesn't wear off. I can see we're both long-winded so I am sure we will get along JUST fine! =) When/where did you get your TEFL cert? Are you a teacher now or planning on being one post-service?

Eileen said...

Hi Dorothy - I just stumbled across your blog, and wanted to tell you that I will be teaching English in Madagascar too! Leaving in June as well :) I just got my invitation today. So excited!!!

email me if you get a chance!

Kinsey said...


Last time I forgot to include my email address...go figure. I've been in contact with Krista from the PC Madagascar desk and she's been sending out my info as a contact person. Have you heard from her?

For anyone who's interested, I created a Google group for PCVs leaving in June for Madagascar. Right now, there are only TEFL teachers involved, but all are welcome. Feel free to join or to invite anyone else you've heard is going.


* Group name: Peace Corps Madagascar
* Group home page:
* Group email address

Anonymous said...

Hehehe. Thanks for your comment again! I guess I should've given you my e-mail address which is ronda green 83 at g mail dot com. Put the name and number together and the rest should be put together logically as well.

You seem like a cool person as well. I mean, how could I not like someone who loves Sawyer as much as I do? Is he not the sexiest country bumpkin to ever grace the small screen? lol Thanks for that French link too... Though Rosetta Stone is kicking my butt. Do you know of a way to see how many hours we've logged?

Okay, just e-mail me. It's almost time to go, eee!!!