Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We have Clearance Clarence

First off, thank you to all the people that have taken a look at my blog and even more of a thanks to those that have begun to follow me. Now with that out of the way...
Yesterday morning I awoke to find the standard 5 am application status email sitting in my inbox. I log in to find that I my medical section now has a check-mark with "A decision has been reached regarding your medical review. Please look for a letter in the mail." What does that even mean? I know every PC applicant going through this process would just prefer to find out the information from logging in, instead of having the feeling in your stomach for a couple of days that they have reached a decision, but they're not going to tell you...yet.

So as I pace back and forth, in my house and in my mind, I wait for our mailman to drive down to deliver the mail.  It finally shows up, about an hour later than usual, and I pan through the mail while I'm walking back in briskly, 35 F out.  I see it.  I sit down, open it up, and a sense of relief comes over me, I made it though the medical step.

I have read many other applicants blogs to see where they are and the timeframe thus far.  From what I gather the placement office is moving and really won't be back and operational till after Thanksgiving.

Last week a PC nurse called me for another test that I needed to submit, it was easy to get from my doctors office, they just had forgotten to give it to me months ago when I requested them.  While I was speaking with her I asked her how my timeframe looks.  She told me that most likely I will be leaving at the end of February, and that PC tries to give two months lead time, which means I should know my destination just around Christmas.  From looking at the PC wiki page this is what people have posted for for February departure dates and locations:

February 9 = Uganda
February 14 = Zambia
February 18 = Namibia
February 27 = Malawi
February 28 = Madagascar

Well that's all I have to say for now.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all and please stay tuned for the next big news.

-Matt

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My first post

I'll be honest, I don't understand this whole craze to blog.  I would venture to say that most people that blog, vlog, or tweet, think others need to know what someone is doing constantly.  If I want someone to know what I'm doing I'll invite them along.  Which brings me to why I have started this blog.  I have joined the Peace Corps (PC), and I won't be able to invite anyone along with me on this 27 month oversees adventure.


June 2: Submitted my application to become a PC Volunteer (PCV).


June 3: Contacted by Jennifer, my PC Recruiter, to set up an interview with her.


June 5: Received first packet from the PC.   The National Agency Check paperwork, finger print sheets and 4 assignment area sheets.  The 4 that were in the packet were NGO Development, Community Services, Water and Sanitation Extension, and Animal Husbandry.  


June 10: Drove to Northampton for my evening interview with Jennifer and I thought it went very well.  The only preference of where I wanted to go, was somewhere with no snow.


June 17: Was officially nominated:

Program: NGO Advising
Program #: 145 2011  2 F3
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Date of Departure: late January 2011 through late February 2011

June 24: Medical and dental paperwork mailed from DC.

June 25: Legal clearance.

Seemed like the whole month of July I was in doctors offices for checkups, shots, blood drawn, you name it.

July 22: Legal hold.

August 11: PC received my medical/dental paperwork.

September 20: Letter arrived in the mail that PC needed more information regarding my medical paperwork, oh an I needed to get e polio boosted immunization.

September 21: Dental clearance.

Sidebar
So at this point I was kind of sick and tired of the whole situation.  At the beginning it was wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am.  The it was nothing for a while and them I need more paperwork!  I actually wrote an email to the PC people on 10/12 and expressed my dismay in the whole process and that it is kinda insane.  One thing I actually said was that it easier to join the Marine Corps and kill people then join the Peace Corps and help people.  A very nice woman emailed me back on 10/13 and addressed my issues and I put PC on the back burned for a while.  Back to the timeline story...

November 3: Legal clearance again.

Sidebar
When I receive an email on my iPhone in the middle of the night it never wakes me.  But 11/3 must of been different.  5 am, I hear the ding and I look over at the clock, then grab my phone.  See that I got an Application Status Update.  I login to the site and see that I was legally cleared, for a second time.  As I laid in bed, trying to fall back to sleep I stated thinking that maybe, just maybe, this was some sort of sign.  That I needed to continue on with the whole PC process.

November 3: Go back to the doctors to do some more tests.

November 9: Realize that there is no longer a travel clinic around here so back to Northampton for my polio shot.

November 11: Meet the Dr. and he administers the shot and we shoot the breeze for a while about PC and traveling.

November 12: Fax all additional paperwork to PC.

November 17: Got a call from my PC medical person that I was missing one more bit of information.  Rushed over the the doctors office and got the last bit of info, they forgot to give it to me, they faxed it, and it was confirmed they received it.

So thats where we stand.  I'm waiting to be medically cleared and then to be placed.  Hopefully I learn of my PC fate sooner rather than later.