Wednesday, December 31, 2008

After dental clearance comes...

Acknowledgment that the Peace Corps has received all my medical forms (including the dental information they already cleared...)





I think the medical packet goes to the dental desk first...why else would I get dental clearance before the report receipt of my forms?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I had this feeling today...

that I'd get an "Application Status Update" email today...and I did!





Woo hoo! That also means they got my medical packet and I might hear something soon on that end.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Medical Packet

I mailed my medical packet today! All 5,000,000,000 pages! *well...not exactly that many...* Actually 36 pages plus 2 dental x-rays.

weeee!

Now comes the waiting. Some people get cleared in two weeks, others have to wait several months. I'm hoping I'm closer to the two weeks.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Momma said there'll be days like this...



And just because it's really *really really* funny at the end:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Panda

RIP Panda

You were a good pet


:(

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Graduation

Just had a meeting with my adviser and everything is set for me to graduate after the Spring 2009 semester!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I never thought I'd be excited about...

...Getting TONS of medical tests done. But I am :)


Medical packet came today!

I'll call Monday and start making appointments!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Peace Corps...Psychic?

Apparently PC is reviewing the medical forms that I have not yet received, let alone sent back to them!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nomination (cont.)

I got my nomination letter today! wooo hoo!

My program name is "Health Extension" and my program number is "155-09-044-C4/a"

Health Extension:

Volunteers raise awareness in communities about the need for health education. They act as catalysts for a wide range of activities, limited only by the creativity of the community and the Volunteer. Activities include identifying local leaders to teach families about maternal and child health, basic nutrition, or sanitation; setting up training on nutrition, sanitation, or oral rehydration therapy; organizing groups to raise money for needed healthcare materials; and training of people as peer educators on HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Education

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in any discipline and a demonstrated interest in community health; or be a registered nurse with a demonstrated interest in community health.

Experience

Interest in health is demonstrated through volunteer or work experience in areas such as AIDS outreach, hospice, Planned Parenthood counseling, Red Cross emergency medical technician (EMT) or CPR certification, and hands-on caregiving in a hospital, clinic, or lab setting.

Counseling or teaching can also qualify as experience for this program.

*from the Peace Corps Website*

I'm still a little confused about how I'm not qualified for Secondary Education English Teaching...but that's something to bring up with my PO after medical qualification.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's official!



And I have my first check mark!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Nomination!!

I got a call today at the library. I wasn't going to answer it, but as soon as I saw that 303 area code, I couldn't help myself. It was Lacey, my current recruiter (I'll get a new one Jan 2nd! - that'll make 3 recruiters). She said that she nominated me for a Health program leaving August '09 for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). She said that she wanted me to get some experience with HIV/AIDS volunteering so I'll have to start doing that. Lacey also said that since I don't have enough experience with French, Western African countries were pretty much out. Not sure what countries are included in "Western Africa," but we'll see....

While it's not the nomination I'd prefer, it's entirely possible (and probable) that it will change along the way and I'll be invited to another place and program. I'm still unsure as to why I wasn't nominated for a TEFL program, which I feel I'm more qualified for since I'm an English major and have tutoring experience...but that's something I'll have to bring up with my PO after I get medical clearance.

So....we'll see where that takes me.

Now I'll have to start scheduling medical appointments and getting vials upon vials of blood drawn. Yay.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nomination - the Saga continues

And the wait is on for next week - hopefully that's the last week I'll be waiting.

However, I emailed my *new* recruiter today and she said that so far all the TEFL programs that are opening all require 3-6 months of volunteer experience, which I don't have. And there are not any Community Development programs open - another program which I am qualified to perform. So, while I may have a nomination next week, I fear that I may be in for a long wait...


Wish me luck!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Nomination Update

I talked to my new recruiter today (Lacy - Andy left mid-August) and she told me that I might have an official nomination on Monday! WOOOO!

Wish me luck :)

I'll post an update as soon as I know!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

*sigh*

Still no Peace Corps news.


But school is starting again. Had my math class this week and will start KU classes at the end of next week.


That'll give me something to do while I'm waiting for my PC nomination.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tornados

I was talking with Jenna today about tornadoes (it's storming by her house) and I had to post this one:



The worst tornado I've been in.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Nomination - bad news, darn government.

I got a call from my recruiter today.

Not great news.

Apparently due to the high cost of oil and the low American dollar, the government has to re-work the budget. This means that all "generalist programs" (TEFL, Community Development, etc), including mine, are suspended indefinitely. So this means I'm in "limbo" until I can get a new nomination.

Luckily, he said that they're going to start re-opening programs weekly so maybe my program will re-open soon and I can get a start on my medical stuff.

Even my friend Jenna, who's supposed to be leaving for El Salvador in mid-September (she got her invite and everything) got a "let's talk about your placement status" voicemail today.

So wish me luck.

UPDATE: Apparently Jenna's PO was just checking to see if she wanted to accept her invite or decline it - Jenna decided to take the full 10 days to make her decision.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Is it Monday yet?

I got a quick email from my recruiter telling me that my program will open for nominations on Monday (Aug 4) and I'll be officially nominated then!

Yay!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

toolkit update :)


In a couple days that'll show "nominee" instead of "applicant" :D

Interview - Nomination

I had my interview yesterday! I think it went really well. My recruiter is awesome and I'm kinda bummed that he's leaving in mid-August. Some of the questions were kind of hard to answer but most of them were really easy. It helps that I went over the questions I listed in a previous post. The easy questions were ones like, "would you be willing to live in a country that has strange food, no alcohol, strict gender roles, etc." I felt a little silly answering each question with "yep, no problem there. Kinda excited about it," so I tried to come up with new things to say for each one. I talked about the importance of food in a country's culture. For instance, in America when someone talks about stuffing you think of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving traditions and the history of Thanksgiving. There were questions about how I deal with stress and what I do about stress. That's a great opportunity to get out of your house/apt/etc and meet people in the community and make new friends. It's generally a good idea to turn everything into a positive and be as detailed as possible. For instance, instead of saying that your leadership position was "teaching kids at a YMCA," you should give a specific instance of something that happened there. Maybe tell a story about one specific instance; I told about making crafts with the kids and how they might come up with a really neat idea, but I've never done it before so we work together and try to figure it out as a team.

At the end of the interview we went over what types of jobs and locations I would like. I told him that I would prefer not to go to Africa (but also stressed that if PC wants me to go, I'll go - I'm not going to turn anything down). He said I'm most qualified for Community Development and Education. I chose Education/TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). Early in the interview I asked about "secondary projects" (which is now called something else, but I forget what). He mentioned that in his experience the secondary projects can be more fulfilling and successful than the primary project (in my case TEFL). I decided that I'd like to do both, but have Community Development as a secondary project. I'd like to get involved with NGOs and I can do that as a secondary project - maybe in the summers when school's out.

So, my nomination (technically I'm "penciled in" because the September nominations aren't available until later this week or sometime next week, but he'll put me in when they open up) is for Eastern Europe - the Caucus region, TEFL, for late-September '09.

After I got home I ran to the computer and checked the PCwiki timeline for which caucus countries leave in September. As Georgia and Albania leave (in 2008) in the spring, I'm probably headed to Azerbaijan!

So now I'll get the medical packet sometime in the next few weeks and I'll have to start filling out and scheduling appointments with my Drs, Dentist, and Eye Doc. Yay! I'll get tons of blood draw! *note the sarcasm*

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kennedy on Peace Corps

Jenna found this online and I had to post it here:

Interview Questions

I'm a member on the Yahoo group peacecorps2. In the groups "files" section is a bunch of interview questions that people have had before. Some are for couples, some for vegetarians, and others are general interview questions for everyone. I don't know how accurate they are (I'll try to remember to report back after my interview), but they're good questions to review before my interview.

  • Why the Peace Corps?
  • Why do you want to volunteer?
  • Why the areas of volunteer work you chose?
  • Do you have any experience in those fields?
  • What's rewarding about your volunteer work and what have you learned from it?
  • Give an example of a leadership position you had
    • Describe a situation where you had to exhibit or use leadership skills.
    • Have you ever had to take leadership in an unstructured setting?
    • In your leadership position(s), how did you train or lead people?
  • Tell about an experience when you were able to transfer some knowledge or skill to someone who was different from yourself.
    • What did you learn about your interpersonal skills from that experience?
    • What did you learn about the other person?
  • Tell about a time when you worked in an unstructured or ambiguous situation?
    • How did you approach the task at hand? What did you learn about your personal strengths from that experience?
  • How do you deal with confrontation?
  • Discuss a situation where you had to make a difficult decision and how people dealt with it/ you dealt with it.
  • What frustrates you and how do you deal with it?
    • What causes the most stress in your life and how do you deal with it?
  • How do you feel about any of the following:
      • How do you think you could deal with that?
    • Living somewhere with no running water or no hot water?
    • Living somewhere isolated?
    • Being away from home and family?
    • Trying new foods?
    • Being in a country that has alcohol as a key drink?
    • Being in a country with no alcohol?
    • Being in a country with strict gender roles?
    • Being in a country with a lack of privacy?
    • Being isolated?
    • Being in a country with possible minority challenges?
  • How long have you been away from home before?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • Have you ever had French/Spanish? How would you feel about learning it now?
  • Do you have a religious preference of the country you go to?
  • Explain your preferences for geographic locations and jobs.
  • Are you in a relationship? Tell me about it. (if so, you will have an additional form to complete)
  • How does PC fit into your long term career/life goals?
  • I said I was interested in the PC Fellows program, and she wanted to know which one and why.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to change or modify your behavior to fit in culturally.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Amazing Korean 5-year-old

I saw this online and HAD to share it!

Enjoy:

Monday, June 30, 2008

YES!

I scheduled my interview today with Andy for July 28th. I'm so incredibly excited!


Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Darn You Gormogon!!!

Missing Bones desperately right now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Now I wait...

*whew* I mailed off my legal packet today - 2 fingerprint cards, authorization for a "security" check (I think to make sure I'm actually who I say I am), transcripts, financial-aid info (making sure I can defer my student loans), and third reference letter.

When I went to the police station to get fingerprinted (awesome experience by the way) I was informed by the lovely policewoman that the forms go to the FBI. You know what that means?

I'M GONNA HAVE AN FBI FILE!

For some reason I'm strangely very excited about that!

Now I just have to wait for my recruiter to give me a call and set up an interview. When I last talked to him, he mentioned that he'll be coming to this area in late July, so it might be a few weeks. That'll give me time to prepare - think of questions I want to ask him (already have 4!) and prepare my answers to the *probable* questions he'll ask me.

Wish me luck!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Toolkit!

I still hadn't received my toolkit information today, so I called the Denver office. They were very nice and gave me the information over the phone.

I also talked with Andy (my recruiter?) who told me that the earliest my interview would probably be would be late July. I was hoping it could be earlier since I'd like to get started on my medical forms, but oh well. Learning patience will be good for me :)

I'm thinking it will be an in-person interview, as he said he'll be in the KC/Wichita area then.

That's all for now. I've got to watch the rest of these math tapes so I can place into college algebra for the Fall semester!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Peace Corps Mail!

When I opened my mailbox today a wonderful manila envelope greeted me! The return address listed "Peace Corps" and my insides got all fluttery. YAY!! Peace Corps mail!

Of course, my mailbox chose that particular moment to act up and after running into my apartment for a screwdriver (I'm going to have to start keeping one in my purse - this is becoming an all too common occurrence!) I finally opened the envelope.

Legal forms! Fingerprint papers! Job information sheets! Checklists! Pre-paid return envelope! Whooo hooo!!

Wait - request for all college transcripts...? darn it. Now I have to experience the incredible drama and agony that trying to get anything out of K-State usually elicits in me.

But hey, Peace Corps mail!!!


Monday, June 2, 2008

Application Received!

I got an email from my recruiting office today:

Congratulations on taking the first step toward becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer. Your application packet was received by the Denver Regional Office today. It is now being reviewed by a recruiter based on your education, volunteer and work experience, life skills and hobbies. You should receive a letter regarding the results of this review in approximately two weeks.

YAY!

Now I'm just awaiting my toolkit info letter and a call from my recruiter to set up an interview!

whooo hoo!

BTW - "toolkit" is (from my limited understanding) an online program where I can track my progress and download any additional forms/information.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Helpful PC Book!

When deciding whether to join the Peace Corps or not, I ran across a really helpful book that I wanted to share: So You Want To Join The Peace Corps

It answers questions ranging from application processes, medical kit issues, what happens if you get pregnant, packing, malaria, early termination, staging, training, housing, water and electricity, bikes, etc.

Definitely a good read for all you applying or thinking about applying--even for those who are lucky enough to have already gotten the invite -- and parents!

Stole this from Jenna's blog - I'm ashamed to admit that as an English major I forgot to give her credit. Please forgive me!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Peace Corps Timeline

May 30, 2008 -- Submit personal & health application

May 30, 2008 -- First recommendation completed

June 2, 2008 -- Added 4th recommendation; Second recommendation completed; Application received by Denver recruiting office

June 3, 2008 -- Confirmed that my massive amount of student loans can be deferred during PC service! YAY!

June 5, 2008 -- Received legal forms in mail

June 6, 2008 -- Submitted requests for K-State, JCCC, and KU transcripts; fingerprinted; NAC forms completed

June 9, 2008 -- Spoke with recruiter and was notified that interview will most likely be in late July; got toolkit username and password

June 10, 2008 -- KU transcript in: 1 down, 2 to go

June 11, 2008 -- K-State transcript in: 2 down, 1 to go

June 13, 2008 -- JCCC transcript in: 3 in, 0 to go; waiting on third recommendation before I mail back legal packet.

June 14, 2008 -- Received toolkit name and password in the mail.

June 20, 2008 -- Third recommendation completed; mailed legal packet to recruiter

June 27, 2008 -- Got a voice mail from my recruiter that my packet arrived and am setting up an (in person!) interview for the end of July.

June 30, 2008 -- Interview scheduled!!! July 28!!

July 28, 2008 -- Interview with recruiter :)

July 28, 2008 -- *tentatively* Nominated! Eastern Europe - Caucus Region, TEFL, late-September '09

August 4, 2008 -- Got a call from my recruiter. All "gerneralist programs" (TEFL, Community Development, etc) are suspended indefinitely while the budget is re-worked. Will give me a call when my program re-opens. See "Nomination - bad news, darn government" for more info.

September 8, 2008 -- Received my official nomination today! Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Health, Aug 2009.

September 13, 2008 -- Received medical forms in mail (there're a lot of them)!

December 15, 2008 -- Finally mailed my medical forms to the PC medical office. I was really busy with school and a couple of doctors took their time filling out the forms. But it's in the mail now! woo hoo!

December 28, 2008 -- Dental clearance :)

December 30, 2008 -- PC "officially" received my medical forms.

February 6, 2009 -- Awoke to find that my toolkit updated to show: "Complete. A decision has been reached regarding your medical review. Please look for a letter in the mail." next to my medical section. Ominous and cryptic, but I shall find out in the next couple of days.

February 9, 2009 -- Got a letter in the mail today from the OMS: The Office of Medical Services is pleased to inform you that you have been medically qualified for service [...]. You will now move to the next step in the process, the Office of Placement. woo hoo!

February 12, 2009 -- Received an email from my PO today. She told me that she'll hopefully start looking at my file in the next 4-ish weeks!

March 12, 2009 -- PO says they'll hopefully start my review in 4 more weeks.

March 26, 2009 -- Emailed recommendation from my current ESL supervisor to my PO. I'm hoping to actually get into a TEFL program rather than a health extension program, so I hope that this will help!

April 21, 2009 -- received an email from the placement office requesting an "updated professionally formated resume" and a copy of my transcript showing that I've graduated.

April 22, 2009 -- Sent placement office my updated resume and my file is now being passed to my PO for a final placement review and invitation!

May 15, 2009 --
Received an email from my PO letting me know that he'd begin my final application review on the 18th.

May 18, 2009 -- Received an email from my PO early this morning letting me know that my invitation is in the mail!

May 20, 2009 -- INVITATION! Uganda :) *I still can't believe it only took 2 days to get here!*

May 21, 2009 -- Called to accept invitation.

May 26, 2009 -- Aspiration statement and resume submitted.

May 30, 2009 -- Passport and visa applications submitted. It's been exactly one year since I submitted my application :)

July 30, 2009 -- Fly to Philly to stay with my sister for a few days before Staging.

August 4, 2009 -- STAGING!!

August 5, 2009 -- *sings* I'm leaving on a jet plane.....! (Leave for Entebbe, Uganda, via Brussels)

Application - CHECK!

Well my application and health survey is finally completed. One recommendation (Thanks ERIC!) has been submitted. Now all I can do is sit back and wait for my recruiter to call and wait for my "toolkit" instruction letter!



Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Whoo hoo!

I just started my Peace Corps application!







Stay tuned for updates :)