Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peace Corps Update (I almost know where I might be going)


I haven't updated y'all on the Peace Corps situation in a while. And I'm too lazy to look up what I said last about what's going on. Meh. You don't remember either, so I'll just jump in. And since I know I'm going to get new people over here from PC journals, I'll recap my situation.
I've been in the application process for about 16 months now.
First online app was filled out in July/August.
First recruiter interview was in September.
Nominated at interview for NGO Development/Business Development. At that time I was told it would be for North Africa, March 2011.
A legal issue (family member in the military) was cleared up by Thanksgiving.
Got medical paperwork just after Thanksgiving.
In January I found out March 2011 was impossible (and probably always was). Told to expect Sept 2011 instead, still North Africa (Morocco).
Finished medical in February. Was told to expect clearance in 3-6 weeks.
Medical clearance finally came through in late May/early June. (3 months!)
Didn't hear anything for 8 weeks.
Called to check in in July. Was told September wouldn't be happening because my program was cut. Wasn't given anything to really go on other than they would be calling me at any point to set up my final interview.
End of August- contacted them to let them know I was leaving the country for a month. They said again that I would be getting a call any day.
Late September- got the call! Supposedly final interview! Found out that there have been so many cutbacks and budget cuts, and more applicants than usual, that they are just delaying all sorts of people, and not to take it personally. Placement Officer tells me my profile is finally going out to 14 countries. It supposedly will take 2 weeks to find out which countries have accepted me. Essentially at this point it is explained that it isn't really a matter of being qualified. All of the candidates/nominees are qualified at this stage. There's just so many of them and so few positions that is more like a lottery, with preference to the longest waiting to get picked. I'm one of the longest waiting now.
2 weeks later I am told 12 countries did not pick me, but 1 country did. And we are waiting on the 14th country. I am not told what the 1 selecting country is, just the region. I'm a little surprised because it is in a region that has never been discussed before. Over that it is a region I have never even thought of or considered. And even more surprising is that there is one point early in the process where you can rank the regions by preference. This was my lowest ranked region. I was nominated for 2 programs (at least, that's what I thought, turns out my recruiter probably told me wrong) and this is for the program I was less interested in. I have some thinking to do.
2 weeks later again (today) my placement officer calls again. I knew there was a good chance I'd get my official invite or just get delayed again. And I was delayed one more week again. We're still waiting on that mysterious 14th country. There's no telling if that country will say yes or no.
So there you have it. In theory we'll know everything next week. But how many times have I said that this year??
Speaking with the PO today did make me feel much better about things. And I have had time to wrap my mind around the very unexpected idea of going to the one region and that program. I'm fine with it now. If that ends up being the official invitation, I'll be happy! Its definitely not what I pictured this whole time, but I'm coming around on it now. Oh, and if it does come through, it won't happen till May-June of 2012. (Which means from first application to actual departure will be just shy of 2 years.)
In the meantime, I'm still applying for full-time jobs. It is the smart and logical thing to do at this point. I've now seen and learned enough to realize that even once I get the official invitation that things could still fall apart. At my age and point in my career, the smarter move would be to get a job. And I'm not saying that I wouldn't drop the PC at this point for the right job. It all depends on the job and how things progress with the PC. Sure that's going to bring on some haterz. Go ahead, say what you will. This is my life and I have to do what I feel is best for me. And I just won't know what is best until I have more solid options and offers in front of me!
So all in all, this post gets the happy face picture because I'm actually happy with the developments today. I've been feeling really unsettled and uncomfortable with all things PC for the past month, and today I feel good again.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! Do what you feel good about.
    At one time in my life, I dedicated it to service. My views have entirely changed and I don't feel like charity and capitalism are compatible. But that's just me. I challenged what I had been taught. I remember growing up thinking Communism was wrong and those kids were brainwashed. Then I evaluated some of the whitewashed history that I had been taught. All you can do is the best you have with what you are given. You never know what lies in the future. Maybe you will change the world. Maybe you will come to the same realization that I did. Best of luck to you!

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