Wow. As I sat down to post this, I realized the last time I wrote anything was back in November of 2009, back before I even received a Nomination. Here is the massive update as to what has happened since then (For the streamlined version look in the right hand column for my Peace Corps Timeline):
In mid to late December, I received an official Nomination for the Peace Corps. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Peace Corps process, here is a run-down.
Application: Anyone interested in the Peace Corps fills out and sends the Peace Corps Application. after submitting this you are now an APPLICANT.
Nomination: After reviewing the application, a Recruiter will contact the Applicant and request additional information and conduct a phone screen or an in-person interview depending on location. If the Recruiter thinks you are qualified for service, they Nominate you for service. The nomination includes a general position, location, and month of the year. For instance, mine was Education, Africa, October 2010. After receiving this you are now a NOMINEE.
Clearances: After receiving a nomination, you must pass a series of clearances, generally, your legal clearance is first to go through because most of the paperwork needed for this was filled out during the nomination process, although it may still take several months for the clearance to be shown in the Online Toolkit. You must also pass Dental and Medical Clearances. It may be important to note that the Office of Medical Services (OMS) usually will not touch your medical packet if your nominated departure date isn't within four months. Once your receive these three clearances, you ares still considered a Nominee, but your file is transferred to the Placement Office, and eventually to a specific desk (like Education or Community Development).
Invitation/Placement: The last clearance you must receive is a placement clearance, which is the last step prior to being invited to join the Peace Corps. In my case, my placement clearance (meaning they found my qualifications not only sufficient to serve, but in the top of the pool of nominees) and my invitation came in the same email. When you are extended an invitation, your Placement Officer will contact you by email or phone and let you know that you have been invited and to look for an invitation packet. You have a certain number of day to accept the invitation before it 'expires.' Once you officially accept the invitation, you are now considered an INVITEE.
So that's where I am now. After breezing through medical and dental clearances in mid July, I was stuck waiting (again...) on the Peace Corps Office. In mid August I was asked by the Placement office to submit an up-to-date resume and transcript. On a side note, they say your invitation must be extended AT LEAST six week prior to your date of departure because of paperwork processing time. When I had not yet received an invitation at the end of August, I figured I would most likely not be going in October, more like November or December.
However, my invitation came on the 8th of September! When I received the packet two days later, I noticed they wanted me to depart on the 19th of October, just barely making the 6 week deadline (you may notice that the 8th to the 19th is actually one day short of six weeks... the 19th of October is when I leave for staging/orientation, while I actually leave the country on the 21st of October). I will admit I was a little unhinged by the closeness of that date.
I may be one of the lucky ones, one of the rather few whose invitation does not deviate at all from my original nomination. Here's the big news of this all. On October 19th, 2010, I will be departing for the country of Rwanda, where I will teach Math to high-school aged students for 27 months, including three months of training.
I will be maintaining this blog MUCH more frequently that I have been. Expect weekly or bi-weekly updates leading up to my departure. Hopefully I will be able to maintain at least some consistency in posting while overseas.
If you receive this in an email, let me know if you want me to remove your address if you want to simply look it up yourself. Otherwise, you will continue to receive an email with my posts. If there are any questions you have or things you'd like me to discuss, feel free to leave a comment, email me, or call me (if you don;t have the number...sorry). I'll be sure to address anything that anyone wishes to know more about.
Don't forget to be awesome,