Friday, February 26, 2010

T minus 4 hours...

Officially only 4 hours left until I hop on a bus to JFK to make my trip to Malawi! I attended staging today from about 1 - 7pm. I got to eat my first official cheese steak for lunch and sushi for our final meal in America, which was fantastic! It was great meeting all of the other trainees and I can't wait to get to know them better.Thank you guys for all of your love and support...and I will try to update this blog in a few months when I am finished with training. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mumati chiyani "I can't wait!" mu Chichewa?

Chichewa! My toolkit account was updated today and I was so very excited to see that they included some language lessons! The two most popular languages in Malawi are English and Chichewa...I went over a few of the lesson plans and I think (I hope!) I will be able to pick it up with a little (ok, A LOT) practice. I should certainly have some free time once I am in California. Pitani bwino!

Oh and P.S. - May I please by moved to the "Malawi" section instead of the "applicant" section! It just seems so much more official! Thanks!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Incredibly Short Timeline

I was lucky...VERY lucky. I know that average is around 6 months to 1 year from application to invitation (correct me if i am wrong!)...but I got it all done in an incredible 4 months, maybe just a week or two over. Here is another approximate timeline:

Mid-August: Submitted application
Late-August: Interview
September 9: Nomination (Community Development HIV/AIDS to Sub-Saharan Africa leaving in January)
September 14ish: Received medical kit
October 2: Mailed in medical kit
October 8: Medical kit received
Mid-October: Cleared for dental, sent additional information to medical
November 10: Medically cleared
December 1: Placement officer contacted me with additional questions and told me that I would not be leaving for my original nomination because I did not have any direct HIV/AIDS experience (just general health).
December 2: Missed a call from placement officer asking me to call him back.
December 3: Called him back for the millionth time in the morning and he invited me to a business program with an agricultural/environmental focus in Africa leaving in February.

After reading so many long, drawn out, even sometimes nightmare-ish timelines I feel so incredibly lucky! I am leaving in February which means I will have 8 months total from the day I clicked "submit" and the day I leave for Africa. Thanks Peace Corps! And good luck to everyone who is still in the will happen I promise. Just hold in there!


I am getting an INVITATION!!!! I am SOOO excited! I missed a call from my placement officer yesterday and was not able to get a hold of him until early this morning. He told me about a program that would fit with my qualifications (mainly business) but that it has an agricultural/environmental focus leaving in February. OF COURSE it was absolutely is in Africa, just like I was originally anticipating and hoping! I told him that it sounded perfect and he said he was sending me an invitation! I snooped around Peace Corps Wiki and I am thinking that I might be going to Zambia since there is a program leaving in February and they have a lot of agricultural/environmental programs as well as business programs. I will try to not get too excited before I get the invitation packet though!

Although I am immensely and unbelievably excited, I am a little worried about all that I have to do now! Since I lost my job a month ago I have not been able to make ends meet...and will therefore have to move down to California with my parents and grandparents so I can live with them rent-free until I leave. I will also be able to make a little extra income to help with some of my new African Peace Corps related purchases (portable French press coffee mug anyone?!?!). Soooo I now have to sell everything I own (including my car :-/), pack up everything I want to keep and take with me to the Peace Corps and everything I don't (already!), say goodbye to friends, AND finish all of my finals by December 19th (I had already bought the ticket forever ago)!!! Only a little over TWO WEEKS!! I am super bummed and disappointed that I will be leaving everybody and everything so soon here in Montana, but I don't think there are any other options! I know that it will be better in the end though...It will be nice to spend as much time as possible with the family. I don't, however, really know anyone my age in the area. If you or anyone you know will be in the Santa Barbara area of somewhere close you should let me know!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Soooo I know it's not much...but I got my dental clearance! At least I know that they actually received my medical packet. YAY!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mid-Medical Chaos!!

Here's my Peace Corps time line so far...

August - application/recommendations completed

September 2 - Interview

September 9 - Nomination for youth HIV/Aids awareness in Saharan Africa, Leaving January 2010

Mid-September - Received Medical/Dental packets

So now I have completed all the required blood tests, vaccines, physicals and exams, just waiting on all of the results so I can finish the packet and send it to DC. I keep trying to remind myself how lucky I am to get a nomination that leaves so soon, but I am a little frantic about getting all the medical stuff in asap! I know that many/most people wait a year or even more until leaving, so I am trying not to keep my hopes up, in case it changes.