28 August 2011

please look for a letter in the mail

I stumbled in from the earliest outbursts of Hurricane Irene, following a solid 9+ mile run with the students, to find a single piece of mail in my bin. It was the arrival of this very envelope that preoccupied my thoughts while walking home the two days before. A gray and foggy morning, in both atmosphere and temperament, must have clouded my underlying anticipation, however; this letter was the last thing on my mind when I saw it sitting there in my building's mail rack. Rather than tear right in, I set it on a small table and let it sit there - alone - feeling shades of trepidation as I settled myself and grew steadily more aware of its presence.

I knew this letter was on its way. I knew the nature of its message. I was fully aware of the two possible implications contained within. The most recent in a series of updates to my Peace Corps "toolkit" profile indicated that a "decision has been made regarding [my] medical review," and that I should "look for a letter in the mail." Apart from the exact details of an assignment, which I wouldn't even expect to know at this stage, this has been the most shrouded part of the process to date.

In many ways, I was relieved to know that the last set of follow-up items, which I'd faxed to the Peace Corps at the beginning of this week, was the final piece I had to contribute to the puzzle of this current application stage. But still, it was hard not to consider that opening this envelope would determine whether I was moving on to Placement or going back to the veritable drawing board. I had no major concerns about my medical status, but it's still hard to overcome the shadow of doubt that develops in light of the unknown.

After toweling off Irene's residue, I reached for my letter opener. With a deliberate slice I cut through the seal and removed the two-page document.
The Office of Medical Services is pleased to inform you that you have been medically qualified for service and the Office of Placement notified.
A sigh of relief. A smile.

After three months of vigorously trying to complete the medical forms packet, which entailed two dozen office visits and countless tests - of body, patience, & will power, I finally have moved on to the only remaining phase between me and a defined assignment. Very few moments in my recollection have inspired such a swirl of emotions; fitting that this information comes to me just moments before the swirl of Irene accosted my city for a solid 24 hours. I can only imagine how it might feel to get that big blue envelope in the mail.

Thank you all for your love and support.


  1. Sweet! I was just thinking about your first two emails/now blog entries as I was cleaning up my inbox from unread emails yesterday. I guess that it's too early to have a timeline on your placement at this juncture, right?

  2. You would be correct about that one, madre. That information would come at the end of this next step.