28 August 2011

update on my path to volunteering overseas

Original Transmission: 4 May 2011
Dearest Friends, Family, Colleagues, and all other folks whom have helped along the way,

As most of you are now aware, the process of finally recognizing my long-held dream of serving as a Peace Corps volunteer is well-underway. For those who were not included on my first update, I officially submitted my application back in late January. Since then, I have gone through several rounds of paperwork, regularly corresponded with my recruiter, had my initial interview, spoke with a handful of extremely helpful and insightful Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and continued doing whatever needed to be done in order to move my dream closer to realization.

As of today, I have officially moved from being a first-stage applicant to being a Nominee. What this means is that my recruiter has recommended me for a general assignment with an approximate departure date, and has forwarded my application to the Peace Corps arm in D.C. that will see me through the next round in this long but well-worth-it process. The assignment I have been nominated for would have me teaching English in Central/South America, and my approximate departure time window is between Mid-January and Mid-February of 2012.

So break out the champagne and balloons and get this party started, right!? Well, not so fast...

While this is a major milestone in my journey, it is, in many ways, just the beginning. In the coming 4-6 months, I will need to be medically and legally cleared, and will have my qualifications, experiences, and passion for service thoroughly evaluated for suitability to successfully serve in the assignment for which I have been nominated. During this time, it is important that I maintain my focus and gain additional experience during what is perhaps the most competitive stage I will face. So, Spanish-speaking friends: do expect calls for café meet-ups, bar dates, etc.

This is all to say that I have not yet been officially accepted into the Peace Corps. If all goes well in this stage, I can expect to receive an invitation to serve, with more specific details about the location of my assignment and a more exact departure date, but I'm not there yet. It's important to note that I may not end up serving under the assignment for which I've been nominated. The position, continental area of service, and departure time frames are all subject to change, based on a variety of potential factors.

Nonetheless, I am thrilled to be this far along in the process, and eagerly await what lies ahead. Many thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support, encouragement, and investment in my quest to become a Peace Corps Volunteer.



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