I touched on it briefly in my last post, but sometime late last Spring I applied to the U.S. Peace Corps program. I actually started filling out the online application a number of times over the years, but always put it on the back burner for various reasons. When I got back to the U.S. this past spring however, I felt it was something I needed to look into more seriously. I first learned about the Peace Corps from my Marine Biology teacher, Mr. Hull, as an eleventh grade High School student. Mr. Hull was a first year teacher from Massachusetts. Prior to teaching, Mr. Hull was a marine biologist, which I thought sounded a lot more interesting than teaching us. I can’t recall why he said he made the switch career change, but I think I remember him telling me it was for his fiance. In any event, Mr. Hull’s class was by far my favorite. I have always been interested in the ocean and her inhabitants. As a child I spent most of my time in and around any body of water available. There was even a period in my life when I really thought I might get into that field (dolphin trainer was at the top of the list). Unfortunately, my other math and science test scores said otherwise. I wasn’t particularly strong in those fields past the eight grade, though I did very well in Mr. Hull’s class. Moving along…
As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Hull was the first person to introduce me to the Peace Corps. He served somewhere in Africa many moons ago and brought in his photos one day to share with us. I remember being completely fascinated with the whole concept….a real life India Jones! Of course, he explained the realities of the experience and when I pressed for more information, “it was a very difficult two years, but entirely worth it.” I was seventeen then, thirty three now. Since that time I have bee very fortunate to have lived overseas on two different occasions, traveled to a number of countries, met people from all walks of life with their own interesting stories to tell and, I like to believe, grown as a human being. One thing I have yet to do though is serve the Peace Corps. I don’t think it would break me if it didn’t happen, but I do believe I would regret not trying. Aside from my family and friends, whom I care about deeply, I have no real ties here; no career, significant other or any financial obligations. I have heard that some volunteers are retirees and I could always try to do this somewhere down the line, but I feel, to borrow a line from a famous Californian band, “there’s never been a better time, than right now!” At least I hope not.
At this juncture on the application process I have passed the interview, dental, medical and legal portions of the process. I’m awaiting an e-mail from what’s called the “placement office” for my next step. I probably should have been documenting this all along, but didn’t, so I’ll start now.
*Earlier today I received an e-mail from the PC headquarters stating that I am slated to leave in early April, 2012. I am waiting on a phone call from the placement officer.