Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Change is Normal

The email response that I got back from the placement officer was not very useful, except a more exact departure date: September 17-24.

I spoke with a lady in the placement office this morning over the phone and she said that the Peace Corps issues official Invitations no earlier than 6-8 weeks in advance. And that my situation of being abroad while going through the application process was not uncommon, and that they can either mail an official paperwork to me in China or to you at home. The only thing that would need to be completed immediately would be the PC passport paperwork (so they can start getting visas) so I would need access to my original birth certificate.

My friend Amanda Korell (the one who used to swim here at GT) who is currently serving in Micronesia offered the following advice:

"It could be that you're better fitted for the Eastern Europe program. Now, knowing you and your work ethic, I'd say you're probably a better fit for that program. The Pacific Islander culture (from Palau to Tonga to Vanuatu) is extremely laid back... there's a lot of talk to do/improve things, but not much actually gets done. It can be extremely frustrating sometimes, and it's one of the reasons volunteers end their service early. I struggle with feeling like my community gives a damn from time to time, and then I have to step back and remind myself that it's just the way they are. If you want to do something or get something done, it'll be entirely up to you. Not sustainable change whatsoever, which sucks, but that's the reality. Another thing to consider is that you may not
even get Eastern Europe or Pacific Islands when your invitation finally comes in the mail! Peace Corps is just kinda crazy sometimes. It's hard to know what to expect."


Anonymous said...

Hey Jing,

I just read your blog and it's so eerie how similar we are. I also was afraid of Africa bucz of the whole hut and humidity thing. Then gravitated to EE until I started to freak out about the racial connotations (I'm black)and politics. Then I almost went to Micronesia. Now I know that I'm going to Macedonia in September. Still freaked out but hopeful. Good luck! Hit me up if you have questions about my process.


Kirk said...

Jing, i think you & i are in similar situations. i am nominated for Africa in October (secondary math/sci) and will travelling in Europe during August.

email me if you have any crucial info about working thru the invitation process from abroad. thanks. kcallen@hotmail.com

btw, i have a PhD in Industrial Engineering, so we have that in common too

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