Monday, September 14, 2009

1st post. yaay

It is time for me to post my first post seeing as I will be leaving in a week (!) for Paraguay. The nervousness hits now and again but I also get little clips of excitement too. But mostly I get overwhelmed at what I need to get done before I leave (i.e. packing, paperwork, saying goodbyes and taking naps). So, how did I get here? About to leave to a country I knew absolutely nothing about and live there for the next 27 months? Simple. I went through a short and easy application process. First, I just had to decide if I wanted to go to a developing country and leave the comforts of my home behind for many, many months. I do. Check. Step one completed. Next I just had to:

Watch a live online presentation from a return volunteer

Apply online for an application (easy. name. age. where you live. whatnot)

Fill out the actual application (not so easy. lots of info to put in here from school to your health to your criminal background...don't worry I don't have one....)

Write 2 essays. A personal statement (yep, just like the college application) and a Cross Cultural experience essay. (deff took my time with these. I'm talkin weeks of rewriting and edits)

Find three references to write all sortsa stuff about you and send it in. One from a friend, an employer and a volunteer supervisor or professor. I'd like to take this time to thank mine for sending theirs in in good time.

Have an Interview in NYC. Wasn't scary one bit. The hardest part was finding what to wear (business casual)

Fill out more questionairs when you tell them things like you have a boyfriend and are a vegetarian

of course I did all this between Dec 2008 and March 2009, and on March 12th 2009 I got my nomination! Which basically means your recruiter found a job they thought you would be good for. I was nominated for Latin America to teach environ ed leaving Sept 2009.Spoiler Alert!!!!.....
I got the job :p But back then I didn't know I would so the next step was:

The Medical Packet. To make this as short and painless as possible you basically have to have dentists, doctors and the like examine everything inch about you to make sure you're healthy enough to make it through your service with only the usual traveling pains (we all know what they are). There were many tests involved and examinations of all sorts which would have costs me a pretty penny seeing as I, like millions of other Americans, do not have health insurance. THANKFULLY I was granted permission to use the Lyons VA hospital to get everything done, except the dentist exam, for free (thanks all you taxpayers!!!!! You really helped me out!!) So after the medical packet was complete I sent it in April 9th aaand...

I waited...and waited...aaaand waited. This is whats known as the aptly named, waiting period. Good time to do some volunteering in the area you were nominated for btw....

Lo and behold all my waiting worked because on August 11th 2009 (18 and a half weeks after having turned in my medical packet) while shading myself on the Jersey Shore with the boyfriend I got a call telling me I was officially invited into the Peace Corps and my information packet was on the way!

A week later on Aug 18th I officially accepted my invite to go to Paraguay to do environmental work in a rural area.

See, only a 10 step application process with a completion time of 9 months and I was on my way to Paraguay. Patience is a virtue and something that a volunteer needs to have so why not start practicing it at home! I wasn't stressed though, I knew it would all work out.

Now you know how I got here. My goal with this blog is to show everyone who only knew that Paraguay was even a country from taking 8th grade geography what it's really all about and to bring to light what the PC is accomplishing down there (and it's been there for quite a bit). Hopefully I'll entertain you as well as learn ya!

Bienvenidos and enjoy some Stories from Paraguay!

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