I had my interview last Monday. It went well. Thanks to some internet research, I had a good grasp on the questions that would be asked. I didn’t prepare my answers ahead of time as in depth as I could have, but I still did fine. I wore my suit to the interview (hey, my parents didn’t spend $400 on that thing for nothing…I’m going to wear it damnit), which got a “wow!” reaction from the recruiter. Like you, the stereotypical Peace Corps volunteer I create in my head is some girl in a hippie dress, or a guy with a big beard and a t-shirt that looks like his roommate does pull-ups on the collar. So I guess the suit might be a bit odd for PC, but I want this thing. I’m not going to risk screwing it up under-dressing.

The next step for me is to find a service site. I hope to find something downtown so I can walk. That is my task this week. I hope to start volunteering Saturday, as AT&T has a potential work stoppage coming up. It would be nice to let the recruiters know I have started volunteering before I possibly get shipped off to Oklahoma for who knows how long.

One slight complaint: I understand why they want me to have recent volunteer experience (even though my last service was less than a year ago). However, I’m not sure the PC values my year of work experience as much as I do. I think if I were unemployed, yet volunteering 15 or 20 hours a week since graduation, that would be more highly valued. This complaint truly is minor, but I figured since this blog is mine, I can say what I want. Part of what I’m trying to convey here is my honest experience with the PC, and that includes times where I don’t agree 100%. Nonetheless, asking me to volunteer a bit is hardly out of line. In fact, I have been thinking a lot that I should be volunteering right now, so this kick in the pants is what I needed.

Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Garden

Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Garden

After the interview I headed off to Arizona with my mom to see my sister graduate from Paul Mitchell school. I am proud of her! Plus, she gave me a rockin’ hair cut. It was cool to finally see her place and her school. We went out there as a family last spring for her to check out the schools. I can’t believe it’s already been a year. I also can’t believe how much has changed in a year. I’ve gone from full time student to full time employee. My sister is in Phoenix instead of Decatur. Just two of many changes!

Phoenix was good, but I don’t want to live there ever. The whole city is very spread out. It requires a lot of driving, which is not cool. If you haven’t caught on yet, I don’t enjoy driving much. I am blessed to have a car and the ability to transport quickly, but I would rather live a life that doesn’t require any commutes or interstate traffic jams. SO not cool dude. However, one place worth driving to if you’re ever in Phoenix is Oregano’s. I am in love with this pizza restaurant. I wish I could have taken it back with us to STL on Southwest.

The best part of the trip was climbing up a big hill/tiny mountain in the desert with my sister. Being able to turn around and look out across the valley to the distant mountain ranges was a very cool perspective. It makes you realize how far you’ve gone, just in one day. It also shows that sometimes the journey is great, but so is taking a moment to soak it in and look at where you’ve been. As a reflective guy, I hope to be looking back in 3 years on an incredible Peace Corps experience, marinating in the memories and personal growth!


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