Archive for November, 2009


November 12, 2009

I received medical clearance today. I can’t believe it happened so soon! But I am quite pleased with the news. Suddenly, not only am I through one of the PC’s flaming hoops, but I also have peace of mind knowing that I am a perfectly healthy 23 year old dude.

So, where does that leave me?
Application: Check
Interview: Check
Nomination: Check
Dental Clearance: Check
Medical Clearance: Check
Legal Clearance: No Holds
Invitation: Waiting…

I’m not sure if my background check is complete or not. There might be some more intensive investigation done after the medical clearance is passed. However, I have nothing to hide so it’s a non-issue.

That leaves the infamous invitation. So coveted, yet so hard to attain. The email I just received said that there are 2 nominees for every invitation slot. If that’s so then all I have to do is seek out my nominee fiend and challenge him/her to a duel. But PC is about non-violent progress, so they suggested continuing gaining work and volunteer experience. Since I am doing both those things, I’m not worried.

Now the real wait begins. If waiting to get nominated and medically cleared is like waiting for December 25th as a child eager for Ninja Turtles/pirate Legos/Nintendo, then waiting for an invitation must be like lying awake in your bed Christmas morning, staring at the clock as it reads 5:12, waiting until the moment it strikes the glorious 6:00 mark, which your parents said was when you could come wake them up for the final time and then open presents. Whew.

As Radiohead once said, “I’m not livin, I’m just killin time.”

That’s not entirely true – I have been doing all my normal stuff, especially trying to soak up seasonal/special activities with friends and family, but my head is often drifting in the clouds somewhere over the Caucasus Mountains throughout the day.

I am starting to get very, very excited.


Turn Your Head and Cough

November 1, 2009

Well reader, by now you should be realizing that the road to the Peace Corps is not a highway. Rather, it is a meandering country road, with muddy quagmires, gnarled tree roots, broken down tractors, and confusing signage. My own journey hit another snag in October when I opened a Peace Corps letter only to find that my medical packet was incomplete.

When I mailed my packet, I was worried that the write-up on my heart conditions might not be detailed enough. It turns out that area was okay (or hasn’t been reviewed yet). My physical evaluation and one of my blood reports were the problem areas.

The physical evaluation has a list of check boxes for various body parts. Your doc has to examine you and note any abnormalities. Well, my doctor did not examine my genitalia or my anus/rectum. She checked the boxes for normal, but wrote “Not Done” next to each. I guess I was a little silly to think that would fly by the Peace Corps, but I was all for avoiding a rectal exam. So tomorrow I have to go get poked and prodded in the nether regions. I’m not even sure what an anal/rectal exam consists of, but it can’t be good!

As for the blood work, I chalk it up to a clerical error at the doctor’s office. I needed to get the Hepatitis B Antigen test, but the office ordered the Hep B Antibody. The doctor noted that it wasn’t quite the right test when I collected all my paperwork before submitting the packet. She explained to me that the Antibody test showed I had immunity to the Antigen test and included a note on my form. But that didn’t fly for the PC either. So I had to go get blood drawn again last weekend. It wasn’t a big deal at all. I would’ve been more upset if the blood work was my only incomplete portion.

In positive news, I cleared dental right away. That’s pretty common from what I read. It was also surprising to see that my file was being reviewed in mid-October, less than a month after I mailed it. There must not be a big backlog of applicants. Or perhaps I got mine in ahead of a large batch.

There is some other cool news too. My friend Emma just got her fingerprints taken for the Peace Corps! In case you don’t remember, she and her boyfriend Ben were the ones who inspired me to sign up for PC. It would be amazing to have someone as awesome as Emma serving simultaneously. Also, the International Institute’s adult tutor program is back as of this week. I am excited to get back! It was nice to have a break, but I’ve been playing way too much Fifa 10…