From February 2018 until June 2020 I’ll be serving in the Peace Corps on the island of Madagascar. However, I began my application in September 2016.  These posts are those months leading up to departure.  For my Peace Corps adventures, read my Peace Corps only blog, Late Night Dispatches.

Interested in life in the gray zone:  the time from application to departure.

Everyone has his or her own reasons for joining the Peace Corps and I’m no different. For some, it’s a chance to delay adult responsibilities.  For others, it’s a chance to have an adventure, still others have the ‘save the world’ mentality.  Some want the benefits life after the Peace Corps offers.  I’m probably a bit of all of them.  Although firmly, ensconced in adulthood by age and career, I still don’t see myself as a ‘real adult’ yet. I crave adventure and I have altruistic tendencies.  The post-service benefits are pretty exciting too.

I always thought I was a patient, go-with-the-flow type individual but getting into the Peace Corps requires a PhD in patience. I only have a Master’s. Even with the ‘new, updated’ process’, it still took me just under a year from the time I submitted my first application until my acceptance.

First up, an interview. Oh how I hate interviews. I’ve stayed at jobs much longer than was healthy just to avoid having to interview for a new one.  Although like much in life, it gets easier with practice.

The waiting. OMG the waiting. Then Acceptance.

Pre-Clearance is no joke.

More Waiting. And vacillating. And more waiting.

Finally. Staging.

Thought you were a volunteer after all that?  Not yet.  There’s 10 or so weeks of Pre-Service Training.  Including a learning a language no one outside of Madagascar speaks.  And continuing to learn French.

Home. For the next couple of years.

Finally. A real Peace Corps Volunteer.