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.  Thanks to the sickness, I did not depart for Madagascar as scheduled.  My country of service has changed and now I am a Maternal-Child Health Volunteer in Rwanda.

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.

And it’s taken nearly two years from when I first submitted my application in September 2016 [first for Lesotho, September 2017-December 2019, then for Madagascar February 2018-June 2020, and finally Rwanda June 2018-September 2020.] 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.

Staging.

Ha, ha, the joke is on you

More waiting.

I’m finally leaving.

What’s in my bags [see Pack.]

Pre-Service Training.

Home. For the next couple of years.

Finally. A real Peace Corps Volunteer.

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