* Michelle Thoughts, * Peace Corps

The Waiting Game

If anyone else is thinking about doing Peace Corps, be prepared that training actually starts as soon as you apply (Peace Corps is very upfront about this- and it’s true). We haven’t even left the U.S. and already our patience and flexibility have been tested multiple times. Our application was submitted sometime in late June of 2010. We had an interview at the beginning of August (which had to be followed up with a phone call because we ran overtime). In September, we got the surprise call that a placement opened up that matched both our job qualifications: in Africa, starting July 2011. Please decide in the next 24 hours if you want your spot held? Soon after saying yes, we received the Medical Report packet. I (Michelle) had my scheduled physical postponed twice in a row, ended up returning to the doctor’s about a dozen times because of missing signatures in all the necessary places and lab tests not being ordered all at once for some unknown reason. I thought I would have everything done by October easily but in reality, it took an additional month- not to mention the follow up medical paperwork I had to do in January once Peace Corps looked at my file. Jedd had a similar experience with the Dental portion, having to return multiple times to get the paperwork and dental work finally completed. I believe it was March when we officially received medical clearance. I feel like our patience muscles have been adequately flexed through the medical process, just one more step in preparation for life in the developing world.

Currently, we are waiting for the Placement Office to do a final review of our application, determine that we are indeed suitable for service and a good fit for our placement, and then send us the official Invitation with date of departure and country! While the medical process was tumultuous, the silence of the Placement office has quite possibly been the greatest test of patience. The anticipation is becoming nearly unbearable! On a daily basis, we check our e-mail and our mailbox in hopes of some indication that our Invitation is coming. On a daily basis we also get asked by curious friends and family if we have any news. I feel like a broken record explaining multiple times a day that we are still waiting to hear more, but it is nice to know so many people are excited for us. We are about 3 months away from our supposed departure, so we should literally hear any day now, although they could technically wait up until 6 weeks beforehand to send notice.

Your prayers for patience and peace at this point are much appreciated. Thanks for following us along this journey.