Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ryan's First Post & the Beginning of her Peace Corps Adventure

Hello! This is my first official blog entry. I am new to blogging and I thank my sister, Kayte, for allowing me to share her space. My entries will be focused around my Peace Corps experience. I am leaving in October to spend 27 months in Kenya. I welcome advice, tips, letters, and care packages. Right now I am in the packing stage and I need all the help I can get. Anyone know anything about solar chargers? Or have a small backpacking tent they want to give away?

The first thing I want to post here is my application timeline. It was incredibly helpful to me during the process to see what everyone else was going through. I hope mine can help someone through that taxing period when we are told to be 'patient'.

April 8, 2010 @ 11:30pm: Submitted my online application and Heath Status Review

April 12: Received intro packet in the mail asking for supplemental info

April 13: Spent all day working on it, got fingerprinted, worked on skill addendums (they sent me six!)

April 16: Received an email from my recruiter. She told me I have three weeks to send the packet back and then we will set up an interview. Must finish soon!

April 19: Sent back supplemental packet.

April 23: Got a call for an interview!! Yay!

4/28: Interview today in Boston. She was very nice, the interview was very nerve wracking. I was well prepared, had answers for everything, but one question. I couldn’t think of a ‘rule that I disagreed with’. I was disappointed, but the rest of the interview went well. My interviewer asked me where I wanted to go and when I was ready to leave. I said, Africa and NOW. So she looked up all positions available in Africa and the last assignment leaving before next spring was going in August. I accepted and she nominated me for a science teaching position. I got the last spot!! I am officially in!! Now I have to wait for the medical packet. Whew!

5/4: Today I got back from a short vacation in FL and still haven’t received the medical packet. My online Toolkit says it was sent on 4/30. I made my doctors appt anyway.

6/3: Finished all my doctor appointments. The last thing on my list is to read my TB test 8am tomorrow. I needed a Polio vaccine which took forever to track down. I was never required to get it while growing up, but the Peace Corps assumed I would have. Through a stroke of luck, I got it when I went to get my TB test read. Plan: send packet tomorrow AM.

6/4: Sent packet, should get there Monday

6/7: Notification that they received the info

6/8: Dentally cleared!

7/1: I have heard nothing yet. It feels much longer than a month. I am trying to be patient.

7/19: Got an email at 4 am notifying me that my Toolkit has been updated.

7/20: Under “Medical” it says “we have reached a decision regarding your medical
 clearance”. From what I can gather from the internet, this most likely means I am medically cleared.

7/21: Official email saying I am medically cleared and my file is now being processed in the Assessment and Placement Office.

7/21: Official letter in the mail saying the same thing.

8/4: Received email asking me to rewrite my cross cultural essay.

8/12: Received email saying the preliminary review of my file is complete. Now I have to answer some questions on what I have been doing to prepare and how I am feeling about service now. I also need a resume tailored to my nomination assignment.

8/15: Sent email with all the questions, and found out that my placement officer is on vacation till the 23rd.

8/24: Email from my recruiter, my invitation is in the mail!!!

8/26: Received invitation! I am going to Kenya on October 11th. Wow! Now the real work begins. 

Number of Days: ___________________Actual_____Average
Application to Nomination______________20_________62
Nomination to Kit Received by OMS________40_________87
Kit Received to Medical Qualification_______43_________54
Medical Qualification to Invitation_________35_________38
Invitation to Acceptance________________3___________9
Acceptance to Enter on Duty_____________46_________85

Above chart based on the numbers on

Thanks for reading!