Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Monday, May 10, 2004

Got an email from my 3rd reference stating that he had sent his reference letter to my recruiter. I left a message at her office, but did not hear from her. I hope that she was able to receive it. I’ll call her again tomorrow. The more I read and learn about other people’s experiences, I feel a strong sense of commitment to this program. I am at a loss for words when I try to tell my family and friends why I feel that I have decided to do this.

I had a great talk with my sister tonight. We discussed various events in her life that I may miss while volunteering in Peace Corps, the biggest being the birth of her first child. Although this is a very likely possibility, she has assured me that there would be no resentment and that I would play a huge part in her first born’s life. This is very important to me and something that I don’t want to miss, but know that it is very possible. Also, after talking with her, we both have an understanding of each other’s feelings and are comfortable with decisions that will play an important part in our lives. THANK YOU CHARLEY! I’ve always known that you will support me in all that I do!

Saturday, May 08, 2004

I can’t believe how time flies when you’re busy. So much has happened during the last week! I had my interview on Thursday, May 6 and it went great. I was able to go up to the cities Wednesday before and stayed with my Great Aunt and Uncle. My cousin, Tony, and I discussed some of his experiences in Africa Thursday morning before I had had to leave for my interview. Some of his stories were amazing. It really got me excited about the possibility of becoming a volunteer.

Tony was great and drove me to the interview. I watched a very impressive video about the Peace Corps before I met with AB. When I was finished, she came and got me and we started the interview. She asked me some very difficult questions about life experiences and how I was able to react and learn from them. After AB was finished with her questions, she took my fingerprints and then asked if it was alright with me if she searched her database to see what assignments were available!!! I told her that would be great. She found a program in Asia (Nepal maybe???) that was scheduled for February, 2005. AB said that she was ready to “nominate” me into this assignment as I had a lot of qualities and skills she thought would be appropriate for Urban Youth Development. There was also an assignment in Eastern Europe that was scheduled in August that she said she would check into. She asked me to check on my last reference who had yet to turn in their form and then call her on Monday.

On Friday, I was shopping with my friend Amanda and my cell phone rang. It was AB and she said that I would be able to me nominated into the Eastern Europe assignment if I was still interested. I told her that I had thought about it and would like a little extra time to get things organized without having to rush too quickly and declined. I told AB that I had talked with my last reference and he was planning on filling out his reference form and emailing it to her over the weekend. She said that she would go ahead and mark down that she had received my third reference and nominated into the Asia assignment (she did this over the phone)! AB congratulated me and explained what the next step in the process was…the medical and legal forms.

I can’t believe that it is actually beginning! I have felt all of these different emotions over the last couple of days…excitement, nervousness, exhilaration, confusion, etc. Step 1 is completed, now comes the time for patience and flexibility; at least that’s what I have read about during this step.