Below follows my timeline, but first, here are some lovely photographs! The PCJ trainees lit it up blue this past April 2nd for Autism Speaks‘ World Autism Awareness Day. Check out Autism Speaks for information about the spectrum other resources. PCJ has quite a number of current, past, and training volunteers who are very passionate about spreading awareness.
I’ve been getting some questions about this stuff, so I decided to make a quintessential Peace Corps timeline…you know, to make my blog super PC official. As with anything contained here, each person’s experience is unique. Your experience will not be the same as mine. You get it. Without further ado:
September 2012: Submitted official application via recently updated PC portal
November/December 2012: Interview with Peace Corps recruiter (estimation)
Early January 2013: Nomination for Education sector with tentative departure in June 2013
April 2013: Rec’d news that the Medical Office was delayed in pre-approving me and that I would not be eligible for June departure. Was given 7 days to decide to continue with the process, PC noted my departure would be closer to Jan-Mar 2014*
Early July 2013: Invited for PC Jamaica Education Sector departing March 2014! Given 7 days to reply
July 2013-March 2014: LOTS OF PAPERWORK ERRHH MEH GERRRD
October 2013-January 2014: Medical clearance process, all systems were go!
March 9, 2014: Departed for staging in Miami, FL
March 10, 2014: Staging event, meeting Group 85!
March 11, 2014: Arrived in Kingston, Jamaica
Total time from application to departure: ~19 months
*Note: This was an extraordinarily discouraging part of the process. PC told me that this was a good test of my patience and flexibility. They were right, but that’s not to say it wasn’t easy. My life inevitably went on during this time. I changed jobs, set out to move on with my life in a new city, fell deeply in love, and eventually had to come to terms with the fact that one decision made by me (and for me) would alter all of these events.
I had to turn down promotion offers, move out of my apartment, say goodbye to all of my friends, placed quite a burden upon my significant other (who, by the way, is incredibly supportive; I cannot stress enough how crucial this has been to the survival of our relationship and to my emotional well being), and otherwise tore me from the life I had built.
That being said, this is a choice that was a long time in the making. I didn’t embark upon this journey only to quit before trying (although while weighing my options, I did seriously consider staying in the Bay Area instead). It’s my 1-month anniversary of being on-island and from where I stand, I can say with honesty that I believe I made the correct choice.
Weh yuh de [where are you]? Feel free to share your experience, any doubts, to ask any questions, or whatever else. I’ll try my best to answer! Until next time, lieta!