Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Peace Corps

I've finally done it!. I have applied to the Peace Corps. I won't know for at least one month whether they will accept me. Most people respond positively to the news; a few think this is further proof that I need a full-time caretaker. I met with my medical doctor yesterday and asked him if he thought that I would be able to handle the challenge. I was glad but surprised that he approved so positively without any qualifiers. I was expecting him to say yes but only if I first lost enough weight to get back inside the normal weight range for my height.

I didn't specify a preferred location so I have no idea where they will send me if they accept me. I won't leave before this fall and perhaps not until next year.

I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to make a meaningful contribution.


Kansas Bob said...

Congrats Joe and blessings for the perfect assignment with the PC!

Joe said...

Thanks Bob. I have my fingers crossed just that they accept me. I hope the assignment is something that I can really contribute through.

karen said...

Joe, you amaze me. Congrats! Praying for the best assignment...blessings for you and for you to be that blessing wherever you go. Will you be able to blog, do you think? How will you tell us about this??

Joe said...

Hi Karen,

I haven't had my interview yet. I'm still collecting all the documents that they require. I still owe them a copy of a 34 year-old divorce decree and fingerprints. After that I'll have an interview in NYC.

They sent me a few suggested assignments: teaching math, teaching science, information and computer technology, and business development. A young local woman just returned from 2 years in Micronesia. She lived in her own hut. They pay the volunteers enough to live in a manner similar to the community they are assigned to. I don't know what she had for communication. I have heard that she has found it difficult to readjust to the US. The Peace Corps website said that readjustment is often difficult. I can't even guess what the issues might be.

I might not have cellular service in which case I can buy satellite phone service for a reasonable rate. I hope to maintain a daily online journal while I'm on assignment.

But, I have to be accepted first. Age is not a factor. The oldest volunteer presently serving is 80. I believe the oldest ever was 86.

My only concern is whether I will be able to learn the local language well enough to communicate effectively. The first three months of the 27 month assignment is spent learning the language. I already know that I won't be going to a Spanish speaking country because volunteers to those countries must already be fluent in Spanish.

lauraanne said...

I am both proud and concerned at the same time. But I know you are pursuing something that you really want. It is rare that one gets the opportunity to live out a dream, so I am happy for you that you are able to do so. I will miss you and pray for you every day.

Love, YBF&L