Recently, I’ve been connecting with many other Peace Corps hopefuls. The Facebook group: Future Peace Corps Applicants has been really tremendous in helping me stay up to speed with the general PC pulse, as well as connect with other people who have the same nomination as I do.
For a while, I was thinking, “I can’t wait to actually start meeting and building relationships with all these other neat people!”
Then I realized, “Why can’t I start doing that now?”
I’ve had FB chat conversations with a few other interesting women, and it’s exhilerating to hear their stories and imagine that we might end up in the same country together (unlikely, but possible). It’s also very reaffirming to hear about the reasons other people have applied to PC and reflect upon my own from time to time. However, I still have moments of doubt from time to time.
For example, a few nights ago I was reading the program list for the upcoming Banff Mountain Film Festival and turned green with envy after reading about a man who crossed most of Central Asia on horseback in an effort to retrace the footsteps of Ghengis Khan. For those of you saying, “What?” – just roll with me on this one. Anyway, positively green with envy. I started worrying that PC wasn’t the right decision. I can’t roam across Asia on horseback or hike the Appalachian Trail or walk the Alaska Pipeline if I’m in rural Morocco chasing scorpions out of my shoes! Cue self-doubt.
But then I responded to a thread on the FB group created by other folks also nominated for the health sector and scheduled to depart in September. Last night, I Skyped with a really nice fellow – “Z” we’ll call him – and it was so.dang.nice. to talk to someone else who “got it.” It was also exciting to meet the sort of person I’m likely to serve with (we have eerily similar nominations) and talk about all the parts of PC service that are exciting/scary/foreign. Today I woke up with new energy and a rebounding determination to see my application through and pursue PC service with vigor and enthusiasm.
Many ex-PCVs have said, over and over, that PC service starts at the application and ends months after you return back to the states, post-service, and that the whole thing is one giant roller coaster of ups and downs. I feel fortunate that my ups and downs with the process have been very minor, so far (give me a sec as I find a tree to knock upon), and I can feel myself growing and my maturity stretching as I strive for patience and peace in the “not knowing absolutely anything” part of this process.
In other news, I’ve been slowly accumulating a series of blogs and other writings about PC service, and I wanted to share a few here.
These are some great articles/blog entires about things to consider when joining PC:
- Innocence A-blogged: 5 Reasons to Reconsider Joining the Peace Corps
- The Billfold: I Joined the Peace Corps to Keep from Becoming an Asshole (and it worked, mostly)
- Matador Network: Five Things You Should Know Before Joining Peace Corps
But PC is not all roses (understatement of the year, right there). I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it would be like to experience blatant and aggressive sexual harassment or other kinds of female degredation in my host country (wherever that may be). It’s one issue that sticks hard for me, and will likely be my greatest challenge. So, I’ve been trying to read up on it.
These are some really interesting articles about reasons not to join PC:
- Innonce A-blogged: Sexual Harassment in Morocco (Rated R) – NSFW
- BootsnAll: Five Reasons Not to Join the Peace Corps
- Caterpillars, Friends, and Adventures: Walking the Streets
Lots to think about, but I am unswayed from my course, and I honestly hope I am placed in Morocco more than ever.