Last night I finished reading through the several hundred pages of Peace Corps handbooks that accompanied my invitation. I learned lots, and was really glad to have so much information available to me before making my final decision to accept my invitation. Last night I clicked the “submit” button on my invite acceptance page, and sat back with a smile. Done. I’m going to Zambia (knock on wood).
Then, the emails started rolling in. First, an email from Peace Corps congratulating me on my decision to accept the invite. Well, thank you!
Then, an email telling me my Medical Applicant Portal (MAP) had lots of new tasks for me to complete. It does? So soon? Better go check that…
Then, an email telling me that I could now use my New Volunteer Portal (NVP) and that tasks awaited me there, too. Uh oh…
|MAP requirements, and this is just the beginning!|
I began browsing the portals and found myself taken aback by the many, many tasks that now awaited me. I had once been warned by another volunteer that the hard work actually comes after the invitation, and that the waiting is nothing. Truer words have never been spoken, it seems. I was able to get through many of the tasks that simply require your acknowledgement of risks, having read through the materials they sent, and other indicators that you actually do know what you’ve signed up for (as much as possible, at this point). Most of the other tasks will need to wait until I receive a “Next Steps” email from Peace Corps, which should arrive sometime this next week (“3-5 business days after invitation acceptance”). Additionally, the PC medical folks will add more tasks to my MAP within 180 days of my departure. They do this so that you don’t start getting check-ups too early. At first glance, I like the way they have it set up. I’m definitely a list person, and it’s nice to have things “check off” as I finish them and upload my results.
Immediately on my current to-do list are scheduling appointments to receive some vaccines, and rounding up my immunization records. I also need to have my dentist fill out some forms from my last checkup (during which I had her do everything I had read PC needs), as well as start thinking about finding a Power of Attorney and sorting out my finances. I feel fortunate to not have any student loans or other major financial obligations, as the paperwork for dealing with those things looks, quite frankly, pretty intimidating.
|New Volunteer Portal. A few tasks down, lots to go.|
Overall, the idea of going to Zambia is really sinking in and I am feeling very excited. I have had so much support from friends and family about my placement, and I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity in my life.