And what am I expecting of course? My invitation!!
I joined the blogscene after reading lots of travel journals (writing my own when I was in The Gambia) and Peace Corps blogs over the years and felt that I was affiliated enough with Peace Corps and my upcoming experience to really be able to contribute. And already I am reading several blogs of other applicants who are about as far along in the process as me, waiting for an invitation to leave around the same time, etc. And I am happy to report that they are reading mine as well :-) It is nice to have a little support system via blog (and now Skype!). So I know they (along with you family and friends of mine out there reading) are going to be interested in what I heard from my recruiter this morning...
Reading and sharing the anticipation for invitations with my fellow PC bloggers has been two sided- it is nice to know that I am not alone, but also just gives me more opportunities to think about my invitation! And since I have already read the Peace Corps website approximately 575 million times about the possible timelines for the application to invitation process, I thought I would ask my recruiter in the same email that I was going to inform her about my volunteering [which will I will write about in an upcoming post!].
I asked: "I know that my application has been moved to the Office of Placement- and that you nominated me to depart to programs leaving in February or March. I was just wondering when I might be hearing about an invitation to those programs- or if I do not get into those programs, is there a date when I would know that? I feel like a competitive applicant but I know flexibility is needed during this process."
She answered: "You should hear about an Invitation no sooner than 8 weeks prior to your departure and no later than 6 weeks, meaning 6-8 weeks prior to your nomination month and Placement's anticipated departure date. It's a little ambiguous, I know. You have qualified medically, so you are on the right path... it's just a matter of waiting for your Invitation at this point."
Okay. This makes me feel a few different ways. One part of me says "BOOO!! I WANNA FIND OUT SO MUCH SOONER. LIKE TOMORROW." Another part of me is a bit relieved that I shouldn't necessarily be concerned about not having already received my invitation- I mean, it is still quite a few months before I was invited to leave- there are more than 3 whole months until February 1st! Right now would be a bit early. And now that I think about it, my previously mentioned PCV friend Mike got his invitation exactly 2.5 months before he left.
So for now, I'm not worried. I can actually take a breather. My dream of finding out by Thanksgiving was probably far fetched and now I can have my new dream of finding out by Christmas (because it would obviously be the best Christmas present EVAHH!!). And then after that I can have my backup dream of finding out by the New Year. And after that, my dream will just be to get my invitation. Haha. I mean, if I am slated to really leave in March, I might not even hear until January! And at the time of nomination, my recruiter told me that there is always a 40% chance that your nomination site could change. And it could!
And that would be fine. The one thing you read over and over is to "Be flexible, and patient." and I know these are traits that they need in Peace Corps Volunteers, and traits that I actually have- it is just easy to get caught up in the excitement of going (and I am REALLY REALLY excited). But when the opportunity comes, I know I will be ready for it. And when my invitation comes, I hope you all are ready for a blog post written in large, bold font, in all CAPS. It will be obnoxiously wonderful.