When I was nominated at the end of my interview, my recruiter asked me if I would be willing to do some HIV/AIDS related volunteering to keep me competitive for the program (since it would probably include that). I said "Of course! Whatever it takes! No doubt!" without a pause. Of course I didn't REALLY have any ideas of any organizations or anything like that... but I knew I would do it cuz I wanna be a PCV danggit!
I didn't really know how to go about looking for the kind of organizations I could get the appropriate experience from. So of course, it came down to Googling. Kind of felt a little awkward to Google "HIV/AIDS" and "youth" but hey, whatever it takes. I sent out volunteer applications to several organizations I came across through my research, and played the waiting game. (So much waiting throughout the whole PC process, eh?)
Eventually I heard back from an organization that has an after school program for youth affected by HIV/AIDS related losses. It did seem like a perfect match up- with my resume, I am the basically the queen of after school programming. Of course, it threw something into the mix that I have no experience with- HIV/AIDS. It was sure to be an appropriate learning situation that would hopefully give me tools that I can use during my service.
I volunteer every Wednesday and I really love it. I love the kids and the staff is wonderful of course and I am happy to be apart of it all. I am definitely thankful to be having this experience- it is a great thing to be exposed to and I would definitely feel less prepared without it. When I told my recruiter about my volunteering after I finally started she was really excited for me! Hooray!
I have to say that I feel more ready than ever. I know Placement knows about my volunteering and it is just a waiting game to finally hear from them. Patience is a virtue that no PCV can live with out!
(Dental Update: That December 7th tooth extraction I scheduled is right in the middle of my family Disney vacation. Therefore, I rescheduled it to December 14th. I still wish it was sooner, but the dental people at PC are assuring me that I'm fine and the process is still in motion. MOTION!!)