Phone Call with Placement Assistant

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, and I thought I should probably update my blog.  Sorry to all my readers for the irregularity, I tend to post more when I’ve got news to update rather than on a regular schedule.  I know this can be topsy-turvy, but thank you for reading anyways!

First some good news: when I was checking my stats I noticed that I’m getting referrals from Peace Corps Journal’s Top Most Read Stories of 2010.  Apparently my post Interview with Peace Corps Yesterday made number 48 of 50!  Yay!!  I had no idea that they were doing this, but it’s kind of exciting to see that I made the top 50 list.  Thank you dear readers, I’m glad you enjoyed!

On to Peace Corps news.  A few weeks ago, Tija and I were shooting emails back and forth and getting ourselves excited about a possible contact from our mutual placement officer.  Two applicants in the exact same stage of the process communicating back and forth amp excitement to the nth degree, lol!  Well, the lovely Miss Tija got the long awaited for email, then phone interview and invitation.  I honestly could not be more excited for her.  That is totally huge, and she’s going where she wants to go, so rock on to that!  During this process, I had contacted my placement officer because it had been about a month since she said she was going to get back to me in two weeks.  She sent me an email explaining that she’s very busy, and that it would likely be another two weeks before she’s able to get to my file.  I’m not going to lie; I was a bit disappointed by this.  I also understood that this hasn’t been a stellar month for Peace Corps, it’s the end of the year, and there is also a lot of stuff going on in the world that directly or indirectly affects the safety of volunteers already in the field.  HQ has a lot to negotiate, and it’s never as simple as those of us on the outside would believe.  So, reminding myself of all of this, I sent my PO a thank you for the update note and tried to keep Positive Mental Attitude (yay for buzz word attitudes, lol!).

Almost three weeks went by and I still hadn’t heard anything from my PO, so I decided to call my Placement Assistant to see if she knew anything.  We chatted for about 5 minutes, and she reassured me that my PO would get to my file soon, hopefully this week.  I was starting to get concerned because the 8 week cut off for my nomination has come and passed, so I asked her if she knew if I was still being considered for an April departure.  She sounded a bit surprised, and told me that it’s unlikely because she thinks all of the April programs have been filed.  I’m probably looking at either a May or June departure at this point, she informed me, but continued to say she can’t be sure, only my PO would know this. I thanked her for all her help and hung up.

You know, I thought I’d be more disappointed, but the news was strangely relieving.  I can’t quite put my finger on it, but just hearing that little bit of information totally calmed my nerves.  Though I was totally looking forward to the idea of going to Botswana, especially now that I know someone who would be going with me, I have no idea what’s going on with my application and it’s sort of freeing.  I don’t know if I’m still being considered for the same region, or possibly for a different assignment (as I mentioned in my Interview post, I was also initially being considered for the Health Extension program which I’m pretty sure I’m still a good fit for) and region all together.  I don’t really know when I’ll be leaving.  It’s kind of like being at the beginning all over again, but having all of the hard parts taken care of.  I know to a lot of people that would be totally discouraging, but to me it looks like a whole bunch of potential.  I get to go back to the drawing board, look at the PCWiki again, but rather than limiting it to a region, I get to look at the non-romance language world.  I know I’d be a good fit for both NGO Advising, and Health Extension, so I can widen the view even broader, try on different roles and imagine myself in a wide verity of different places.  My PO is the only person who really knows what’s going on with my application, so if she ever read this, she would be the only one to know if I’m being totally silly or not.

What I also like is that it puts some cold regions back on the table, too, including Asia.  I _love_ snow, and I _love_ winter.  I also love Asian culture, so even if I’m not being considered for this region it’s fun to toy with in my head.  I think it’s because I went to art school, I learned to fall in love with possibilities and new ideas.  Exploring new regions also allows me to think about new work and puts me back into the conceptualization space.  Conceptualizing and executing are my two favorite parts of making work, wither it be art or professional work.  This is a nice place to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still anxious to hear from my Placement Officer, but something has shifted.  My feeling is much more in the realm of wanting to bounce ideas off of someone in the know than wanting to get through the next step, the former being a very happy and excited feeling, while the later is a bit painful.  So the waiting continues, but in the meantime I get to do research on a bunch of different places!

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4 Responses to Phone Call with Placement Assistant

  1. Heidi says:

    Hey Kati,

    Good to hear an update from you. I can’t believe how long it’s taking for them to place you! Kudos on your patience and excellent attitude. Good things are coming your way! Perhaps you’ll be coming to Rwanda with me. There are only about 6 of us that we know who have health invitations for May 4th.

  2. Jesse says:

    Don’t rely too heavily on the Wiki! You might think you’re headed to Asia and next thing you know your Placement Officer is talking Health Education in South America. Anything can change when you’re at this stage of the process. I do hope you get an invite the fits you though.. best of luck!

  3. newsbooking says:

    Hi Heidi, thank you for the kind words, I really appreciate it! It could be interesting to head over to Rwanda, are they stable?

    Jesse, thank you for the warning. Since my original nomination seems to be scratched (though it’s still possible for all I know that I’m still being considered, I don’t know), I have zero information about what’s going on with my application now. So I’m just kind of looking at the wiki to see what’s out there. I have no expectations about anything at this point.

  4. Heidi says:

    Rwanda is stable as far as I know. They had their elections earlier this month and everything is going well as far as I’ve heard.

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