So a few things have happened since I last did some sort of update on the pre-departure stuff so here we go:
1. I was contacted by my Country Desk Officer (the contact person for everyone in your cohort/training group) to remind me to apply for my passport and visa, turn in my updated resume and aspiration statement, register to vote overseas/absentee and complete the other things on the “pre-departure checklist.” I have been on top of all this stuff so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Organization during this phase is important because there are like 3 different PC webpages you have to use to get all this stuff done. The checklist they provide is very helpful in that regard.
2. We were contacted again and were asked to send a “headshot” of ourselves so our new counterparts/all the staff can get a good look at us for the first time, and the PC requested the e-mails of two people we would like them to send e-mails to (my parents obviously) just to let them know we landed in country safely.
3. My staging day has been moved from June 4th to June 2nd. I still don’t know where my staging will be, and I won’t be told until 30 days before the actual day. So I could end up in California for a few days before heading to Burkina for all I know.
I was a little bummed about the date change at first because my birthday is on the 3rd and it would have been nice to get to spend my 23rd at home but I’m over that now. My family has often been spread out during birthdays and holidays so we just celebrate when we can. (My mom had to remind me of that). There have been plenty of times when we celebrated a birthday early or Christmas late. My mom even mailed a cake to me in New Zealand once when I studied abroad there. It was awesome.
4. I got in contact with some of my former professors at PSU who taught my major CED classes. They all knew I was applying to the PC but by the time I graduated things were still a little up in the air (i.e. Cameroon was still my service country, I had been delayed due to some backlogs with the application system changes, etc). So I gave them a little update on my status and let them know what I would be happy to answer questions for any current students that are interested in the PC.
One of the goals for PCVs is to share their knowledge and experiences with others so I thought that would be a good opportunity to start working on that goal. Also, I just know how stressful it was, or me and my friends, trying to figure out what to do with our lives post-college, so if I can help others get through the “Senior year crisis” with fewer bumps, why not?
5. There was a FB group created for all the Education Volunteers going over in June. It appears that this is a common practice for every training group and it is fantastic. There are some current volunteers who are sharing their knowledge with us newbies on what to pack and not pack, what life is like over there right now, and of course they have some request on what to bring them (ex. “Game of Thrones Season 5. Please God”). To my knowledge the current PCVs are going to be helping us out doing training as well so its nice that they are stepping in to lend a hand before we even get there.
Anyway, at this point it is a little less than 2 months from my departure. I stop working my internship on April 31st, and I will spend all of May lazing around the house, spending time with the family, buying up the last of the stuff I need, and mentally prepping myself
for when I cry at the airport.
I am of course already at the point where I really just want to get started over there. I know it will be its own brand of amazing and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty.