I had a good conversation with Yung-Mei, our Peace Corps placement officer, today. Here are some salient points from the conversation:
– We were “attached” (i.e., tentatively going to be assigned to, but not for sure) to a program with a departure date of September, but she has bumped us up to one with a June date.
– We are probably overqualified for placement in Bangladesh and there’s almost no way we’ll end up there. (This is good, if you’ve been following the news.) If I’m right (and I think I am), that means our options are Thailand, Mongolia, China, and the Philippines. I’m cool with that. But as the PC is quick to say, everything can change. Maybe in three months we’ll get an email saying they want us to go to Gambia, or the Ukraine, or the Moon. (But probably not.)
-China is a very sought-after placement and it is one of the most difficult to get medical clearance for. This is mostly due to the pollution and related respiratory problems people get there. (This is sort of another one of those “don’t get your hopes up” conversations that PC people have to have with you. I don’t envy them. The easiest job is probably recruiter: your task is to say “The Peace Corps is amazing! Every country you could go to will be incredible! You want to go to (insert first choice country)? You probably can! But… be flexible.” When you get to this point, you hear more things like “it all comes down to what countries you can get medical clearance for.”)
-We’re on track if we can get medical stuff done by early March, which is our goal anyway. See, I’d a bit of a scare yesterday when a PC medical assistant told me “You’re going to miss your clearance date.” Turns out we had more leeway than he thought. Whew. I say “done,” but from what I hear, turning in your medical forms usually means they contact you and ask you to have more tests done.
That’s the Peace Corps update for now. Further updates as events warrant! It’s exciting…