September 23, 2006

I Love Bureaucracy!

Everyone has at least one horrific experience dealing with government bureaucratic agencies, ranging from DMV battles to IRS audits. Dan, having been in the Navy and I, having had exhausting battles with the University Rhode Island, thought we were mentally prepared for the application, interview, and screening process of joining the Peace Corps. We were right in expecting the worst...and then some.

Dan and I have considered joining the Peace Corps ever since we met in 2002 and decided to apply after attending our first recruiting event. The decision was fairly easy for us. We are both in the field of education, one of the Peace Corps largest programs, and are adventure seeking do-gooders. The Peace Corps is a pretty good fit.
Anyway, our adventure thus far:

  1. The Online Application Process- consisted of a million background questions, 2 essays, 3 recommendation forms, a medical questionairre, resume, transcipts from both undergrad and grad school, and an FBI backgorund check submission including fingerprints and criminal record. I felt like I was applying to college all over again, except the fingerprint part.
  2. The Interview- required a trip to Boston and 4 hours of discussion and questioning. That part wasn't so bad except I really had to go to the bathroom.
  3. Nomination- We suprisingly didn't have to wait all that long to get our nomination: Region: Eastern Europe/Central Asia. Program: Jillian-Primary Teacher Training, Dan-Secondary Education English. Cool, exactly what we wanted. I'm now mentally preparing myself for it to change. If it's too good to be true...
  4. Medical Screening- This was the part that proved to require the most bureaucratic hoop jumping. I'm actually quite agile now having mastered the art through weeks of practice going to the Naval Medical Center and my dentist with government forms. I understand they need a full report of health status, but trying to get that done at the Naval Medical Center was quite challenging. Why can't all corpsmen be as competent as my brother? If they miss my vein one more time while drawing blood, it'll look like I'm a heroin addict. We sent the forms off yesterday, miraculously. We'll have to wait to see if there are any hiccups in the paperwork.
  5. Wait-This is the hard part. We'll keep everyone updated with details as soon as we get them. Which may be in several months.

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