Archive for August, 2005

I woke up early (8:45am on a Sunday is early) this morning and called my parents before they went to bed for the night. They were eating pizza when I called. A few days ago I emailed my father and stepmother and told them that I had some extremely good news to tell them regarding my future. When I told them what the good news was there was a moment of silence. I actually think they might have been holding their breath and hoping for something much worse than “moving to Latin America next June”! They broke the silence with “Oh!! That’s great! You’re going to be in the neighbourhood again!”

That’s right, Will and I are moving to the neighbourhood.

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Our Big Fat Nomination

This week when we were supposed to hear about whether we were nominated for next June or not. Apparenlty other couples were getting nominated and I wanted to know if we’d be one of them. So I decided to send an email to our recruiter, even though I knew he’d have left the office already being that it was around 7:30pm New York time. I figured my email would be the first one he’d look at the next morning. Wel…I randomly get an email and it was from our recruiter:

“Good news!! Placement has found a spot for both of you.”

We’re slated for Community & Organizational Planning (Community Development &/or Urban & Regional Planning) for Will and Community & Youth Development for me.

Not only did the.y find a spot for both of us, but they are sending us to Latin America in June! Whether or not it was a spanish requirement, I’m not sure. But we both have exellent competence in Spanish and can only think that that had something to do with it. I grew up speaking Spanish and have lived in Latin America for half of my life. Will has studied Spanish for ages, majored in it and we both spent almost 3 years living in Spain.

I was really shocked to have been nominated for Community & Youth Development because while I do have experience working with refugees, immigrants and non-English speaking background students, it’s in ESL. But they think I can do, so I do too. When I called Will and told him what he’d been nominated for he was ecstatic- he was in disbelief- because he’s been hoping to become 100% fluent in Spanish for some time and begin his career in development in Latin America.

When we first came to Australia we decided that after grad school we’d move to Latin America, we didn’t know how we’d do it or when exactly. But we figured the Peace Corps offered a slight possibility of going there. That must have been like a 5 out of 100 chance. We’re so lucky to have gotten this nomination!

We’re not leaving for another 10 months but, I can barely concentrate today. I have a workshop to attend on how to build your own disposible corpus (feel free to look up that word). It’s as interesting as it sounds.

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I emailed our recruiter last night to get the low-down on this 6-12 months gossip and this was his reply:

“We are slowly moving toward a policy that states couples need to be married for six months before their earliest date of departure. This has not been finalized and there is a high chance that it will be altered somewhat before becoming official. “

I guess everyone can take a deep breath and relax now. It seems as if recruiters seem to be on different pages– or maybe the applicants are distorting the information. Either way, I’m going by the man’s words above.

He also said this concerning the placement on couples:

“…Concerning priorities when placing couples, it is definitely taken into consideration how long a couple has been in the “system” when all Biodata are considered. You are competing now with couples that have been waiting for three, or even six, months. If you are not placed for spring 2006 (meaning June) you will have a stronger chance for placement in summer 2006 (July, August, and September).”

Well, that makes me feel safe.

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I love how news gets spread around the internet like fire (ex: the military joining forces with the Peace Corps). This latest news has to do with the couple’s application process and how they are apparently streamlining it- to make it easier for us or them I don’t know. A couple of months ago there was a rumor going around that you had to be married at least 6 months prior to starting your Peace Corps service, that turned out to be just a ‘suggestion’ which was apparently going to become policy soon. The new policy which will apparently come into effect this September is that couples will have to be married for at least one year prior to beginning their service. Quick! Run straight to the court house and get married before time runs out!

Second bit of news, which was all new to me, was that instead of couples discussing possible nonimation options with their recuiter, ‘choosing’ three in order of preference and taking it from there, what will happen now is the following:

1. your recruiter will compile a file, our recruiter referred to it as a LongBioData, with the skills, departure availability and supporting background information of you and your partner
2. this file will be sent to placement officers
3. these supposed placement officers match your skills with existing programs or newly created ones
4. when a match is made, the placement officer will alert your recruiter, who will in turn contact you with news of your nomination
5. if you match is made, you and your partner will have to wait until the following quarter (3 months later) to repeat steps 3 & 4

After our interview, our recruiter told us that he would contact us in August to discuss possible nominations. Instead he contacted us to say that we didn’t qualify for anything straight away after taking a peak at the programs, but was sending out file compilations off to placement to be reviewed and matched. Apparently they should be getting back him in a week or two.

In a week or two we’ll see how this new streamlining process is working out. We may even get a nomination out of it!

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Last night I dreamt that our recruiter had called us to offer us a nomination for Cape Verde in July. Another couple had turned down their offer, so it was ours to take. It was so real, I believed it was happening all the way up until I woke up in the darkness of my room and not Cape Verde getting harrassed by locals. I had woken up during the dream, which is why I thought it was real.

I love dreams like that. I must admit I was losing hope about getting nominated for something, just because November is a long ways away to wait for the possibility of getting nominated. I had to check my email as soon as I was showered and dressed. I served myself a bowl of cereal and sat down to see if by any chance our recruiter has written us. Tuesdays are good email days here because it is Monday evening in America and emails have been sent and waiting in my inbox while I slept throughout the night. To my surprise there was an email from our recruiter, it read: Update. I went crazy fro 2 whole seconds thinking about what this update could be. I read it and it was just to inform us that he had sent in our LongBioData form to the placement office and from what he understands us, along with all other couples around the world are eligible to be allocated into programs which already exist or will be created. This LongBioData ordeal seems to be an attempt to ‘streamline’ the couple’s application process, as this is something new. Does this mean that programs are already out and we just have to wait or what? He said placement will be getting back to him in 1 week or 2 or else we’d have to wait for the next quarter. I’m assuming this ‘next quarter’ means the one we are already waiting for.

I really don’t see why couple’s can only be nominated quarterly when everyone else is getting nominated right and left and sometimes right away. Surely they must know what’s out there. Who knows.

I think with the combination of programs we qualify for, something good must come along. I basically qualify for 3 TEFL/training progams and Will qualifies for 3 additional programs. That’s got to get us somewhere. It just has to. I’m sure we won’t be going to Latin America, that’s for sure. Most likely not Africa, as I don’t think they teach English in non-francophone Africa. Maybe Eastern Europe, Central Asia or Asia. Or even…Cabo Verde.

It’s all to do with good karma.

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