So for months, pretty much since April, I have been taking a deep breath every time an unknown number comes across my cell phone’s caller ID and then October 27, 2009 without even looking at who was calling I answer my phone only to be greeted by the Peace Corps! I immediately feel sick to my stomach and my hands start to shake uncontrollably. I can’t be for sure, because I was so nervous and my memory from that phone call is very foggy, but I think that I talked to a woman named Shelly who asked me a few questions about how I would handle stress if I can’t go for runs during my volunteer services as exercise is my go to stress reliever. My nerves kept me from actually knowing what I was talking about, but whatever I said seemed to make her happy.
After our conversation she said that I needed to keep an eye on my e-mail as something would be sent “shortly”. This “shortly” that she was speaking of had me checking my e-mail every 2 minutes for the rest of the day to no prevail. I knew what would be in this e-mail. I knew that it was going to tell me that my invitation is on the way…maybe just maybe this e-mail would tell me where I was going. That Tuesday no e-mail comes, but on Wednesday morning when I check my e-mail my suspicions were confirmed…INVITATION KIT HAS BEEN MAILED!
On Monday November 7, 2009 a huge Peace Corps envelope is sitting, waiting patiently in between my door and screen door when I arrive home on my lunch break. All of the feelings that I now associate with Peace Corps come back (queasy stomach and shaking hands) I rip the packet open with an excitement that I have never experienced before! I first thing I read is…
Congratulations! It is with great pleasure that we invite you to begin training in Zambia for Peace Corps service. You will be joining thousands of Americans who are building stronger communities around the world. This call to action gives you the opportunity to learn new skills and find the best in yourself.
I let out a little squeal and then immediately I call my dad because I can pretty much guarantee that he will answer. He does because he is hauling cows with my brother and Grandpa (3 birds with 1 stone). I tell him the good news. He is as excited as a father can be about sending his only daughter off to a country he knows nothing about for 27 months, but he does a good job. I then call my mom; she has pretty much the same reaction as my father.
For dinner that night I went over to the couple’s house that really cultivated my interest in the Peace Corps. Both Dale and Elaine served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa when the Peace Corps was a very new program. They look over my packet and commentate on all of the changes the Peace Corps has made since the two of them opened their invitation kits back in the 60s. (I don’t think that I will ever be able to fully express to these two how much, together, the two of them have influenced my life. The love and excitement they had for me that night is something that I will be forever grateful for!)
I officially called and accepted my invitation on November 9, 2009. The next step includes me creating a Peace Corps resume, an aspiration statement as well as completing my passport and work visa applications and getting them in the mail. As tomorrow is Veteran’s Day and I have the day off I am planning on completing all of that tomorrow. It will be a full day, but one that I am thankful finally came.
I am not an adventurer by choice, but by fate. –Vincent Van Gogh