Since you last applied for Peace Corps, the medical clearance process has changed significantly. First, applicants no longer receive paper packets in the mail— everything will be conducted through this medical portal. Second, the order of events is slightly different. After being nominated, applicants first go through a preliminary medical screening (Medical Pre-Clearance), and then they are reviewed by the Placement Office for their Invitation. If an applicant receives and accepts an Invitation, their last step is to complete their Final Medical Clearance.
Some applicants with simpler health histories do not have any forms to complete for their Medical Pre-Clearance, so their files move directly to the Placement Office after they are nominated. This is the category that you fall into. At this point, your application has progressed to the Placement Office, and once you accept an Invitation, you will complete your Final Medical Review. You will know to check this portal for your medical tasks because the change in your application status will trigger an automated email to be sent to you. If you have any other questions about the new medical review process, please write again.
Pre-Service Administrative Team
I’m at stage five or six!
January 1, 2013: Submitted my new Peace Corps application.
January 2, 2013: Immediately received an email directing me to the Peace Corps medical portal, where I would need to fill out my medical information.
January 3, 2013: Returning to the medical portal, I submitted my medical information.
January 17, 2013: The first of my references was submitted.
February 14, 2013: Received an email from Peace Corps informing me that my references had been received, but that my peer reference needed to be from a PCV. Additionally, they needed my unofficial transcript from College of the Atlantic to include my GPA- they asked for me to supply these materials within the next ten days.
February 24, 2013: All files were submitted.
March 7, 2013: Contacted via email and told I would be getting contacted by an interviewer soon.
March 11, 2013: Set up interview for Boston on the 21st.
March 21, 2013: Had interview in Boston. My interviewer told me it’d be a week or so before I heard either way.
March 22, 2013: Peace Corps updated my status to “interviewed”.
In two days it will have been a year since I left Rwanda, and it took me that long to finish updating my blog to chronicle my experiences. To be perfectly honest, it was a really surreal experience, going back and typing up my old hand-written entries. I remember every detail so vividly- including details, moments, and scenes that I did not elect to write about. It has been a swirling blend of memory, nostalgia; joy and pain. Reliving the happy times was one matter, reliving the end was much more difficult.
Reading over all of my old experiences, I have been reflecting on my service, and while I feel like my service was successful and impactful, I feel like I could have done more. I could have been a more effective PCV, and being robbed of my second year took away my chance to prove that. I had been meeting with other teachers, gaining support for the secondary projects I wanted to begin, and was just getting started with the Judges program… there was energy and vision building, but my departure got in the way.
Since my COS, I have begun graduate studies at College of the Atlantic, where I am focusing on African Studies and Education. In the two terms I have already undertaken, I have learned a lot more about education and techniques for implementing it within a developing country context. I have also recently given a Third Goal presentation to interested people within my college’s community (during Peace Corps Week 2013), in which I talked about some of the triumphs and challenges of teaching in post-genocide Rwanda. I have grown a lot since my service, and I feel that I could be a better PCV if I should serve again. And you know what? I’m going to apply again- my intentions and goals have not changed, and I know I could be a great PCV if I was given another chance to serve. I want a chance to prove myself, and a chance to wage peace in a foreign land. I want to experience the toughest job I’ll ever love [one more time].
Views from Kagogo