Friday, April 16, 2010

"Hello, my name is Carly and I want to be a Peace Corps Volunteer!"

I wanted to go ahead and start our blog (as well as get on the PC Journals site) because I truly believe in speaking things into existence. If you put your hopes out there in universe, you're bound to make things happen. When we first moved to NYC all I wanted to do was get a job in book publishing. I'd meet new people all the time and my line would be, "Hello, my name is Carly and I want to work in book publishing." (and this line was used on literally EVERYONE... including the mailman)

After living in NYC--and using my line--for about 6 months, our office hired a tarot card reader for fun. I introduced myself to the tarot card reader using my well-rehearsed line and low and behold, her BFF worked in book publishing! I finally had a contact! 5 months later I was working in book publishing.

So... after 10 months of reading other applicants' and volunteers' (PCVs') blogs, it's time for the Wilkins to contribute.

Again, we're nominated to serve in C/S America leaving early February 2011. Couples nominations occur on a quarterly basis--slightly different from single placements--but I'd love to hear from anyone else that was nominated for this region. Since I practically stalk the Peace Corps Wiki for new staging updates, I have a list of countries that have had February stagings in our region in previous years:

-El Salvador

Any of these would be incredible!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Life called. We picked up the phone... but we're still on hold.

How it all started...

June 25, 2009:
After hearing the tragic news of Michael Jackson's death while at work, we headed out to Blue Ribbon in Park Slope to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. We hoped we could locate a cab with a CD player so we could blast the King of Pop's Greatest Hits History (Vol. 1), but alas, we are avid public transit riders and were unaware of the fact that cabs don't have CD players. Lame.

Once seated at Blue Ribbon, we attempted to play the CD for all restaurant patrons so they would be tempted not to stop until they got enough. Unfortunately the fancy-schmancy restaurant didn't have a CD player either and piped in their ambiance via satellite. We are so outdated.

After an amazing meal, and gazing into eachother's eyes (of course), we started to discuss our life plan. For months we had been toying with the idea of leaving NYC--only we had no idea where we wanted to end up. We both want to have kids... some day... but weren't entirely sure if that should be factored into the plan just yet. We really liked the idea of living overseas (even if just for a short while), and possibly teaching English to non-native speakers. We were pretty sure our professional jobs were not a right fit, well at least not a permanent one. We also tossed around the idea of volunteering and possibly joining the Peace Corps as a couple.

Ultimately we decided to investigate the Peace Corps option a bit further and purchased the book THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO THE PEACE CORPS: WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO by Dillon Banerjee. We were sold. This sounded like such a perfect fit for both of us, as individuals that truly want to participate in something bigger, as well as a motivated couple in search of the next challenge in our lives.

Picking up and moving from VA to NYC approximately 5 1/2 years ago was a big step. We conquered that challenge. Heck, we ROCKED IT.

We are ready to take the next step. After toiling over the application process for MONTHS (yes, literally... see "Peace Corps Applicant Timeline") we hit "submit." We received legal packets, went to the NYPD Precincts to get fingerprinted (crappy experience) and returned all of the requested information. We had secured recommendations from amazing friends and coworkers and were ready to make contact with a HUMAN. We finally received an email from our Peace Corps Recruiter (who also happened to win an episode of Jeopardy---impressive, right?) while we were visiting the Peutherers in Australia.

And... to bring you up to date (you can read the nitty gritty details in the "Timeline")... we have been NOMINATED to serve in Central or South America for just over a month now, we are neck-deep in the RIDICULOUS medical process and (just like every other nominee) wish we had an invite to leave TOMORROW! Unfortunately since we're not slated to leave until early February 2011, we don't anticipate receiving an official invitation until October-ish (of course, this is all contingent on medical and legal clearances). Hence the title of this post.

One of the Peace Corps' taglines is "Life is calling. How far will you go?"... we answered the call and we will go as far as this experience is willing to take us. Yes, we said we preferred Central or South America on our applications, but to be perfectly honest, ANY country or region in the world is exciting. Thanks to everyone (anyone???) who reads this blog, thinks a happy thought or has shown us support throughout this process. And just like Michael Jackson, we promise not to stop until we get enough!