President Obama talked about National service today. Even though he was talking about the domestic program, AmeriCorps, his words about volunteerism were, once again, inspiring.
This is an exciting time to be entering National service. Toward the end of my own Peace Corps assignment, the Corps will be entering its 50th year. I predict it will be greatly expanded between now and then. I also have to say, since the Peace Corps is part of the State Department, it’s fair to say when I’m a Volunteer, it’ll be Hillary Clinton who is the boss of my boss’s boss. How cool is that? I really like the idea that I’ll in some way be working for her and, of course, for Barack Obama (not to mention for America, which was my original intention back when I applied and Bush was President).
I talked to the Placement Office today and my Invitation is being sent out today or tomorrow. I’m going to be working in Small Business Development, with artisans and craftspeople! In Morocco. How exciting!
I couldn’t be happier.
I’m now officially in the Placement process. I got an email Friday from the Student Aide at the EMA Placement Unit. I have no idea what “EMA” stands for. She is requesting an updated Resume and any changes to contact info. Here’s an interesting quote from her email: “Please keep in mind that this stage in the process can be competitive as there are typically two applicants nominated for each spot available. Given this, an invitation is never guaranteed and applicants should make no plans to go overseas unless an invitation has been issued and you have spoken to headquarters staff to accept your invitation. “
Two applicants for each spot available. Hmm… That means that about half of the people who make it through the medical review do not get invited. Wow. I had no idea. Imagine going through all this and then getting passed over for an invitation.
I’m not too worried about my own case, though. Where age was a bigger hurdle during medical review, I think it’ll work in my favor in the Placement process. My volunteer work, teaching film and digital arts to middle-school kids, should also give me an edge in the case of the particular nomination I received. So I am optimistic.
I received news this morning that my medical review is complete. She said a letter will be going out today. Woo-hoo! I’m so relieved!
The next step is Placement. Anybody know how long THAT takes?
Hopefully my doctors have faxed the necessary letters to the OMS by now. This stage is a test of patience. I (my health-care providers) have submitted the final documents (knock-on-wood) and now I must wait. If I don’t hear tomorrow, I will call them, but they should have all the items by now, so it is up to them and I’m sure I’ll know very soon.
I got a call from the medical review office today. It seems the information sent to them by my doctors is not enough for them to decide whether and where I can serve. This process is dragging out to the point of excruciation (is that a word? if not, it should be)! So now I need to ask one of my health care providers to call the medical office and speak to the nurse. Actually, the nurse asked me to have the doctor’s office release the entire file to them, but I think that would mean faxing pages and pages. So I’m going to ask my doctor to call their office directly. I hope this is the right thing to do. I just want this phase of the application process to be OVER.
(This is for the “non-routine” part of the new information.)
I have 2 more documents to provide to the medical review, one of which is pretty routine. The other is a little more worrisome, but still manageable. On Monday I see the doctor that I will beg to do the latter of the two. She is a very kind person and she will do it thoroughly and well. The routine bit I’ll take care of a day or two later. After that, if they are going to pass me, it will happen quickly. Since all my other hurdles are cleared, I could know as soon as the end of the week. I’m very hopeful now.
Medical office called me this morning. My deferral is gone! I’m back on track, though I still have a few more documents to send them. It remains to be seen whether anything on those documents will result in another deferral or any denial or restrictions, but at least I’m in the running again.
I mailed the forms to Washington on Feb. 22. However, because the 60-day deadline was approaching and I hadn’t heard anything back, I called yesterday and spoke to the medical screener. She said they’d never received the pages and told me to fax them. She also said since she’d spoken to me, she’d consider my request for review to be filed. True to her word: this morning I was notified there was a change to my status. I’m back in the review process!
I have a few more medical forms to get to her, but things are back in motion. It’s nice to see that red exclamation point is no longer on my status page.
I’m progressing toward my re-review request. I have seen a specialist and gotten his ringing endorsement of my fitness for service. I now have to write a letter and a list of my current medications (unchanged since the last list). I need one more document: I need to call another specialist and get a few more forms filled out. But I have the most critical document.
I guess my 30-day goal may not quite happen.