"Every planet has its own weird customs. About a year before we met, I spent six weeks on a moon where the principal form of recreation was juggling geese. My hand to God. Baby geese - goslings! They were juggled."

Friday, January 1, 2010


Early June 2010: Began online application.

Late June 2010: Application is complete.

7 July 2010: Second part of application arrives, including fingerprint chart.

15 July 2010: Got fingerprinted and mailed the application with USPS Priority.

21 July 2010: Phone interview.

27 July 2010: Recruiter called to asked more questions about Spanish-speaking background and vegetarianism/veganism. Emailed a standard vegetarianism form to me. I returned the form completed.

28 July 2010: Nominated for Central or South America in Protected Areas Management departing in January 2011.

30 July 2010: Medical kit mailed.

16 August 2010: Labwork tests completed in Healy, AK. Physical exam completed.

17 August 2010: Free dentist exam and xrays in Fairbanks, AK. Found problems but didn't have the time in the next four months to see me.

18 August 2010: Ophthalmologist exam in Fairbanks, AK.

19 August 2010: Returned to Healy, AK for evaluation of PPD injection.

23 August 2010: Second dentist visit for evaluation in Fairbanks, AK.

26 August 2010: First third of lab results arrive.

27 August 2010: Immunization records are finally released from Illinois to Alaska. Tetanus booster in Healy, AK.

30 August 2010: Second third of lab results arrive. Medical form is sent from Healy to Fairbanks for the overseeing physician to sign.

31 August 2010: Polio booster in Fairbanks, AK. Picked up completed medical form. Returned to dentist in Fairbanks to finish tooth repair.

1 September 2010: Final lab results arrive in Healy, AK. MAILED MEDICAL AND DENTAL FORMS IN (with confirmation).

11 September 2010: USPS notes the package was delivered to the D.C. address, but forwarded.

12 September 2010: Emailed medical representative to ask, she responds the next day reassuring me it takes a while and should be in this week.

20 September 2010: Emailed medical representative. She no longer works for the OMS. Emailed the new email address and called OMS. Got a reply back again saying it takes a while, but if nothing is updated by the end of the month I should contact them again.

22 September 2010: Arrival of medical application acknowledged; physical exam accepted, dental clearance obtained!

25 September 2010: Toolkit update at 3 a.m. - medical decision made! Wait for letter in the mail.

27 September 2010: Email from Agriculture/Environment desk congratulating me on medical clearance. Assessment and Placement Assistant emails me to ask for updated resume and experience that my recruiter said was needed. I respond with what he asked for and mentioned I was unaware she requested that; he responds back saying I was right and my file didn't actually require additional information. The medical clearance letter arrives in the mail!

1 October 2010: Emailed the Office of Placement an update to my resume.

4 October 2010: OP responds, tells me when I can check in next.

21 October 2010: Emailed OP again to check in. OP assistant emails right back assuring me all is going well. Later in the day my Placement Specialist emailed me to schedule time to talk, and I responded immediately. Minutes later, she requests I call because my phone isn't working (?!). 30-minute interview, followed by an invitation! Offered a choice between forestry in Sub-Saharan Africa and environmental education in South/Central America. I couldn't decide!

29 October 2010: Invitation to Ecuador arrives! Accepted the invitation!


  1. Hi Christina! I was wondering if you found most of your expenses to be from the medical process, and if so do you have insurance? Thats a pretty high number... hopefully one I don't have to face personally. Thanks :)

    Congrats on the invite to Ecuador, your program sounds like a blast!


  2. Hi Kelly! Just saw your comment :) Most of my expenses were definitely from the medical process, but it's inflated because I also did a lot of traveling to get to and from the doctors and dentists. It cost about $50 for each trip to Fairbanks and back. My sum is a little higher because I also needed to see a specialist about my cataract.

    If I hadn't needed dental work (it cost $1600 for a just some fillings without insurance), hadn't need to see an ophthalmologist, and didn't have to travel, my bill would have been more like $100 after Peace Corps reimbursed me $215. I went to a community clinic for my medical work, and got a free dental exam by checking this site out: http://www.usa-icd.org/projects/peace-corps/index.htm

    SO very long story short, it all depends on your situation. If you're the picture of health and have insurance, it would be fairly cheap to accomplish! :) But if not, bills might add up.

  3. Thanks for all of the info! Too bad travel was such a big factor... it makes me grateful I'm in a small city! Definitely appreciate the dental list, as it looks like there are a few near me. There are one or two things that could possibly hold me up, so I'm just preparing to get everything done quickly while it is in my hands and hope for the best.

  4. Hey Christina,

    I was just checking out your timeline, and noticed that your original nomination was for Protected Areas Management, which is what mine is for. In your final interview, did the recruiter explain why you were not getting an invite for that? Just wondering if I should expect mine to change as well...

  5. Hi Jessica,

    My placement officer first told me my original nomination was full which surprised me because of how fast I returned my application. She also said I wasn't as qualified for PAM as for other areas like environmental education and forestry. So it sounds like she just disagreed with my recruiter a little. I'm really excited for EE but I was also very excited for PAM.