As many of you know, I had a dream to go to medical school after college. I have worked towards this goal for multiple years and applied to start med school in fall of 2013. Unfortunately I did not get accepted and decided to wait a year and apply again the following cycle. However, God had different plans for me. As I was waiting for interview invitations, God asked me to do something crazy: give up medical school to Him. Medical school preparations had consumed my life, everything I did had to make me more competitive for admission. I talked with God for a long time and tried to bargain with Him. I told Him that I have nothing to look forward to if I don’t go to medical school, but He was pretty clear. Finally, after hours of contemplation, I trusted my life into God’s hands. I felt relived and free. For a week I had no idea what would happen in the future.
On November 19, 2013 I got an e-mail from Peace Corps (PC) reminding me that a while ago I had created an account with them. The e-mail also stated that if I submit my application before December 1, I can potentially begin service by Fall 2014. I never seriously considered PC and created the account out of curiosity. However when I received this e-mail, my heart started beating faster and I logged back into the application portal (surprisingly I still remembered my login information). That evening I prayed and asked God if PC is something that He had prepared for me. I was scared and didn’t want to make another big plan for my life that God would later ask me to sacrifice. However, I did not hear a “NO” from God and by November 23, 2013 I submitted my application. I did not tell anyone about this because I had no idea of my odds of getting in, whether I am qualified or any other details about PC. This is what happened next:
November 23: Submitted my application, received access to medical portal, filled out medical history forms.
November 26: Received e-mail to contact my references to make sure the letters of recommendation would be submitted within 10 business days.
December 9: Received e-mail to schedule my PC interview.
December 13: Had my interview which was held at PSU. At this point I told my sister Larisa that I applied to PC.
December 23: Received a call asking me to fill out a detailed report of my teaching/tutoring experiences.
January 31: Received an e-mail saying I was nominated for an Education program (without any details, not even region). Also same day received an e-mail that my fingerprint cards are in the mail and that I was medically pre-cleared.
February 11: Peace Corps received my fingerprint cards
February 18: Received an e-mail stating I was legally pre-cleared.
February 20: Received an e-mail from my recruiter asking if I would like to be considered for an earlier departure to teach in a secondary school in either science or math subjects. Was given a week to decide if I wanted to be considered. Immediately said I would want to be considered and that I did not have a teaching preference.
February 26: GOT INVITED TO SERVE IN TANZANIA. Primary assignment - Secondary School Mathematics Teacher! Staging - July 7, 2014. Went crazy from fear and excitement! That same night I told my parents that I applied to PC and got invited. (Staging is sort of an orientation that is held in a US city where we meet fellow volunteers and then travel together to the county of service).
February 28: Accepted my invitation! That same day received several e-mails with new portal to fill out legal paperwork. Another portal for medical paperwork. Then came two months of doctor appointments; dentist appointments; positive TB test; more doctor appointments; more x-rays and more dentist appointments.
April 25: Received an e-mail stating that I got my final medical clearance.
June 6: Got my “Staging Instructions” email and directions to book my flight. Found out my departure date will be 2 days earlier than I planned.
July 5: Scheduled Departure from home.
Now, that I have exact date and time of my departure, things are starting to become scary real. I still have things to purchase and paperwork to take care of. I am now making my final rounds of coffee dates with friends and wait with fear and excitement for this next stage of my life!