Sarah's Peace Corps Page
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My experiences with Peace Corps, from application to invitation and beyond!
Although I didn't start this page until a few weeks before my departure date, I would like to explore all of the steps I took that got me where I am.

To see the timeline of Peace Corps go here.

  Application Process: In August of 2000 I was beginning to really think about what I wanted to do after graduation. I decided to look more into the Peace Corps and what it had to offer. Thankfully there was a recruiter at my university and Larry was incredible. Even though I visited him about 40 times in one month he was always helpful and willing to talk about his experiences with Peace Corps. All in all the application took me about 6 weeks. I have every reough draft of my application, and I can't count how many times I revised it!! I also chose people who truly knew me to write my recommendation letters. I didn't have someone from a volunteer organization like they prefer, but I chose instead to have one of my old high school teachers write one. He was my mentor and a very close friend. I tell him all the time he is my pseudo-father. I also chose my old boss, and my boyfriend's mother (who is like my second mom) to write the personal recommendation. These three people knew me the best and I thought they would be the best people to represent me. Thankfully I wasn't wrong!!

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." - JFK, 1961

The Peace Corps has three goals: 1) To provide volunteers who contribute to the social and economic development of interested countries; 2) To promote a better understanding of Americans
among the people whom volunteers serve; and 3) To strengthen Americans' understanding about the world and its peoples".
  My Invitation: Now, I'm not sure if this is the case throughout P.C. but my invitation came a few weeks early. And it was to Mongolia. I know, I're saying - you aren't going to Mongolia, you're going to Bulgaria. This is because Mongolia holds the coldest capital in the world. I'm from Arizona. For those of you that haven't experienced an Arizona summer don't fully understand. However, for those of you who have, please note that I have been here for approximately 20 years! During that time I'm sorry to say that my blood has thinned just a bit. I had a difficult time deciding whether or not to accept this invitation. I did a lot of research and even talked to a woman who grew up there. In the end I chose to decline my invitation. That was the hardest thing to do. I wasn't sure if that would make me look unflexible or unadaptable but I just didn't want my experience with Peace Corps to consist of 2 months of -50 degree weather before I decided I couldn't hack it in my tent. I didn't want to leave before my assignment was up, and I just wasn't sure I could survive such extreme cold. I knew that I would probably experience snow regardless of where I went, however this was just too much. All in all, my placement officer was pretty cool, except that it took forever from that point on to get a new assignment - literally. I waited until the middle of April to find out. I'm sure that the rest of my group knew well in advance. But, the assignment was emailed to me, and as soon as I poured through the 20+ pages of information, I immediately emailed back that I accepted! I was so completely happy and excited about Bulgaria. What a great place to go. This is such an incredible time in this country's history, and to be a part of something would be spectacular.

The Peace Corps was the idea of our nation's 35th president, John F. Kennedy (1961-63). In October, 1960, during a campaign speech late one night at the University of Michigan, Kennedy talked about his dream for a "Peace Corps" of young people that would be dedicated to the cause of peace and development across the world.