Although I have received both verbal and electronic correspondence about my invitation, I’m still waiting for the paper copy to arrive in the mail. This is the official assignment, outlining details on the program including the country of service.
Last week I spoke on the phone with a placement officer. She asked me a few questions and extended an invitation to a new program. To be clear, I was originally nominated for a program in the North Africa/Middle East region, but due to a lengthy medical clearance process, the deadline for that program passed. I think it worked out for the best – with this program I will be in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on projects that deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It aligns well with my past volunteer experience in undergrad when I spent 5 weeks in South Africa, helping at an AIDS orphan care center. As my first real cross-cultural learning, this sparked my interest in Peace Corps.
I have indicated to Peace Corps my flexibility in location, though I couldn’t be happier about heading back to Africa. HIV is the greatest health threat of our generation and populations in Africa have infection rates that dwarf those of anywhere else in the world. It’s a cause close to my heart.
I’m full of reflection today. New challenges often bring that about, along with new questions. Where will I be going? Only time (and the postman) will tell.