you don’t choose a life, you live one

girlwithgumption teaching english in korea, washington state, usa

As my Peace Corps service came to a close I faced one of those inevitable forks in the road. Do I pack my bags and escape once again? Or do I return to America and settle down? Faced with a really important choice I balked at the pressure of actually making a decision. You see, I’m not great at making …

stages of grief: peace corps edition

girlwithgumption peace corps senegal, washington state, usa

Stage One – Denial This stage manifests itself by volunteers insisting that they feel “fine.” They haven’t yet acknowledged that their service is over. They may still refer to themselves as a “PCV” (Peace Corps Volunteer) instead of a “RPCV” (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer). They call their village of service regularly and insist that their local language skills are not …

rosetta stone

girlwithgumption peace corps senegal, washington state, usa

I had a funny experience while completing my 40-required hours of Rosetta Stone French. Four pictures are on the screen.  The phrase c’est mon mari (this is my husband) pops on the screen.  I click on the picture of two grey haired old men—one with his arm around the other’s shoulder.  Incorrect.  Confused, I click on the same picture again.  …

my life on the d-list

girlwithgumption peace corps senegal, washington state, usa

As much as I loath my current living situation—back home, in my Mom’s basement—I  have to admit living in Skamania County for the past couple of months has been a great transition away from my fast-paced, hipster,  girl-about-town life in Seattle (ha!). First, there is absolutely nothing to do.  Seriously.  This is the place where 20-something’s come to die (or …

my timeline

girlwithgumption peace corps senegal, washington state, usa

It has been an interesting journey… October 31, 2008: Begin Peace Corps Application & send out emails for letters of recommendation. November 12, 2008: Submit Volunteer Application and Health Status Review form. November 24, 2008: Interview with campus recruiter. December 1, 2008: Travel to regional office for fingerprinting. Turn in background check paperwork and information on student loans. December 4, …

medical clearance

girlwithgumption peace corps senegal, washington state, usa

For those not familiar with the Peace Corps application process, after your pass the initial interview (or interviews in my case), you must undergo a medical evaluation (at your own expense).  For a healthy 21 year-old,  it would appear to be fairly simple process.  Apparently not.  I have been poked and prodded within an inch of life.  Here are the …