pushing paper

Apparently, 10% of Peace Corps candidates are ultimately declined on medical grounds.

I made the rookie mistake to be generously forthcoming about any and all medical background, which, to be honest, was a stupid idea. Save for a serious allergic reaction to Brazilian nuts, I have never had an issue traveling or living in any of the 20-some-odd countries I’ve stepped foot in. I understand PC’s care in selecting and placing volunteers, and I am thankful for it.

Future applicants: consider the cost — and I do mean monetary value — of telling them EVERYthing. Because they will insist that a physician accounts for EVERYthing.
That’s where I am now. PC gives you 60 days to complete these medical examinations, whether you are the paragon of perfection or have had multiple surgeries! I’m arranging visits to specialists I haven’t seen in 8 years for an illness I haven’t experienced in…well…8 years. My specialist is booked three months ahead. It would be nice if PC could move applicants’ due dates according to one’s specific number of tasks, but that wound disrupt the well-oiled machine that is bureaucracy.

There are also some smaller non-medical, administrative tasks that they ask candidates to do: press release, insurance, background checks…

I have a regular passport, and I’ve heard of a diplomatic passport, but I hadn’t heard of an “official” passport. But as a PCV, I am on official US government business, so I cannot use my regular passport and must apply for an “official” passport. The DOS website says….

An official passport is issued to an employee or official of the U.S. Government traveling abroad to carry out official duties….The official passport is issued for a validity of 5 years, cannot be used for leisure travel and must be returned when official duty ends as part of the checkout process.

So there you have it. Actually, it’s good that I get another passport. My regular one was filling up fast. That said, I would only use it for “official” travel, so I’ll likely only get four stamps in the thing, anyway.

Thankfully, CPCC has ended for the semester and we don’t go back to work until the 12th of January or something like that, so I can focus on all these visits!