Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Well, it's 10 days until the departure date, and I still haven't been medically cleared by Peace Corps. I received a call from the medical office today saying they need a letter from a specialist I saw in Atlanta before they can clear me. Unfortunately, said specialist is 1. in Atlanta and 2. not in the office until Monday. So, the soonest I could possibly be officially cleared to go is 5 days before I am actually supposed to go -- and that is if everything goes exactly right and the doctor faxes the letter over as soon as she gets back. And, being 800 miles away or so, the best I can do to expedite the process is continue to be an annoyance through the phone.

Also, in case something goes wrong with the doctor I saw, I tried to schedule an appointment with a specialist in central PA, and it turns out there aren't any in my town, or anywhere within 45 minutes or so. I guess that if things don't work out, I'll just have to try to set things up with a specialist in a nearby city. However, I don't want to deal with that unless I absolutely have to, so I'm just crossing my fingers for now that I get this letter and that is the end of it.

In any case, the whole situation is extremely frustrating. I already quit my job, and at this point I don't have health insurance. I have a vague back-up plan if Peace Corps doesn't work out -- namely living and working in PA and taking classes on the side -- but I really, really don't want to have to resort to that, particularly because I'm not entirely sure what I could scrape up for the "working" part. Also, to be perfectly honest, the embarrassment of having told people that I am re-joining Peace Corps, and then having to say "oops, just kidding -- instead of volunteer work abroad I'm just going to live at home with my parents" would just kill me.

I don't know how I could have handled things differently -- I mean, I had to quit my job at some point, if I am to go. And I really needed the time at home to take care of med school stuff and all kinds of other little things. But, it is still upsetting to think that I may have given up a decent-paying job in a city I like, and health insurance, and all of that, just to move back home.

Oh, well. If I remember correctly from last time, the whole Peace Corps clearance process is just the tiniest taste of the frustrations that one actually faces as a volunteer. So I'll just consider this a little re-introduction to life in Peace Corps. "Welcome back, Red!"

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