Monday, March 28, 2011

Peace Corps invitation - Botswana

John and I have officially been invited to join the Peace Corps in Botswana with a departure date of Sept 13, 2011.  Our assignments are both related to HIV/AIDS:

  • John - School and Community Liaison for Life Skills – working with schools and teachers to promote healthy behaviors and build life skills particularly around issues of HIV/AIDS.
  • Tracy - District Community Liaison – working with District and Community based governmental organizations, improving or expanding services and building relationships to improve programming. 

It is also important to realize that our roles do not only stop at our assignments.  There are 10 core expectations for volunteers that we are prepared to follow.

Core Expectations For Peace Corps Volunteers

In working toward fulfilling the Peace Corps Mission of promoting world peace and friendship, as a trainee and Volunteer, you are expected to:

  1. Prepare your personal and professional life to make a commitment to serve abroad for a full term of 27 months
  2. Commit to improving the quality of life of the people with whom you live and work; and, in doing so, share your skills, adapt them, and learn new skills as needed
  3. Serve where the Peace Corps asks you to go, under conditions of hardship, if necessary, and with the flexibility needed for effective service
  4. Recognize that your successful and sustainable development work is based on the local trust and confidence you build by living in, and respectfully integrating yourself into, your host community and culture 
  5. Recognize that you are responsible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your personal conduct and professional performance
  6. Engage with host country partners in a spirit of cooperation, mutual learning, and respect
  7. Work within the rules and regulations of the Peace Corps and the local and national laws of the country where you serve
  8. Exercise judgment and personal responsibility to protect your health, safety, and well-being and that of others
  9. Recognize that you will be perceived, in your host country and community, as a representative of the people, cultures, values, and traditions of the United States of America
  10. Represent responsibly the people, cultures, values, and traditions of your host country and community to people in the United States both during and following your service
We are excited about our upcoming opportunity and really appreciate everyone's support and patience (as I'm sure we have talked everyone's ears off about the Peace Corps over the last several years).  It's hard to imagine we have been working on this for so long and it is finally a reality! 

Currently we are in California and are still posting to our travel blog link  We expect to be back in Louisville around the 20th of April and look forward to seeing everyone!

Monday, March 14, 2011

On the road again

We are heading west this time and would be thrilled if you want to keep up with us.  You can follow this link to find any updates while we are out west!

The direct URL for the travel blog out west is:

John and Tracy

Friday, March 11, 2011

On the final steps to joining!

We spoke with a placement specialist this morning and she confirmed a lot of the things we thought or were told earlier.  To kind of recap in case anyone doesn't know (which would be a bit surprising to me since I feel like I over-talk about it sometimes)

John will be teaching ESL to high-school kids (most likely, nothing is 100% yet)

Tracy will be doing one of three things: business education, business extension, or business development which may be out in the world, in a classroom, or some of both.

We are officially qualified for placement now and the PC folks will be looking at our skills and health needs to find a suitable program.  The next step will be the invitation which I believe will include a country of service and date of departure!  The earliest program we will be invited for seems to be leaving June 1st.  We may know as soon as the next few weeks or it could be as late as 8 weeks before the departure date.  The conversation ended with what I hope is a stock phrase and reminder rather than a close possibility: there is still a chance we won't get in based on our various country's skill needs and our medical needs.  We are keeping our finger's crossed and will post any updates here!

In other news we are heading out for our western trip on the 14th or 15th.  We will post the URL for the western blog pretty soon.