Following protocol:

Obligatory DISCLAIMER: The contents of this Web Log are solely mine and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My application time line - updated as of 04/11/2011

Okay, I have been as anxious as it appears everyone else is about this process. Perhaps I am even a little more anxious because I have not found much information from others in my age range (I retired at 66)  My own experience in applying, to date, does not seem much different from that of most of the blogs/journals I have looked at. However, just so the next person will have the advantage of one more applicant's experiences to look at, I am submitting my time line in this entry.

Here is my Time Line:

- 4/27/2010 On-Line Application submitted.

- Followed-up with references and transcripts during the next five weeks (One reference seemed to need a reminder and I had undergrad, grad and post-grad transcripts to get mailed).

- 6/16/2010 Interviewed with PC Recruiter. Received verbal nomination.

- 6/22/2010 Received written Nomination for Eastern Europe, but it was not what we had discussed upon during the interview. I e-mailed a question of clarification to the recruiter.

- 6/25/2010 Received a written (correct) Nomination for Youth Development Programs in Central / South America / Eastern Caribbean.

- Completed Medical/Dental/Vision appointments, including blood tests and several immunizations throughout month of July.

- 8/2/2010 Submitted all Medical/Dental/Vision paperwork.

- 8/6/2010 According to my PC Tool Kit, all medical/Dental/Vision paperwork was received in PC Headquarters in Washington, DC).

- 8/20/2010, my Dental review is completed and approved. I am still awaiting Medical & Vision review and approval. There is also a Legal HOLD(yep, in bold red capital letters) on my review status (!).

- I called the PC 800 # and sought the Legal Office and was given a very pleasant and reassuring explanation that everything was within standard procedure and there might be a few questions about how I am planning to take care of my financial obligation in the future (I have a mortgage on my house), but all I had to do was wait until contacted. I could not get any clarification on the expected wait time, but I was given acceptable reassurance that everything in my file appears in order and the process is moving along per protocol.

So, as of 8/20/2010, I now join the ranks of those of you who are somewhere in the same process.

I hope that this adds to whatever help someone might be gaining by scouring these blogs / journals and I will gladly accept any comments / suggestions / information anyone wishes to share in this endeavor. I will attempt to maintain this up-to-date as things progress,

- 11/1/2010 Phone call from Gayle (Nurse Reviewer) - asking for me to have my doctor's office fax a copy of a lab report to her to back up the doctor's written lab value on my medical summary. Additionally, she informed me that she will (snail) mail a document that must be completed regarding an audiology exam from last spring (2010).

- 11/11/2010 Have not received any Form from PC, so an e-mail was sent informing the nurse reviewer of this.

- 11/13/2010 (Late Saturday) Received a phone call from the local U.S.P.S. office informing me that they have just discovered a bin with considerable mail that had not been delivered to me. I went immediately to that office and found a stack of mail addressed to me, including the Form I have been waiting to complete.

- 11/15/2010 (Early Monday) Called and visited my audiologist's office to ask their help in completing the Form. Needed to make appointments for an updated eval & yet another test.

- 11/16/2010 Received an e-mail (posted at 5:09AM today) stating that my PC Toolkit has been updated. Opened my Toolkit to find a HOLD on my medical review pending further information necessary for a final determination. Well, this is obvious after the previous direct contacts from the nurse reviewer. I have appointments scheduled today and tomorrow to hopefully resolve this matter. The previous legal HOLD is still there and the nurse reviewer had told me three weeks ago that it was likely just a "routine" hold pending complete medical review and might be removed when the medical information was complete.

- 11/17/2010 Obtained audiology exam and mailed documentation to OMS (certified w/return receipt, of course).

- 11/29/2010 Checked the tracking number of the audiology report on the USPS web site and learned that it has arrived at the Washington, DC central post office this morning. WHAT? It isn't in the hands of the PC nurse reviewer yet, or even in the PC offices?

- 11/20/2010 Checked my email and there is a message from PC stating that my Application Status account (PC Toolkit) has been updated. Opened my PC Toolkit and see that the Medical Hold has been removed and that PC is currently reviewing my medical documentation. Progress! BUT, there is still the original Legal Hold right there in red letters. More waiting appears to be in order.

- 12/01/2010 PC Toolkit updated with "Medical review complete. Look for a letter in the mail." An email to my nurse reviewer was answered with confirmation that I am medically cleared.

- 12/02/2010 An unsolicited email message was received from my nurse reviewer informing me that she has learned that I am "up for next week review."

- 12/03/2010 Toolkit updated. The Legal HOLD has been removed and the Status header states that my "File is currently under consideration."
- Later that same day I received (USPS) mail from OMS stating I "have been medically qualified for service and the Office for Placement notiified."

- 12/06/2010 Received email from Placement & Assessment Assistanct. She just discovered that while two of my three referrals were "excellent", one was incomplete. It was the one from my most recent employer. Apparently, PC insists that EVERY section of their referral form have something in it. In this case, my former boss had not made a comment in every section available for comments. I sent an email immediately requesting that my former boss help by completing that referral.

- 12/08/2010 The P & A Assistant sent an email stating that she had received the completed referral form. Everything in my file is now complete and satisfactory. She is sending my file on to a Placement Officer. She informed me that I should expect to hear from a Placement Officer "within several weeks, if not sooner."

- 12/17/2010 email inquiry sent to P&A Assistant regarding clarification as to how long the process might take. Response same day reminding me that “this is a long process, and your patience during it is not only appreciated, but indicative of your future success as a volunteer. “ I was told that I will be contacted as soon as the Placement Officer is able to get to my file.

- 02/08/2011 & 02/09/2011 I met with my recruiter during and after PC information sessions being held on campus at a nearby university. I was assured that I am cleared for service and that I just have to wait to hear from a Placement Officer. I also received an email from my medical review nurse at about this same time reassuring me that my file is in process and I just have to wait until I hear from a Placement officer.

- 02/27/2011 As of this date, eleven (11 weeks!)weeks have passed without a word from the PC Placement Office.

- 03/04/2011 Found interesting statement in a PC catalog (refer to posting on 3/4/2011) and wrote to my recruiter about it. Received a response within an hour(refer to posting on 3/6/2011). Summary - PC didn't get my paperwork done in time to invite me in time for the target date for my program. Recruiter suggested I contact placement office for my program. Sent email to community & youth Development placement office on 3/4/2011 (Friday afternoon).

- 03/30/2011 No further contact from the PC as of this date.

- 03/31/2011 Sent email to (second) P & A Assistant inquiring into progress of my file and asking for clarification of what my tentative departure date might be at this point.

- 04/04/2011 Received phone call from a Placement Specialist for a final interview. At the end of the session which lasted a bit more than an hour, I was told that I would be qualified for service and an invitation would be mailed to me. The only information that was given over the phone was that departure will be in September and I will be assigned to NGOs for community and youth development in an eastern European country.

- 04/05/2011 PC Toolkit has been updated to state that I have been invited to serve.

- 04/06/2011 BBP arrives on my doorstep! Macedonia - September, 2011 to November, 2013

- 04/08/2011 I submit a formal (written) acceptance of my invitation and receive in return an e-mail message congratulating and welcoming me along with two pages of instructions to follow.

- 04/11/2011 I submit my Aspiration Statement and my Resume to the Macedonia Country Desk at PC per pre-staging instructions received on 4/8.


  1. Awesome! Your blog is going to be especially helpful to people who want to volunteer after retiring.

  2. Congratulations on your progress so far. I'll be turning 60 during training in Samoa in October and it's nice to hear about another "mature" applicant. I started the process in November 2009 and it did seem to take forever. The Peace Corps website showed a legal hold for me, even after I received a call to say my invitation was in the mail. So, hang in there!

  3. Crystal - - - Your comments are encouraging. Thanks!

    Nancy - - - I also appreciate your feedback. I hope I hear from others in our age range. I had discussed Samoa with my recruiter because in my research I found that PC has a program for Autism in Samoa and that is a strong element of my background. Alas, my recruiter redirected the discussion twice, so I decided not to press the matter. Perhaps the review of my file by the Placement Specialist will result in a consideration for Samoa. Regardless, good luck to you in your assignment. Thanks for the comments.

  4. Interesting to hear of others waiting in my age range. My med papers arrived in DC in May and cleared dental first of June and assigned a nurse June 10th. Thursday Aug 19th I understand my med papers are now being reviewed. I was nominated for the S Pacific but they leave first week or two of Oct.
    Still have to rent my house. Flexibility,patience are all it takes.

  5. You are an inspiration! I love that you are doing something you have wanted to do for so long. Too many people set goals and dreams and then get side tracked and never accomplish them. I think it's wonderful that you are pursuing this after so many years. You are also incredibly lucky to have such an amazing wife who is supportive of this endeavor. I look forward to seeing how things progress for you :)

    As for me, I'm hoping for an invite call tomorrow. Fingers crossed!


  6. Thanks Palew for writing your story and adding a comment on my post - and I hope to keep writing based on internet access in Azerbaijan. I suspect there are other older Americans who'd serve but for grandchildren.

    It's my observation that PC really works on your application about 3-4 months prior to your date of availability. PC legal Hold may be related to your wife's agreement plus how you'll handle any debts/mortgage.

    My story: taking a bus back and forth from jury duty in Minneapolis Jan 2009 and seeing a PC ad at every bus shelter which read: You'll never have to start a sentence again with "I should've . . ." Totally spoke to me for all the years I've thought of applying. I tear up seeing Peace Corps/JFK video.

    Best wishes to you and all PC retirees! We can do this!

  7. Thanks Peggy.
    I believe that you nailed the Legal Hold - - - but my wife and I have each submitted notarized statements addressing the issues related to me SWOS (Serving Without Spouse) as well as submitting separate statements addressing our coverage of our financial obligations, which is only our mortgage - - - our cars (5 and 14 years old have been paid off long ago).
    I,too, never want to arrive at a time when I will wish "If only I had . . . " My wife is of the same mind, but being a couple of years younger, she hopes to work a little longer toward retirement. She is my strongest supporter. We had originally intended to apply when we got married, but that was BC (before Children). Now, she hopes I will want to go a second time and then we will each be SWS (Serving With Spouse).
    I hope to follow your blog and wish you the best fortune in your endeavor.

  8. Awwwww! Still nothing? That is a really long process and I can totally relate to the frustration of waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting to get started on your dream. I did notice in the federal report published in 2008 that folks over 50 have a significantly longer process, but yours sounds intense!

  9. Thanks Serah!

    Your blog is extremely well done and something I would hope that a lot of applicants read & heed.

    I am extremely appreciative of your comment about what you found in the Federal Report. I had been wondering what was going on in view of the PC's claim that they are "actively recruiting" older applicants, yet my timeline is oh, soooo much longer than some applicants who have not yet completed their undergraduate studies in the same field as mine.

    I am going to wait until the end of the fourth week since the last contact from Placement and then send another e-mail. I am now officially past my nominated departure date.

    Oh, well. I have waited 50 years to get this far in my desire to serve in the Peace Corps. I suppose a little longer is but a brief moment in comparison.