In less than three weeks I'll be on my way to the first step of Peace Corps training. It all begins with Staging, a two day orientation that takes place in the United States. We meet fellow volunteers who will be headed to our service region and after a bunch of back-to-back classes and final preparations we all board a plane and fly to Training. For three months we will study the culture and the language. In my specific country, I will be living with a local family while I train. After training we are then split up to our individual assignments. Some of us will live with families, some will have roommates, and some will live alone. For the next two years of Service, not only will we have our primary assignment to work on, but there will be numerous secondary projects to keep us busy.
For all of you planning to join the Peace Corps, start the application process as soon as possible. It WILL take a long time. If you truly want to go, be prepared to work for it. It took nearly a year between starting the application and receiving my invitation (Yes, invitation. After reviewing your application and interview, the Peace Corps will Nominate you for a position and start you on your medical paperwork but you do not get to go until you are Invited by the country). For all of you currently working on your application or going through the medical stage, hang in there. It seems overwhelming but you'll get through it.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.