Rainbows of the Week: Give Peace a Chance

This week I completed my application for the Peace Corps. Yes, the Peace Corps. And no, I’m not crazy. It may not be the typical career path to transition from corporate lawyer to English teacher in South America, Africa or wherever they send me. But for reasons that make perfect sense to me — and it’s what we think of ourselves that really matters, after all — it’s a solid step forward on the path of pursuing my highest and best purpose in life.

I couldn’t have done this without the people who agreed to provide my recommendations: my current boss, my supervisor at Open Books (where I volunteer), and a good friend who’s a lawyer in the same industry as me, and who – I discovered when I asked her to provide a recommendation – is also considering applying for the Peace Corps! And I wouldn’t have done it without the information and inspiration gleaned from people who are currently serving in the Peace Corps and blogging about their experience, including the guy in Oro Ombo, the couple in Ecuador, and the woman in Lesotho.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all of these people. The next stage is the screening process, which takes about a year to complete before I know where (hopefully) I’ll be assigned as a Peace Corps volunteer. So I’ll be around for a while yet.

My Peace Corps assignment for tonight: review and complete the “romantic involvement questionnaire.” I’m sure that’s just the first of many new and interesting Peace Corps tasks that I’ve never been asked to do in my career as a lawyer….

10 thoughts on “Rainbows of the Week: Give Peace a Chance

  1. I am so glad that my posts inspired you. Good luck with your application and let me know if you need any advice.

  2. Thank you so much, Heather! I’m sure I’ll be in touch with you as things progress. I have a Peace Corps event here in Chicago tonight, which will be my first in-person contact with my recruiter. I hope things are going well with you in Lesotho. 🙂

  3. Congrats on sending in the Peace Corps application! The process isn’t an easy one but it’s worth it! Thanks for the mention – message me if you want to chat over Skype sometime. We can definitely give you loads of advice. Take care, Mari

    • So nice to hear from you, Mari! I’m sure I’ll follow up on your offer of advice. I hope to wind up in South America, like you. Went to a Peace Corps event tonight and heard 5 people speak about their experiences in a wide variety of countries and settings (from Fiji to Kazakhstan). It was great! Peace Corps volunteers are fantastic people. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement! From what I heard at the Peace Corps event this evening, I can expect to have time to write. Having electricity and internet access for blogging is another question. But I really hope that (a) I get an invitation to serve in Peace Corps, and (b) I can blog during the 27-month period abroad.

  4. From the guy in Oro Ombo, congratulations on your decision! I’m still early into it, but I’m happy I pulled the trigger. Keep us updated with your progress and if you have any questions, let me know. Good luck!

  5. Hi! Thank you so much for the note. The RPCVs who spoke the other night all said the “early into it” stage is the toughest (learning the language and adjusting), and the second year it feels like home. So it’s good to hear that even in the tougher stage, you’re happy with your decision. I’ll definitely be in touch!

  6. This is very exciting Lisa! An attorney who volunteers at naturalization clinics with me did this several years ago — left her partner position at a general law practice and went to South America for a few years as a Peace Corps volunteer. It was an excellent experience for her. I hope the applications process goes well. Keep us all posted, please.

    • Thanks, Karlie! I’m finding people are either very supportive (like you) or they think I’m bonkers. Someone at work actually tried to convince me that Peace Corps is corrupt. Of course, when I leave, she’ll have to pick up a lot of my work. Maybe that has something to do with it…. Anyway, I sent in all of my paperwork (transcripts, etc.) this week. Next is an interview with my recruiter. I will keep you posted!

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