Our Story

Our Story: After meeting in graduate school at UGA, we were married in 2011 in Marietta, Georgia. A year later, we joined the Peace Corps as environmental conservation volunteers and embarked on our adventure in Paraguay!

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are ours personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

June 11, 2012

uno, deux, tatu

No wedding plans are changing!
Our placement officer has informed us that our skill sets did not align with the needs of the programs in Mexico. Instead, she has offered us a few more options to consider. Each option is in a different area of the world, departs in a different month, and has a different program area, so we have a lot to think about.

Assignment 1: Protected Areas and Environmental Education
Region: Central/South America
Departure: Late September

Assignment 2: Forestry and Forestry Business
Region: French-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa
Departure: Late November

Assignment 3: Aquaculture and Aquaculture Business
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa (non-French speaking)
Departure: Early February

We automatically qualify for assignments two and three. In order to qualify for the first assignment, Ben would have to document his Spanish skill set by either:

  • Taking a course- a Spanish intensive offering a year's worth of Spanish (i.e. Spanish 101 and 102)
  • Taking a test and achieving a minimum score on one of the following:
    • On the CLEP- offered by the College Board a score of 50 or higher
    • On the ACTFL a score of Novice High

So, Ben is scrambling to learn one year of Spanish lessons in one month! We found a great website called Spanish Hour that provides daily Spanish lessons and vocabulary and grammar quizzes. The lessons are geared to the requirements of the CLEP exam and you can even take practice exams to see what you need to focus on. We will be doing lessons every night from now until July 16th, when Ben is scheduled to take the exam. If Ben scores a 50 or higher, we are guaranteed an invitation to the program!

No wedding plans are changing!

June 7, 2012

Full Speed Ahead!

After about 3.5 months, we have finally completed the Medical Review Process. Ben and I are medically qualified to serve abroad with the Peace Corps!! Here is a screenshot I took this morning from my Peace Corps "toolkit", the online program that applicants use to track their progress. While Ben still had a legal hold for his car loan, my checklist is complete! 

Additionally, Ben received this message from our Placement Officer:
"Congratulations on medical clearance! Your process is the same [as Sarah's] and yet different. If you are selected for an interview, you will both be interviewed. Sarah is the primary candidate, although they will be interested in your skill set as well. Keep in mind that it will be Sarah's skill set that gets you accepted into the program. Your role may be less well-defined or predictable- they would ensure that you had an assignment, but it may not be determined/finalized until you get to Post. The best approach for you would be to keep an open mind and be flexible to see what's needed by the Agency or community."
 We look forward to our interviews, and continue to prepare for a late August departure (just in case).

Paraguay Photos