Well, it looks like I can already begin to answer some of the questions I posed just last week. I have now been officially nominated to Business Development in Francophone Sub-Sahara Africa leaving July 2010!
My recruiter gave me a few options for business development jobs, which included:
- Latin/South America in August 2010 if I can pass a Spanish exam.
- Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa in July 2010 if I take a French class or two.
- None of the Above – wait until November for new assignments to become available – leaving in September – December 2010.
It appears that most of the assignments were taken at the beginning of the cycle in early August and the only ones left requried prerequisite language skills. Ironically enough, a shortage of French speakers means that while I just barely don’t have enough of a Spanish background to go to a Spanish speaking country, I have enough romantic language training in Spanish to qualify for a French speaking post, though I’ve never had a day of French in my life.
The decision wasn’t easy, and I almost chose option #3 to wait and see what else would come up. But, in the end I chose option #2 because 1) I’d like to leave sooner rather than later; 2) French would be a useful language after Peace Corps; 3) It has been 8 years since my last Spanish class, and that test may be a bit tricky; 4) Volunteers often are switched from where they were nominated – so while it appears that I’m choosing a region, it could all fall apart later. So I might as well just go with what is available and stop trying to plan the un-planable.
The only issue with a July departure would be that I would finish up my service in October 2012 (since it’s 27 months total). I’m hoping to go to business school once I get back, so that would leave me with a sizable period of time to fill. But, I’ve learned that it’s possible to extend your service, or work other jobs in-country. Of course I’ll also try to get a few months of traveling in as well, so I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out something to do with the time. Either way, it sure sounds like a good problem to have!
I should be receiving my medical forms either this week or next and I’m anxious to get all of the paperwork taken care of. Even though I’ll likely have plenty of time to get everything done, I want to knock everything out as soon as possible.