The Start of Something New.

Hey friends and family! I am creating this blog in the hopes of keeping you all in the loop with my soon-to-be entirely new life in Nicaragua. And when I say ‘soon to be’, I mean in 13 days I will be boarding a flight to Nicaragua. Oh my.

When I first got the news that I had received a placement with Peace Corps in Nicaragua, it seemed that my departure date was far in the future. And now it is so close. These last few months have been crammed full of work, spending time with family and friends, going on fun adventures around the Pacific Northwest, and beginning to sort/purge/clean/pack. I feel so blessed to have gotten to spend the time I have with friends and family. Some Peace Corps nominees only get two months notice, and I got five months. Somehow, it feels both too short and yet exceedingly long.

For those who may want a refresher on how I got to this point, here is the basic story:

January 2010 = started an online Peace Corps application. Freaked out and never turned it in.

Fall 2010 = Reconsidered applying after my dear friend Kelley started the application process and shared her excitement about it.

January 2011 = Finally bit the bullet and submitted my online application.

Three days later = Got a call to come in and interview in the Peace Corps Seattle Office.

One week later = Interviewed with a recruiter who went to Whitworth, studied international business, did Peace Corps working with microfinancing, and had gotten her MBA. Sound familiar? Yeah, thought so (minus the MBA, we were the same story). She referred me to go further in the process with a tentative placement doing Economic Development work in French-speaking West Africa. French? Yep, had to start learning before a placement would be made.

Spring 2011 = started taking French classes at my local community college, while plodding through medical and dental appointments that were needed for Peace Corps official clearance.

Summer 2011 = Passed medical and dental! This was amazing, based on my medical history…. Also passed legal review. Now was just awaiting a placement.

September 2011 = Notified that placement information was coming to me within the week. Amazing timing, since two days later was planned to be my last day at my then-current job.

The next day = Notified that, in fact, it would not be coming – I was deferred based on budget cuts and should expect to wait a year for a placement. There may have been tears of frustration shed. Lots of them.

December 2, 2011 = Out of the blue, got an email stating that my online application had been updated. I logged on and glory of all glories, it said “Congratulations, you have been invited to serve in the Peace Corps!”.  Then, because PC will only snail mail the actual details to you, the waiting began…

December 12, 2011 = I came home from work to find a packageon my porch containing my official invitation kit! Through the little address window, I could see the word ‘Nicaragua’ and I may have jumped in joy. Upon opening it, I was able to find out that I had been nominated to serve in Nicaragua as a Small Business Educator & Advisor, beginning in May 2012.  My dream country, leaving on my dream timeline, doing my dream job. God is indeed good. And oh so generous.

A few days later = I officially “accepted” my invitation. And haven’t looked back since!

While I do not know what exactly my life holds after May 8th, 2012, I have a strong feeling that it will be rich, good, hard, and full of adventure. I am excited to relearn Spanish, get to know my community, photograph like crazy, and figure out if the economic development field is, indeed, where I want to be headed.

Thank you for all of your support, love and encouragement as I head out on this crazy new life adventure!