It’s that time – RAS has hit

For those of you just getting into the Peace Corps world, there are an awful lot of acronyms. I haven’t figured half of them out yet. But RAS is a big one. It stands for Restless Applicant Syndrome, and describes exactly where I am now:

“omigawd I turned in my application six months ago and they’ve had my medical kit for a month why haven’t they looked at it yet somebody please give me medical clearance and pass my application on so I can be given a placement I want to know where I’m living for 27 months hurry up already I don’t care if you’re government you’re too damn slow why is this taking so long I want to hit my head against a wall there’s no more info for me to look up I’ve already figured out 95% sure where you want me to go but it might change so for goodness’ sake hurry up so I can start planning my life it’s not fair why are you doing this to me what have I done to deserve this I don’t care if it takes this long for everybody I’m not everybody I’m me so get a move-on.”

More or less.

Yes, I’m 95% sure I know where they want me to go. But just in case I’m not cleared for it, I’m looking up every country that has left in September or October for the past few years, even if they don’t technically have my program (plus all the ones that do have my program, regardless of when they usually leave. I think I know everything about THE ENTIRE WORLD now.

But it won’t make this process go any faster. It would be nice to know by May, though, because that’s when I’ll probably start getting rid of or shipping home my winter clothes. If I’m going somewhere cold, I’ll keep more of them. But I highly doubt I’ll know by May, because they probably won’t even start looking at my medical kit until June sometime. Le sigh.

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Claire,

    I’m also (trying) to apply to the Peace Corps from Japan, but I’m just at the very very beginning of the process–just turned in my application and got my recommendations all turned in last week. I was really excited to find your blog, it was SO helpful to read through it and find out what the process is like from here! Would you mind if I asked you for advice or recommendations about applying from Japan?

    Like you, I found out the hard way a few days ago how hard it is to get the fingerprint cards done here, so it was really helpful to read that you had it done at the consulate–in Osaka? Is it a service that they provide, or did you have to ask them to make an exception and do it for you?

    Sorry for this long message, l guess I got kind of over-excited to find your blog. Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.

    –Rose

    • Hi Rose, yay, another person in Japan! 🙂 I’m happy to help if you need.

      For the consulate in Osaka, I just called and said I’m applying for the Peace Corps and I can’t get fingerprints where I live. They said it was no problem, and it was free. I think the general rule is that if you need it for something official in the US, they’ll do it.

      The only advice I can think of is a ways away – once you’re nominated, make appointments for anything you think you’ll get flagged for medically. I mean that if you have any conditions you answered yes to, you might as well go ahead and make an appointment (probably for a few weeks after you’re nominated). You’ll probably be asked for any tests related to the issue as well as for your doctor to write up a summary of it. You’ll also need a full physical including a pap smear, and some blood tests. There was one test, though, G6PD, which I heard from a friend isn’t available in Japan, period. I ended up getting it when I went home for winter break. So keep that in mind!

      I hope that helps, and good luck!

  2. Yep, it does help, thank you! The people at the Consulate were really nice when I called, and happy to do the fingerprint forms. I’ll remember your advice for the medical stuff. I feel like I’m just at the very beginning of a long, long process–hope I make it through. I’ll be following your blog–good luck with getting your medical clearance and finding out where you’re going!

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