Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hello, I'm Lauren. Nice to Meet you!

Let's see...what do you need to know about me?

I'm a recent graduate from Texas State University, and earned a degree in Advertising with a minor in Photography. And you ask why on earth am I in Africa?

Well - since my sophomore year in college at Midwestern State University, the year I realized I wasn't going into the medical field, I've been looking into the Peace Corps to fill that void of needing to help those who, well, are in need. It took me about a year to start filling out my application - and another year or so to turn it in - at this point I had transferred to Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. It was a long process - but well worth it. I ended up needing to temporarily suspend my application just as soon as I turned it in due to the fact that I didn't have much volunteer experience. I started volunteering at a hospice in Austin, TX called Doug's House which directly cares for people who are living with HIV/AIDS. As soon as I started volunteering, I graduated from Texas State and then took a quick one month vacation home and to Centralia, WA. Since I came back, I've been living in Austin, TX volunteering as a caregiver at Doug's House, a tutor of ESL to 7 adults and working two jobs - The American Red Cross of Central Texas and a second photographer/assistant for She-N-He Photography & Design. My Peace Corps recruiter from Dallas called shortly after I came back from "vacation" and said I needed to reactivate my application and come up to Dallas as soon as possible for an interview due to an influx of money!

Since my interview - the timeline between having my interview to getting invited has been relatively short. I had an interview on the 15th of January, and was invited to serve in Africa on the 20th of March (when normally it could take anywhere between 6 to 9 months between nomination and invitation).

So where am I now? Still in the States - but preparing for my departure on the 21st of June. I've received my invitation packet, have put my paperwork into getting both my passport and visa through PC, emailed an updated resume and a letter of aspiration to my country of service (Burkina Faso) and am patiently waiting for my staging kit from SATO Travel.

oh my - I just want to go!

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