I (Elizabeth) received an email from the placement office today. They requested an updated resume and also an update on our availability. Updating my resume is a simple matter, I just need to add my volunteer work teaching English at the North Seattle Family Center. The request for updated availability, though, made me stop and think. It never crossed my mind that they'd ask whether our availability date had changed. To be honest, for the past couple weeks I've seriously questioned our ability to be ready by June. Especially since we've traveling for a good two-thirds to three-quarters of May! Here are some of the things we'll need to do before we leave:
- Tell the co-op that we've been invited to the Peace Corps and will be gone for 27 months. Arrange for our dues to be paid while we're gone (electronic payments? pre-payment? post-dated checks?) and have a plan for any emergencies (i.e. water heater failure).
- Grant someone, probably our accountant, power-of-attorney.
- Arrange to have someone check on our apartment occasionally (once a month?).
- Figure out where our mail is going to go for the 27 months we're gone and make sure important documents end up where they need to be.
- Put the apartment to bed. I'm thinking space bags for clothes and linens, dust covers for the furniture, etc.
- Sell vehicles.
- Contact our insurers. We can probably let go of our car insurance (see "sell vehicles" above ;) ), but don't know what to do about health insurance. Although we'll be fully covered by the Peace Corps during our service, will letting go of our health insurance restrict our ability to buy it again when we return?
Considering this list, it feels like a good idea to revise our availability date. I'm sure Perry has things on his mental to-do list that I haven't listed here, too! So right now, we are thinking of telling the placement office we'll be ready to go September 1st. While this could mean passing up an opportunity in the intervening months, it also means we can tackle our list at a healthy pace (and be able to build some relationships in the co-op before telling them we'll be gone for two years). Who knows, June may not even be feasible right now, given where we are in the process -- but changing the date ensures we won't be stressing out about a possible June departure.
By the way, Perry did not receive the request for an updated resume, I am presuming because he wasn't asked to gain any additional experience for our nomination.
Ever closer to an invite, we hope!!