Wednesday, January 26, 2011

8 Assorted Facts

1) My Peace Corps service is a joke
2) It makes me sad that my blog speaks more to the administrative inner workings of Peace Corps than volunteer life in Africa.
3) I chose to take "Interrupted Service" and flew out from Accra on January 3rd.
4) Volunteers in Guinea were cleared to be placed at their proper sites on January 4th, the very same day that I arrived in Seattle.
5) "Interrupted Service" is a special option that volunteers may choose to take when there is not a viable assignment for them in-country. It is like an "Early Termination" (quitting) except that the fault does not lie with the volunteer, and the volunteer is eligible to return and finish his or her service once a viable assignment becomes available.
6) I specifically asked my Country Director if there was a minimum amount of time I would be required to return for, should the program fully re-open. She said no. Upon my arrival to the US, she recommended to HQ my immediate return to Guinea with my original COS (close-of-service) date of July 2011.
7) Peace Corps HQ has denied my request to be re-instated with my original COS date of July 2011, contrary to the recommendations of the program in Guinea.
8) I wrote the following letter to HQ today.

Dear [HQ],

Thank you for arranging a conversation between myself and [the HQ regional director]. I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with him. I would like to re-iterate, however, that I am extremely unhappy with the decision being made by the regional office to deny my re-instatement with my original COS date. When I discussed taking "Interrupted Service" with my country director in December, I was never given any indication that the re-instatement process would require extending my original COS date. In fact, I specifically asked if I would be required to re-instate for at least a year, and was told that there is no such rule. [My country director] knew that I fully intended to return to Guinea, and also that I fully intended on attending graduate school in the fall. And I thank her for recommending a COS date in July 2011, as we agreed. But with the decision now being made by the regional office, I feel like I have been misled. I feel like a third-party is now unexpectedly intervening and changing the rules in the middle of the game, with severe negative consequences for my personal life planning. If I had any idea that this situation would arise, I never would have taken "Interrupted Service." And although I realize that a case like mine is rare, I would like to see the Peace Corps take steps to ensure a situation like mine does not arise in the future, as it is a misfortune no volunteer deserves.

I would implore you, [HQ], to share this email with [the HQ regional director] so that he may make one last consideration. But in the case that a COS date extension is absolutely required, I will do some personal reflection and let you know if I can accept a COS date in July 2012.

Cheers,
Phil

2 comments:

  1. Wow, sorry to hear that. What a fiasco.

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  2. I feel like every time I come to your blog the only thing I can think of to post is "Jesus Phil!"

    I'm sorry everything's turning out this way. What a shame.

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