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I’ve been feeling like I’ve hit a barrier in my job search so far. I’ve got resume that has been retooled and redesigned by a friend who is HR for a small consulting firm, I’ve expanded and been in touch with my networks, and I’ve now put out 21 applications..and I feel like a bloody failure.
I know it’s a tough economy, and unemployment is high, and if you don’t have your Master’s people think you’re some idiot even if you’ve got more experience and done more work then the guy with the Masters who will hopefully hire you. I GET IT.. really I do.
Right now I want to be somewhere else, doing something else, enjoying someone else. I do not want to be stagnant, and just sitting here. NY, DC, Nairobi, South Africa.. Raleigh.. any of them would be better then where I am now.. waiting to hear back on things. Peace Corps was great, and I’ve been told it “looks great on your resume”, however this has translated in into ZILCH in terms of attention to my resume. I don’t even have any closing dates for when to expect a rejection letter (I’m guessing if I am lucky I will get MAYBE one interview out of the 21 jobs applied for).
I’ve got a great resume, I’ve got contacts, I can write great cover letters, and I have most of the key skills for the career path I want. What am I doing wrong?
Last night the K5s (my generation of Peace Corps volunteers in Cambodia) finished off our Close of Service Conference with a celebratory boat ride on the Mekong River in Phnom Penh. As part of the party, we had compiled a list of ‘superlatives’ for our fellow volunteers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend due to some poor coordination on a softball field, but, thankfully, Amelia took note of my superlatives:
* Most likely to be shit loads smarter than you.
* Most integrated.
* Best smile.
* Most likely to hook up with a Khmer man.
* Best writer.
* Most eloquent.
* Most Cambodian-American.
* Best cat eyes.
My contact over at Save The Children got back to me. I sent her my resume. It looks like they have some new Child Health and Mortality programs that Save is rolling out and they will need to do analysis on determinants, best practices, etc. Given that I have recent experience in pub health, capacity building, community assessment, etc, their is a slight possibility, SLIGHT that they will need more people on their Monitoring and Evaluation, and this could turn into an internship. If it pays, I would probably go for that and use it as Resume fodder to boost my desirability to employers. Save has huge cred with many NGO’s and US based nonprofits, so it would open doors. I dunno.. You gotta give everything a shot, right?
The Land of Convenience
I just get back from a quick trip to the store to pick up the new ZzzQuil (to help me kick the residual jet-lag), and a few things for my mom. During this last-minute trip several things struck me.
First and foremost: I drove. I decided I wanted to go to the store, got into my car and drove there. This is not remarkable to anyone in America, but it is for me. Normally I would have to walk or bike to the store (when I was in Rundu), or get a ride into town at the end of the week. The miraculousness of getting there in 5 minutes cannot be understated.
I decided to go to the store at 8:40 pm. This would certainly not fly in Namibia. Everything closes at 5 or 6, even in the capitol. Namibia is like the world’s largest small town where everything closes early in the evening, and stays closed on Sundays.
I have also discovered the exact amount of time it takes to get sick of American radio; especially the commercials: One week.
Despite the radio, with its terrible commercials and music, America is really the land of wonderful convenience.
The Death of Djingoudy Keita
I can hear the click clack of Versace pumps on the made to look weathered hardwood floor of this Starbucks. Overly complicated drink orders being taken and yelled by the fancy barista at the register. A bug eyed puppy in a bag staring at me like a Furbee stuck in Christmas wrap.
I’m in America. Home of the free. Land of the gluttonous. Also Land of $1 Chinese, what what, holla at your boy.
It’s been a while since I’ve visited my tumblr. And for that internet, I apologize. But I wasn’t wasting any time. No. I was carefully using that time to map out plans for my entire future…okay that’s not true. The truth is, I bought an iPhone and gained 15 pounds. You fucking happy? Is that what you want to hear! Jerk.
America does this to you. It holds you in its comfy arms and rocks you into a calorie induced coma. Sushi buffet lunch? Yes please. Hot indian food now? Well of course. 2 pies for a dollar? Why didn’t you say so!
Before you leave the Peace Corps, they do a really good job of scaring the shit out of you. They give you plenty of examples of RPCVs going home and feeling “reverse culture shock.” Which I can completely understand. So I was prepared for that. I was prepared to be disgusted by consumerism and the lack of appreciation for basic things. But I wasn’t. Yes, large groups of white people charging at me (near me) at the Forever 21 summer sale did freak me out slightly, but nothing made me feel seriously out of touch. (Except for the one time at the Verizon store trying to figure out how to use an iPad, it was embarrassing, shut up).
What they need to tell you is that your body is going to say, “Oh…start metabolizing now? Hmm. Nope.” There was no warning. And poof. Freshman year of college all over again. But hey, America also has its perks. That perk being an awesome gym. Yeah, I know I can go run outside and exercise in the park. But you know what? I don’t live in Long Beach asshole. I’m from Tacoma fucking Washington. And it’s depressingly cloudy with 30% showers 100% of the time. So yes, I drive to the YMCA to get on a treadmill and watch Judge Mills Lane throw down the law for an hour. I love it!
Other than that, I guess I’m really enjoying RPCV life. I had a serious reflection of service somewhere in my old satchel. But I couldn’t find it under the bags of loose candy and $3 scratch tickets.
If that’s not good enough. Here’s naked Abe Lincoln at the Solstice parade in Seattle a couple days ago.
Happy V Day!12 Reasons to Date a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer
By Erica Burman on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
It’s Valentine’s Day! A day when we celebrate friendship, love, and romance. Through the years here at the National Peace Corps Association, we’ve heard countless stories of Peace Corps romance. The couples that met at the airport on the way to training. The couples that met while serving. The Peace Corps Volunteers that fell in love with a host country national. And the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers that connected in the States, discovering that the shared bond of Peace Corps service was the spark that led to a relationship.
Peace Corps is a life-changing experience that develops a unique set of skills and attributes. So it goes without saying: Returned Peace Corps Volunteers make GREAT dates. And just to prove it, we’ve started a list.
12 reasons to date a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer:
- We can woo you in multiple languages. Who else is going to whisper sweet nothings to you in everything from Albanian to Hausa to Quechua to Xhosa? That’s right. Only a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
- We’re pretty good dancers. Yeah, we don’t like to brag, but after 27 months in Latin America or Africa we know how to move it.
- We’ll eat anything. Seriously. No matter how bad your cooking, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers have had worse and will eat it with nary a blink. Sheep’s eyeball? Water buffalo gall bladder? Grasshoppers? Bush rat? Bring it.
- We know all about safe sex, thanks to our very thorough Peace Corps health training. In fact, there’s a chance that we’ve stood unblushingly in front of hundreds of villagers and demonstrated good condom technique with a large wooden phallus.
- We’ll kill spiders for you. Well, actually, we’ll nonchalantly scoop them up and put them out of sight. Same goes for mice, geckos, frogs, snakes. Critters don’t faze Returned Volunteers.
- We have great date ideas: wandering a street market, checking out a foreign film, taking in a world music concert, volunteering…. Romantic getaway? Our passport is updated and our suitcase is packed. With us, life is always an adventure.
- We like you for “you”… not your paycheck. Especially if we are freshly back from service, a local joint with “character” will win out over a pretentious eatery. Living in a group house? No problem. Does it have running hot water? What luxury!
- You won’t get lost when you’re with a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. Navigating local markets on four continents, we’ve honed an uncanny sense of direction. Or else we’ll ask for directions. We’re not afraid to talk to “strangers.”
- Waiting for a late train or bus with us? Don’t worry. Been there, done that. We can share lots of funny stories about “the bus ride from hell” that will make the time go quickly and put it all into perspective.
- Our low-maintenance fashion style. Returned Peace Corps Volunteer guys are secure in their manhood and don’t mind rocking a sarong. Women often prefer flip flops to high heels. We don’t spend hours in front of a mirror getting ready to go out.
- Marry us, and you won’t just get one family — you’ll get two! When we refer to our “brother” or “mom,” you’ll want to be certain we’re talking about our American one or our Peace Corps one. You might even get two wedding ceremonies, one in the U.S. and one back in our Peace Corps country.
- And last but not least … we aren’t afraid to get dirty.