Today I was interviewed by an evaluator from the Peace Corps’ unit of the Office of Inspector General. She was a lovely, vivacious young lady (apparently a little older than she looked as she had appreciable previous experience in the private sector prior to Peace Corps.)
For those of you dying to learn more about what the OIG does in relation to Peace Corps, click here. Brief summary: she and another evaluator are visiting Moldova for three weeks to interview staff members and a select group of PCVs distributed across location, gender, age, program, marital status and a few other categories. The OIG evaluators (not Peace Corps Moldova) select the group members and through their interviews gather information related to PCV experiences in training, host family interactions, health and safety issues, project development and community integration. I feel fortunate to have been selected, not only because I genuinely appreciated the interest in my feedback and perspective, but because it opened up a potential career path that I never knew existed previous to today.
In the course of our conversation, she mentioned visiting Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Liberia, Ghana and Peru during her four-and-a-half years of service. I didn’t ask for a listing of all the countries she has evaluated, but she did say that a typical year included 3-4 discreet site visits. She is based in Washington DC and also conducts human resources investigations from there. As I listened to her, I was struck by the relevant job skills I already have that would translate well to this type of position.
I have been wrestling with my desire to continue working with Peace Corps after my 27 months of service ends, but have been hesitant about taking up residence for five years in a country I would not have much input in selecting (if I was even selected, mind you!) My wanderlust has been piqued, rather than quelled, by this taste of overseas living; but I still miss the comfort and familiarity of American culture and the close relationships I enjoy with family and friends at home.
To have a job which entailed extended visits to Peace Corps sites for in-depth conversations with Peace Corps Volunteers and host country staff for the purpose of evaluating and influencing the efficacy of Peace Corps programs, interspersed with significant time residing in one of the more vibrant and fascinating cities of our nation, sounds like a perfect melding of my mixed desires.
Just a heads up to those of you who might have interest in pursuing this, or other, types of work with Peace Corps: there are many jobs that don’t require prior experience as a PCV. You can learn more about them here.
For me, synchronicity and circumstantial happenstance have been pretty reliable signposts for considering the next direction to take on the path of life. They do say things happen for a reason…