>> Monday, August 28, 2006
When Paul and I first decided that we wanted to join the Peace Corps, we wanted to teach English in a Spanish-speaking country. When we first began looking into the Peace Corps, however, we quickly learned that Latin America doesn't request teachers and so there were no TEFL assignments in Spanish-speaking countries; once we learned that our top choice wasn't an option, we still remained excited about the Peace Corps and decided we'd just learn a different language and go somewhere else.
Though Paul and I were certainly disappointed in May when we weren't nominated, the wait was well worth it! Last week we received a call from our recruiter to offer us a nomination. Our recruiter began by saying that he was surprised by our nomination and didn't think this would have been an option for us, but that we were being offered a spot teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) in Latin America and leaving either in April or May 2007. This is exactly what we've been hoping for for nearly two years now and we could barely contain ourselves on the phone.
It turns out that there is just one TEFL program in Latin America and it is brand new; the first group of teachers left sometime in 2006, and we'll probably be just the second group to participate in the program. Right now we feel excited and very lucky because we've always read that the Latin America positions are some of the most competitive and coveted, let alone the one TEFL program in Latin America.
We were immediately curious where in Latin America we might be going; a nomination only provides the region, assignment, and month for departure; the specific country isn't known until the invitation is received only a few months before the actual departure. However, with just one TEFL program in Latin America, we thought we might be able to do some detective work. Eventually I came across this article, a press release on the Peace Corps website discussing how the PC program in Nicaragua is being expanded to include a TEFL program. We certainly don't want to get our hopes up on a hunch, but this seems pretty convincing! We're especially excited about a potential Central America assignment since we loved our trip to Belize earlier this summer.
From here our tasks our to fax in a copy of our marriage license, wait patiently for our medical packets, and try not to get too excited about our dream nomination!