With three months to go, I'm still waiting for my clearances to come through. Things are a bit on hold until they do.
Waiting for Clearances
Part of the Peace Corps process is to get a legal and a medical clearance. They tell you to avoid taking permanent steps until you've received both. The thing is, these clearances take a long time. I've seen reports of the legal clearance not arriving in time for staging. Apparently, when this happens, they generally offer you another posting in a couple of months. See, for example, this Reddit discussion.
It looks like they're pretty backed up now. I'm sure the federal hiring
freeze isn't helping, either. And of course, there's a non-zero possibility
that someone in the administration has an axe to grind against the Peace Corps.
Normally, the PC enjoys broad bipartisan support, and it's a tiny, tiny
line item in the federal budget, so there's no good reason for it to be
cut. But that's a rational argument that might not apply in the current
The upshot is that I'm still pretty confident that I will be in Ouagadougou on June 15th, but it's not 100%. If I'm not, then I'd probably end up going somewhere else, three or six months later. With that, some things are on hold, for now. But, with retirement a month away, it's still time for me to put this blog on-line, so I can answer the question “what are you going to do when your retire?” The real answer is that I think I'll be going to Burkina Faso, but if not, I guess I'll go on some big bicycle trip somewhere!