Did you know that PCVs make so little money that we don't need to file taxes, and even when we get our “big” readjustment allowance at the end, we are still so below the poverty line according to our income that it doesn't matter if we claim it? I have never been independently above the poverty in my life, and I won't be any time soon, either.
I realize that my blog posts have been leaning more on what I plan on doing post Peace Corps as opposed to my actual Peace Corps experience, but I guess that is part of the experience, too- there is a lot of down time to plan what you want to do later. I have begun my search into post bac programs to prepare me for med school. For a person whose only options when she goes out to eat are ugali, wali, or ndizi, its overwhelming. Also, do you realize how expensive school is? What happens when the loans from the government and private financial aid from the school doesn't cover the price? I haven't confronted that experience yet, my father having paid for undergrad.
Because I finish PC in December, I will enter school either in the summer or fall of 2014, which means I will have 6-8 months, post some travel plans, in which I will need to work and save money for school.
I have been looking into jobs abroad, Peace Corps Response jobs, and pretty much everything I find neither pays any more than I am making now, nor am I applicable because I don't have a masters. All of the RPCVs that have recently left Tanzania have returned to work as bartenders or servers, or have gone into masters programs. This is the dilemma I find myself in: I cannot find a job because I need a higher degree, but I also can't afford to go back to school because I don't have a job. Problem.
I talked to my sister last night, and I explained my dilemma. We decided that what I should do is become a Hooters waitress! I have the boobs, and I really like chicken wings, so it would be perfect! Word on the street is that waitresses also get discounts for getting their hair and nails done, tanning, and a gym membership. Mostly, I think it would be really funny to walk into Hooters with my resume, that entails years of health education, Peace Corps, and my biology degree from UC Berkeley, with my dirty hair and nails, dirt stains on my skin, and my nasty clothes, trying to get a job where I would wear booty shorts and a belly shirt.