Chapter 1: Application & Acceptance“Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into the Peace Corps.” read the first line of the letter that Sheri North had just opened. Her hand shaking with excitement, Sheri read the remainder of the letter. Along with the basic acceptance boilerplate, written in the space following “Country of Assignment:” was “Western Samoa” . Sheri knew that Samoa was somewhere out in the South Pacific, but that was about all. The letter concluded with information about her date and place of departure: four months hence, July 15th, Los Angeles.
Sheri was an attractive, 28 year old, 5’8” blue-eyed blond with a solid, curvy 180 lbs build—39-32-45--a little bottom-heavy with voluptuous thighs. Five years ago, she had earned her B.S. in nursing from the University of Illinois and had begun her career at Hope County Hospital in St. Louis. Her intelligence, hard work and commitment to her profession had resulted in advancement to a lead surgical nurse position in the emergency room. But, still she felt unsatisfied. There had been one serious, two-year relationship that ended 18 months ago—the guy, Theo, wasn’t interested in marriage and pressured her about the irregular hours that surgical nurses at Hope County often had to put in. The emotional effect of that breakup combined with a life that had become more sedentary outside of work resulted in Sheri beginning to gain weight. It wasn’t that much--maybe 15 - 20 pounds--but it had been a steady increase and, lately, about a pound per month. Sheri knew that she’d put on “a few pounds,” but she didn’t own a scale so she didn’t know how much she had gained. Still, some of her clothes were getting snug, particularly around her hips and she was developing a little pooch of a stomach plus a modest midriff roll when she sat down.
About a year after her breakup with Theo, Sheri read an article in the Post Dispatch about a local girl, serving as a Peace Corps volunteer nurse in Cambodia. According to the reporter, her work was making a big difference in the lives of hundreds of Cambodian villagers who had minimal access to health care. Sheri was intrigued by the possibilities. Maybe the Peace Corps would give her the sense of fulfillment that she had not been feeling at Hope County lately. So, she went online to PeaceCorps.gov, downloaded the application and attendant information, filled it out that same day and delivered it personally to the Peace Corps’ St. Louis regional office.
The time between her acceptance letter from the Peace Corps and the date of departure passed quickly. Sheri had a physical exam, several vaccinations, and received the necessary visa in her passport. Using the list of things to bring that she received from the PC office in Samoa, she bought “light, loose clothing” and beach wear “two and three sizes larger than you currently wear,” which meant size 16 for her. That seemed strange, but there was no further explanation.
7 chapters, created 7 months , updated 7 months
22 5 9952