Do you see an OBGYN? My best suggestion would be to see someone about your cramps. That's no way to live even if you AREN'T serving in the Peace Corps. I had the same problem when I was younger (but like 13, I'm now 22). My mom is a nurse and she took me to an OBGYN straight away because periods that painful are NOT normal.
I am now on Depo Provera. I don't have any periods at all which means no cramps. This isn't the best option for everyone (religious beliefs or personal beliefs may prevent you from going on BC). And some people don't like Depo because it causes weight gain and they believe it is "unnatural" not to have a period.
I'm leaving for Burkina Faso in January. No electricity. No running water. I can hands down tell you I am so happy I don't have to deal with menstrual cycles not only because of the cramps I would have but because it also means I don't have to worry about tampons, pads, and/or diva cups while I'm in service.