Sunday, August 23, 2009
...And then there were three
The last two weeks of training have finally come to an end, and I can now say that I am a volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps. I definitely feel a sense of relief that training is over. Although it was a lot of fun and I learned a whole lot, it is not what I came here to do. Now I feel like my time here is really beginning. It has hit me that this will be my life for the next two years. And as long as it may seem right now, I know it will fly by and before I know it I will be writing my last blog entry. But for now, I will focus on the work I came here to do. I am feeling very motivated, and can't wait to get to started. However, let me get back to the end of training and what has been going on up until now.
I took my final language evaluation, finished my technical classes, and had some fun in between. Here are some photos of us in training, my group won second prize in the map drawing contest of Peru, also we threw a party for all of the host families and I taught the rest of the group the Thriller dance which we all performed one more time in front of all the families. They loved it.
I never thought that I would have made such close friends and come to love so many people in such a short time. I just said goodbye to all the people I have spent the last 11 weeks with and am about to start this journey all over again. The goodbyes began at swearing in where all of us volunteers said the swearing in oath and became official volunteers for the Peace Corps. It was a bitter sweet ceremony. I was so happy to finally be finished with training, but looking out into the crowd I saw all my host family looking up with smiles on their faces, proud that I was their "daughter", and I knew I was really really going to miss living with them. What has become my "normal" life here is now going to end, and I must start this cycle all over again. As the bus rode away my family waved, they were all crying. I was even crying.
The bus took us to Lima city where all of us volunteers would stay a night to celebrate before we left for our separate destinations around the country. We all went out that night and had a lot of fun. Our group became really close in these 11 weeks of training and I remember at the beginning thinking I couldn't see how we could really get to know each other in such a short amount of time, but it happened. Each person has their roll in the group, and I know that I will rely on their support over the next two years. The next day, region by region, they each filed into a taxi and by 10:00pm I was giving my last hugs, completely drained from all the farewells.
I walked back into the hostel where I would be staying for the next two nights. Because I live so close to the city of Lima, my travel to my site will be the shortest of everyone's, thus I don't have to leave until Monday morning. So here I am with Frank and Janelle, the last three left from the group. We will travel together on Monday to our sites in Ica. There I will begin my two years of service.