06 October 2007

a piece of the puzzle.

Eight hours until we're on a plane for Addis Ababa (via Rome, but sadly not long enough to get off the plane for a final gelato!). Staging was a pretty standard orientation process - safety speeches, talking about "unwanted attention" (Jordan, anyone?), cultural adjustment, development, and meeting the group. The Director of the Peace Corps and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (henceforth RPCV) who now serves in Congress came by to speak to us, which is apparently quite exciting. The Director is also coming to our swearing in ceremony in December (after training), which is an even rarer event. Hooray for being special!

The group of volunteers is pretty amazing - tons of interesting people. There are 43 of us, 35 women and 8 men (not representative of PC in general, which is 59-41, women in the majority). Two married couples, at least two over-50 volunteers, six repeat volunteers (one of whom is over 50 - talk about a badass grandma!), two former military (both female), and, most importantly, two Gators! We're all getting along really well, going out at night, and generally bonding over the toilets and good food we're not going to have for two years.

The only downer so far has been today's trip to the clinic, as many of you know how I feel about shots. But, on the good side, I'm now vaccinated against yellow fever and polio, with many more to come on Monday, our first "real" day in Ethiopia. We're all starting our malaria medicine today, too, so hopefully we'll all be hallucinating together on the plane tomorrow.

We leave on Saturday evening (just in time to miss watching the LSU game, so someone email me scores!), refuel in Rome, and land in Addis Sunday evening. We're spending two days in Addis at a hotel for shots and meet-and-greets with our country staff, and then we're moving to Wolisso, a small town about 100 miles outside Addis for our community-based training. We'll be living in Wolisso with homestay families for 10 weeks then being sworn in December 15 and moving to our permanent sites a few days later. No, I don't know where my permanent site will be yet! We'll interview at the end of training to talk about placement, and a few days before we move, we'll know for sure. I probably won't have time for internet in Addis, but apparently there are cafes in Wolisso, so I'll try to post something every few days to keep everyone updated. Hope all is well in the free world!


Anonymous said...

last minute plus seconds, LSU scores to go into the lead for the first time in the game. a last long bomb into the end zone by UF was not caught:(

marysitz said...

hey! thanks for the link! good luck with stage and if you're ever in my neck of the woods, let me know.