31 August 2006

Staging

This is the point where my blog entries become less preplanned and organized. I'm at what as known as Staging, which is just an orientation that Peace Corps HQ makes everybody go through. This may not be very interesting to many of you, but is important to post for people who plan on being Peace Corps Volunteers.Staging is a 1.5 day orientation that you've got to go through before you go to your country with all of the other people who are about to start volunteering in that country. For me, there's 31 people going. Half of us are doing Agriculture work (including me) and half of us are working in Municipal Development. Like any workshop or orientation that you have ever been to, activities heavily include group discussions, markers, and those Win-Lose or Draw sized tablets and role-playing. Lots of coffee and your peers help you survive this mundane component of what you expect to be anything but mundane.They put you up in a nice hotel, give you more money than you need to live on for two days, and then tell you the immedite stuff you need to know such as where you will be living for the next three months (they still don't tell you where you will live for the subsequent two years). Much of what they tell you is to help you see the next two years of your life in stages, such as training, learning the language, and actually doing what you want to do, instead of one giant campaign of being an international savior. It's good that it incrementalizes your Peace Corps time.When you're all done, you hop on an airplane and prepare for thre months of learning the technical, language, and cultural stuff you'll need for the real two years.

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