beginnings

Arrived in Philly, trained for 6 hours, left at 3am for JFK. Flight was better than expected. Crappy food, small space, but I slept a lot. They made me gate check my carryon even though I said absolutely not I wont part with it but he said I couldn’t get on the plane with it (bullshit) and it’d be totally fine (double bullshit) It had everything I could not bear to lose because that’s how they told us to pack. So he took it and when I got to swaziland…they had LOST it. Not even sure if it ever made it into the cargo hold or the guy just stole it. Literally everything in that bag was the stuff I could not bear to lose, so naturally it was the bag that did not come through, and since it was my carry on did not have a luggage tag. UGGGGGH I am praying and positive thinking that it is just misplaced and will come here tomorrow undamaged with everything in it. Other than that hanging over my head like a giant black cloud, so far so good. Everyone in my group is insanely friendly. We’ve really only done medical paperwork and lugged bags all over the place. Tomorrow we have a full day though, so it seems this will be my last day of freedom for the next 9 weeks.

I’m really excited to start training, but it seems like I’m still in a holding pattern since we won’t be able to move to our villages for that entire time. Our Preservice training in Philly focused a lot on the Peace Corps mission, expectations, and feelings things like why we want to do it. Pretty sure that’s not what the next couple months will be like. Our schedule is packed with language, cultural, and technical trainings, with a healthy dose of paperwork in between.

It still all feels very surreal. We are at a training facility that’s the nicest in the country, although still pretty meh by American standards. However, having beds and running water for showers doesn’t feel very Peace Corps-y. We will move in with temporary host families on Tuesday and be with them for 2 months, so maybe then it will really sink it. It’s bed time here on my first full day in my new home, and I’m one bag down and exhausted. Hopefully things will turn around tomorrow. …..

UPDATE It’s tomorrow.

THis morning I got woken up to my roommate asking me for a rubber glove?? I’m not a morning person and was less than helpful. A few minutes later I asked why and it turned out our shower was on full blast hot water because she had turned on the hot and before turned on the cold it got too scalding for her to reach through the water to turn it off. SO it’s 6:30 am, I’m groggy, we’re in pajamas, and trying to figure out how to tun off the shower that is quickly filling the room with steam, not just the bathroom mind you, our rooms’ walls were dripping because there was so much moisture. So finally since my raincoat was in my lost bag and neither of us packed dish gloves (who would) we had to take an umbrella which I held getting our entire bathroom flooded, while we tried to turn off the water. It was raining outside and there’s no fans in the bathroom so now at 9:45 pm 16 hours later, our bathroom floor is still wet. As is the laundry we had hanging in there from yesterday. My roommate had a little burn on her hand from trying to turn it off and I got to wake  up an hour early and lie in bed.  So I’ve gotten my first couple bad experiences out of the way.

We already had one person drop out of the program and choose to fly home, yikes!!! He left after breakfast this morning, and we are now down to 5 boy and 29 girls. It makes me kind of sad someone would come through the rather grueling process of application and staging and leave a day and a half in before seeing more than the training center we are leaving 5 days later. We started health training and met all of the in country staff, had lunch, and started language lessons.

At break one of the PCVNs knocked on my door and MY BAG FINALLY ARRIVED AND NOTHING WAS MISSING. It may or may not have been the happiest moment in my entire life. Imagine losing everything sentimental and expensive all in one bag, thinking it was gone for ever…no really start making a mental list, then imagine getting it back, add a couple puppies and sunshine and you still are not at my level of joy. It was amazing. After dinner we all had a bonfire and played bannanagrams and two truths and 1 lie. So all in all and it’s been a hectic but great start.

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