The last week of PST before swearing in has been pretty interesting.
We have finally finished up our introductory pre-service training. It has been a long and winding road of learning about everything Botswana and Peace Corps, bonding with the people who will accompany us through these 2 years, and, for many of us, calling into question our commitments to service. But perhaps the relief comes now when we get to really employ what we’ve learned and follow through with the reasons we came to Peace Corps. We have finished the final preparations for our site and threw a party for our host families. It’s been a strange wrap-up of our short time in Kanye.
When I left the US two months ago, I said goodbye to family, colleagues, and friends. Oddly enough, I find myself in a similar situation now.
I have to take a moment to look at how my life has changed over this period of time. I’ve been thrown in with a host family, which meant reading the Bible after dinner and being home before dark most nights. I can’t say I’ll miss that kind of structure, but I will always be grateful to my host family for taking care of me and making me feel comfortable here.
I’ve also made great friends here who are already starting to feel like my family in Botswana. We’re about to go to site, where we won’t see each other for quite some time. This new support system is about to be spread across the country and our independence will be tested.
Starting today, Bots 10 is no longer a group of trainees. We are Peace Corps Volunteers. It’s an important distinction and means a whole new understanding of responsibility and respect. Swearing-in may mean something different to everyone; this occasion acknowledges the hard work of PST and our farewell to friends. Today is a day for celebration, and tomorrow is for goodbyes. Here’s to the beginning!