Staging was a ½-day meeting in the U.S. of all members of our Peace Corps Namibia Group 43 and a couple of Peace Corps staffers, just prior to traveling out of the country. It was held in the conference room of a small hotel in Philadelphia and comprised 5 hours of structured but casual introduction, orientation and team-building activities. The premise is that these 32 other trainees will serve as my new support unit throughout my time away: raw strangers one afternoon in Philly will become close friends, even a new “family,” with relationships that will last a lifetime. We’re going to spend a lot of time together over the next 9 weeks of Pre-Service Training and at other times throughout our 2-year service period. I have no doubt we’ll get to know each other quite well. Continue reading “Staging”
I’m pleased to report that after an endless series of plane rides, bus trips and long periods of w a i t i n g for connections, we finally arrived in the town of Okahandja on Thursday, about 25 miles north of the Namibian capital of Windhoek. We are 33 Peace Corps Trainees (PCTs) along with ≈25 trainers and staff members who will spend most of the next 9 weeks together preparing us for our assignments. For the first 6 nights, we are living together in a conference center dormitory: women on the ground floor, men up one flight, 4 people per unit with shared bathroom/shower facilities on each floor. It has the feel of a summer camp.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Our first steps were to lug our bags through construction-filled streets of Philly to our waiting bus. Roll call onboard found no lost souls – and a lot of smiling faces at this early hour.
Since yesterday’s post, a few people have asked me why I’ve decided to do this, which gives me the chance to refer you to the Page on this blog by that name. Someday, I’ll learn how to post a link directly to it, but until then please navigate yourself to the list of Pages in the righthand column.
Flew from SFO to Philadelphia yesterday for today’s staging event. In an hour, I will meet for the first time my new colleagues – roughly 30 of us from around the country split between two teams: Community Economic Development (CED) folks and Healthcare people.
Scheduled to fly out on April 11th for a staging day in Philadelphia, then an overnight flight to Windhoek via Johannesburg. The Pre-Service Training will be held in Okahandja, 40km north of the capital, with an intense schedule covering language, cultural and technical topics. 6 days per week for 9 weeks, complete with mid-term and final exams. Why did I think packing for two years was the hard part?