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.

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