Staging started today as we officially checked in for registration with the Peace Corps (PC). The PC staff didn’t take one look at John and me and tell us to go home, so I guess we are really doing this. As the PC staff stated, we passed from being “invitees” to becoming “trainees.” With a bit of work and luck, in two months, we’ll become “volunteers.” There are 57 people in our cohort (aka SA24, which stands for 24th group to go to South Africa) and they are a great, diverse group of people. I can’t wait to get to know them better. After several hours of orientation this afternoon, the getting-to-know-each-other has actually started with a bang. Lots of group activities, most of which turned out to be quite fun and effective. Tomorrow we load up the buses and head for the airport with lots of luggage in tow. Speaking of luggage, it was fun sitting in the lobby a bit over the last day or so and watching people come in. We were often able to correctly guess who was and wasn’t a part of our PC group based on the amount of luggage they were carrying.
After this entry, I will most likely not be able to post anything for a couple of months. The training period is pretty intense and they want us to concentrate on learning language, culture, regulations, and skills, and not be distracted with much else. For that reason, they will have us store our computers and pretty much limit our access to the internet until this two month period is over. So, very likely, this is it until mid-September. Hugs to all and stay well. I will certainly try to do the same.