Well, since I’m posting this on my second day at site, I suppose there are 728 days left of my service now. I’m not counting down, but I officially swore in as a Peace Corps volunteer and headed to my site, where I officially began my service.
Swearing in as a Peace Corps volunteer was easily the most impressive thing I’ve done with my 23 years of life. I join this incredible family of Peace Corps volunteers that includes the founder of Netflix, who I especially appreciate with the limited internet access I have at my new site, since you can now download stuff from Netflix (bless up).
I also had to say goodbye to my Peace Corps family. It’s a weird thing to feel so incredibly close to people I didn’t know three months before. We spent our transition to service conference reminiscing, celebrating and congratulating each other on making it through training, but when it came to heading out, I was surprised at myself for feeling a bit choked up with each goodbye. I’ve said it before, but these guys have become family. I’m rooting for them as they start to serve all over Ukraine.
I spent my first day as a Peace Corps volunteer sleeping pretty much all day. I arrived to Mamalyga just as the sun started to come up over the Romanian hillside outside my window and immediately changed out of the clothes I had worn on the 10-hour train ride and passed out. I woke up for lunch with my host mom, she went back to work and I proceeded to fall asleep again.
I woke up later in the afternoon and started to unpack all my stuff. It’s nice to settle in to a place and put things away. I still need to buy some hangers to hang some of my dresses up and some tape so I can start to hang things up and make this room mine, but I’m settling in nicely.
I had a late dinner with my host mom and then went back to sleep (shocker, I know). I woke up decently rested, had breakfast and started my muddy walk to school.
Muddy? That’s right, muddy. Mamalyga is so much warmer than my former home in Sloboda. It got up to 50 degrees here today! From my snapchat feed, I know that that’s even warmer than home in Seattle because they got a dusting of snow the other day!
Once I got to school, I observed my counterpart teach two shortened lessons because it was a half day. They had a teacher workshop about technology. I mentioned it before, but my school is a “HUB School,” which means that USAID and other organizations are investing in upgrading the school and having students from surrounding villages attend it as well.
As a result, three of the classrooms have smartboards and one has new computers. Learning how to use a smartboard was not something I anticipated encountering in the Peace Corps, but such is life. I got to meet some USAID volunteers who gave us some cool information that I know Chezara and I are excited to use. Most of the lecture went right on over my intermediate-mid* head, but the information was interesting nonetheless.
Now, it’s the weekend and I get to explore my new village a little bit and maybe head to the big city on Sunday to run some errands. I’ll start doing a bit more work next week I think, but we have a holiday break coming up, so things are a little slow now. I know I’ll have plenty to do in the future, so I’m taking some time to appreciate the slow days.
Two days down, 728 to go.
*intermediate-mid was the score to my language proficiency interview (LPI) basically my end of training language test