Wednesday, September 13, 2006

9/13/06: (Day 1) Peru Staging - Georgetown, DC

"It's an event! ...a staging event. 'Welcome' said the smiles that had only been phone figures just moments ago, 'Congratulations' ... 'You've finally made it!' Tentative hellos swam through the Holiday Inn Georgetown conference roomñ shy smiles appeared as we made the conscious realization that each one of us had successfully completed the long, and often tedious application process --> we were PERU 8 --> official peace corps trainees.

For the next day and a half we will participate in what Peace Corps calls our 'Staging Event.' Meant to provide a brief orientation to each other, Peace Corps, and Peru, all of our activities will set the stage, if you will, for 10 weeks of intensive training in Peru.

We are 38 new trainees, split amongst Community Health & Environmental Awareness and Action specializations. We will join the 138 volunteers currently serving in Peru (12 of whom will run the Lima marathon on Sunday!). Six of us are married and serving with our spouses, two have already served at least one tour with the Peace Corps, 24 of us are women and 14 men, some of us speak more Spanish than others, some have more anxieties and fears than hopes and excitements.

Today I began what has been a life long dream of mine. Benjamin is at my side and his knowing eyefulls of love, support, encouragement, and understanding are far more valuable that I can tell right now..."

Love to you, Libby