Thursday, November 02, 2006

11/2/06 (Day 51): On the eve of site assignments

"Tonight the air in Santa Eulalia is cool, a breeze is whipping throught he valley, the stars are bright and the moon is half full. Our clothes are hung on the roof, soaking up the odor of 100 sleeping chickens, 2 turkeys and 26 guinnea pigs. I'm perched on our bed in my orange felted slippers (thanks Sarah Bix!). My feet, thighs, midwaist and bra line itch and burn from flea bites, or detergent allergy, or mosquitos... I have the pleasure of Benjamin's inspired guitar-picking fingers providing a much preferable background music to the usual buzz of the family television.

According to the trainer's chart, we trainees should be feeling low energy this week, frustrated , tired of training, ready to go...

Tonight we have no idea where we'll be spending our next two years -- no idea what kind of a house we'll live in, what kind of family we'll live with, what kid of food we'll be ablet oe at, what kid of view we'll have when we walk outside every morning, what our projects will be what kind of people our counterparts will be who our mentors will be, what smells and sounds will soon become every day norms.

I write tonight because I imagine it will be hard, if not impossible, to remember what I feel like right now. Because tomorrow, at 10am, our group of now only 36 will gather together in Misti, our open air classroom in the Santa Eulalia Peace Corps Training Center where we've spent most of our all-group training sessions, for our site placement ceremony.

I am pensive and eager. I feel awake, like tomorrow I am going to summer camp and I'm all packed but I don't knowwho I'll be sitting next to on the bus or who my couselor will be. I'm excited -- but in all honesty I wish it were a bit more unknown. We are almost certain of our placement in Ancash, and Benjamin feels sure that we'll be on the Cordillera Blanca side of the Callejon de Huaylas at the base of Huascaran, Peru's highest mountain towering some 6,768 meters into the heavens. And I was just there for my field based training last week. So I know what it looks like - my mind isn't that blank slate that I know some people are experiencing right now.

Tomorrow we'll also receive all of the info about our site visits for which we will leave sometime this weekend. By early next week we'll have seen it. We'll be in a new phase, a totally different place from where we are now. And so will end our training - just a few more days and we'll be on our way. Andt he next adventure will begin."

by: Libby