Quick Update after the first few days:
I have only been a Peace Corps trainee for a few days, but things are moving very fast already. So far I have been through staging in DC, the flight to El Salvador, and TAE (Training Arrival Event), not to mention tomorrow I will be meeting my host family for training. Right now I have internet so it’s as good as time as any to write up a blog post, and try and catch everyone up on what’s going on in my life.
Staging took place in Washington DC and was a long 5 hours full of ice breakers and activities about the Peace Corps Core Values, Safety and Security, and the logistics of getting to El Salvador. After barely sleeping the night before I was not ready to have so much information thrown at me in such a short period of time. It has only been a day since we left from the states and I honestly don’t remember much of anything from staging. For me the best part was meeting all of the other volunteers. It was refreshing to hear other people expressing the same concerns, and aspirations that I have myself.
Easily the worst part of staging was the 2 am check out on Wednesday morning. The 30 of us must have looked like the walking dead with tons of luggage. We got to the airport about 5 hours ahead of our flight. We were so early no one was even working at the Delta terminal to check us in to the flight to Atlanta. Eventually we checked in, checked the bags, made our way through security, and were on our way to Atlanta. Once in the ATL we used the tram (aka the most reliable train system in Atlanta) to get from gate B to gate E. We waited about 15 minutes at the terminal before boarding the flight to El Salvador.
TAE in El Salvador:
After landing in El Salvador we were immediately greeted by the PC Staff and ushered through immigration and costumes. Once everyone had made it threw we took a bus over to the retreat area that TAE has been held at. Training so far has been a more specific extension of staging. I’ve learned about acute diarrhea, how to make clean water, and what is expected out of PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers). On top of training I had my language interview, and received my NIT card. Plus I have had time to meet most of the other volunteers here. Everyone is awesome and seems wicked stoked to finally be in El Salvador. The staff has thrown so much information at us I can’t even try to fit it all in this post.
What has been the most helpful aspect of TAE are the current volunteers that have given us the legitimate scoop on what being a PCV in El Salvador is like. They all really seem to be in love with the country, their host families, and each other, which is great to see. The volunteers also said El Tunco is a great spot to go when we have a free weekend so I am excited to check it out in a few weeks.
Tomorrow begins the next chapter of training. We are all going to our training communities and meeting our host families. I’m pumped to finally see whom I will be staying with and where I will be staying for the next 10 weeks. I am also ready to begin language training because my Spanish has suffered over the last few months before leaving the states. All in all I just want to really get going with everything.