It’s pretty crazy that, in only 8 days, I’ll be hopping onto an airplane, never again to set foot on US soil for over two years. Here is my rough schedule for the next few months:
Next Monday (Feb 9) I take the GRE (for post-Peace Corps plans). I have to drive to Des Moines in the late morning for a 1pm test. I should probably be studying for it at this very moment…
But I’m not.
Next Tuesday (Feb 10) I will get everything packed so that any emergency can be taken care of on that day or the one following. For example, if I find that I’m missing a deck of cards. Or perhaps something more important, like my driver’s license.
Next Thursday (Feb 12) I hop onto a plane at 7am out of Des Moines and end up in Philadelphia a few hours later. At 1:30 I check into the Peace Corps thing, meet my fellow trainees, and then get barraged with information about our jobs, the Peace Corps, etc until the next afternoon.
On Friday (the 13th!!!!) we will bus up to New York and hop onto a plane (to go over a plane… [Note: this was a reference to jumping into three-dimensional space, but I realized afterward that it was simply confusing.]), eventually landing in Uganda. We go to Kampala for several days where we get over jet lag, meet with people, and are interviewed by the Country Director (the top Peace Corps person in the country) and other Peace Corps people. They then decide what families to set us up with in Wakiso, the town in which we spend the next 8 weeks in training.
On Feb 19th we actually go to Wakiso to begin training, which will be daily from 8-5, including four hours of studying the language. After each training day we are expected to go back to our host families and practice more language and cross-cultural skills. The hope is that, after two months, we are able to integrate into a new city and be comfortable enough with the language and culture to get by pretty well.
Towards the end of training, we get to provide some input on where we would like to end up, as far as how close we’ll be to other volunteers, how close we are to electrical or internet access, etc. Then we get placed wherever the Peace Corps staff decides we should be.
And that’s roughly what I know!