Peace Corps Belize: August 19th 2009- October 2011
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Staging in D.C.
Today was staging at the George town Holiday Inn. I arrived on a direct flight from Seattle yesterday evening at 11 pm- completely exhausted from the past few weeks in Seattle, yet unable to sleep due to the simple time change from the West coast to the East. Today- I started my journey as a Peace Corps Trainee. I will not officially become a Peace Corps Volunteer ( PCV) until I complete the first 3 months of technical, cultural, and language training. We are a group of 41 people from all over the nation. I have never heard such distinct accents from all over America in one group of such amazingly qualified and interesting people. There are people from Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Nebraska, Montana, California, etc. The age range is really wide too. There are about 10 of 'older' folks in their 50's and 60's. I believe there are about 5 couples serving together in Belize. Staging was interesting. The people that hosted staging are from the D.C. PC office and were very organized. We registered and signed a bunch of paperwork. We verified our info on our new official passports, we received debit cards, and did a bunch of ice breakers. It was a lot of generic Peace Corps info and not so much Country specific. I was reimbursed $40 for the price of checking my bags from Seattle to D.C. and $13 for dinner the first night that I arrived ( at 11 PM and consisted of an airplane sandwich. Then we got a debit card with plenty of money on it to last us until Belize. At the end of staging we talked about a lot of logistical info about leaving for Belize... Which, mind you, is happening in like TWO HOURS!!! We have a 6 AM flight out of Reagan airport.... This means we have to meet at the hotel lobby at 1:30 AM !!!!!!! 1:30 AM?!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING!!!!! No one is sleeping tonight!!.. arg.. I guess getting 41 people loaded up and sent off to the airport is a long process... Needless to say, I don't think I will be getting a single minute of sleep tonight.. We have a 2 hour flight to Miami, 2 hour layover, and a 2 hour flight to Belize!!! That's it!! Belize by lunch time... Super! Had a great dinner with 11 Volunteers in George Town tonight...
Im off to pack and shower and internet it.
Peace America... Home will always be a distant land beyond here. For the next 27 months: Belize!