Today was a good day. Training staff told us where we would be going next week for our Host Volunteer Visit. Before I reveal where I will be going, I want to tell you a little about what training has been like:
We are in week 3 of our training and Peace Corps works us hard. We are given a lot of assignments, tasks, homework, and are expected to complete them quickly and thoroughly. We mostly work in groups and do exercises in community mapping, integration, and other ways in which to asses a community's needs, problems, and desires. Here are some facts:
· There are two main groups of trainees, Education and Health
· Training is from 8:30 to 4:30 every day with an hour lunch. However, the hours often change as Education PCTs will visit schools and Health PCTS will visit hospitals and clinics in the mornings at 8am, or we'll go till 5:30pm if we are presenting.
· Our staff nearly all Guyanese (3 are American, and they don't usually train us) and they are very knowledgeable and most of them are VERY good at what they do.
· We receive technical training in our Ed or Health fields.
· We receive cross cultural training in everything from food and customs to slang and language faux pas
· We receive safety and security training
· We receive medical training
· Peace Corps uses acronyms like a carpenter uses nails.
Training is exhausting. It demands a lot of energy to focus and many of us are sleep deprived, dealing with stomach issues, trying to cope with the heat, overloaded by culture shock, undersexed, constipated, or just plain tired. This can wear and tear on us because after training we have things like laundry (done by hand), homework, community integration, or other things that need to be done. We trainees live scattered about on a main road over a stretch of about 10 miles. Transportation on the roads pretty much stops at 6pm and it is unsafe to be out and about after the sun goes down around 7pm, so this gives us only a little time to explore if we don't get out of training until 5pm.
In addition, our training sessions aren't always fast paced, interesting, or creative and this can lead to cranky, cranky trainees. This has become a very interesting study for me, because you know how much I love to watch people. The patience my father gave me is shining here in training, thank you.
So, my host volunteer visit will be to a community in the North part of the country (for specifics, ask my parents). I am the only trainee going there and I am the only trainee who will be flying to my host site. I will be staying with a Guy 19 PCV by the name of, name. When asked what the place was like, my program manager told me, "it's an interesting area; I think you'll like it. It's going to be strange. I'm curious to see what you think of it." I took this as positive information because I like strange and I like interesting. I'm leaving on Monday, March 23 and will be there until Friday. While I'm there, I'll be able to visit the place where the Jonestown Massacre took place. They say it's all overgrown and picked apart by curious visitors, I still want to go. Wish me luck!