Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Swearing In (Let's Make It Official)

Training is over and I am now a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV). The final week of training was quite hectic.

On Tuesday, I took my final language test. The language test involved me sitting down with one of the language trainers and having a conversation. It is much different from class because in class, I can always stop and ask for clarification in English. This is not allowed for the test. And to top it all off, it is being recorded and will be graded by at least two of the language trainer. I blanked when he asked a question about my host family. I thought I knew the word for family, but I wasn't sure and I didn't want to go and talk about my host family for a while if he was asking me about something else. I skipped that question, but otherwise it went pretty well.

Wednesday was a fun day for everyone because we got to go to Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana to do shopping for our our new places. Gaborone is very "westernized" and while sitting in a mall, it was easy to forget I was in Africa.

Thursday was our swearing in ceremony where I would become a Peace Corps Volunteer (and as an aside, my tie is intentionally short. It is a preference among many of the men in Botswana to wear their ties short).
We all had big smiles on our faces and there was a buzz in the air. After several speeches, the US Ambassador got up and swore us all in. I was (and still am) very excited to be sworn in, but it felt a bit anticlimactic. After all the time and effort I spent getting to this point, my dream had come true. It took a while to set it.

Now I am living at my permanent site and have started my first week with my center. Time to get to work.