The End and The Beginning: Swearing-In

So, I have officially gone from PCT to PCV. Let the true PC experience begin!

The days since my last tech trip to Guayaquil have been a blur of presentations, evaluations, paperwork, baking, fiestas, quality time, packing, and probably so much more. I think the one thing I want to highlight is Family Appreciation Day. It was a BLAST! It was fun to see everyone with their families, and the family members were so happy to be there. We had games and face painting, then a potluck lunch, followed by a traditional Ecuadorian dance performance and an Ecuadorian/modern version of Romeo and Juliet put on by some of the other volunteers. It was just a plain old fun day.

Today was a good day too. Our swearing in ceremony was this morning, and it lasted about an hour and a half. There were speeches from our training director, the country director, and the Chair’d Affaires from the U.S. Embassy (the Ambassador was kicked out of Ecuador a few months ago by the President, so the Chair’d is in charge). There were also speeches from one representative from each program: health, youth and families, and TEFL. Then we took our oath as a group, and finally they called each of us to the stage to receive our certificates… like a graduation of sorts I suppose. There was a short reception afterwards, then I came home, ate lunch with my family, and packed a bit. Later in the afternoon, everyone went back to the training center for ice cream and kickball. After kickball, a bunch of volunteers grabbed a beer near the park.

I have a lot of feelings about today. Yes, I was so ready to swear in and be done with training so I could get to my site. I was fed up with have such a hectic schedule, lack of free time, and constantly being part of a gringo parade. And I guess swearing in today was like graduation not only in ceremony, but in the feelings it left me with too. When I graduated from Stonehill in May, I was sad to leave but ready to go, because I knew in my heart that it was time to move on, that I had made the most of it. I feel the same way about training. Yes, I am going to miss my fellow volunteers, the camaraderie among us, my host family, the safety net of the training staff, and the ability to simply speak English if I lack Spanish vocabulary. But do I want to go back to training? No. Because I am ready. Ready to integrate into my community, ready to go days on end without speaking English, ready to observe, to share, and to learn. Ready to be a humble, creative, and effective volunteer. So yes, I am feeling a little nostalgic, but I am also so excited for what’s next.

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One response to this post.

  1. you ARE ready! So proud of you, katrina 🙂

    Reply

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