Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I meant to do this yesterday to update everyone, but there was a line for the computers. I made it to Detroit in one piece. The flights were short and very empty. Everyone could have a row to themselves if they wanted to! I had a layover in Chicago and while I was sitting there waiting, I saw this short little guy walking around looking lost. Then I looked closer and thought I recognized him. A couple sitting next to me started whispering to each other about him too. I realized it was Gilbert Godfrey! What ever happened to him anyway? That's my "celebrity" story for the trip!

I got into D-town at about 8:15 p.m. their time (for some reason I thought I would still be on Central time). The hotel provides a shuttle to their guests so I hopped on that for a free ride to the hotel. There were two other volunteers on the shuttle with me as well as the training guy. We talked all the way to the Crowne Plaza and then checked into our rooms. My roommate was already in the room and we chatted about some of the things we've learned or heard about the Philippines. Then we grabbed a quick bite to eat and called it a night. I was up until 4:30 a.m. Saturday night so I was whipped!

We didn't have anything going on until 1-3 p.m. Monday. I wandered to the conference rooms at a little before 2 and checked in. Oh my gosh there are a ton of us! About 80 volunteers are going this time. Everyone has some amazing stories about traveling, studying abroad, working on a Grizzley Bear project in Montana, volunteering multiple times in the Peace Corps. They gave out this fact sheet that had one thing about you and you had to figure out who went with what statement. Compared to everyone else, mine wasn't as exciting...they put down "Was an RA at Briar Cliff University." It was a good ice breaker activity though.

We then went in and had a lot of get-to-know-you activities. The first one was you had to find the person who had the other half to a quote you had. A very simple task, but it got you up and walking around. Then there was an anxieties and expectations activity in which we had to draw what we were nervous and excited about. I was just glad to know that most everyone has the same fears! Our sessions lasted from 3-6. Afterwards, a HUGE group of us went to an Italian resteraunt down the road. Getting back was an adventure in itself...imagine a very busy highway at night and you need to get to the other side!

I have about an hour before I need to start training. I have a few things I need to do before I go though.