Staging Day 2

This group of people is dedicated, energetic, enthusiastic, compassionate and adventurous to list a few adjectives that describe them. It will be very fun to serve with them for the next two years and three months.

Today was a very busy day and I am not sure I can tell all that happened.  We talked about safety yet again. I think this will be a theme for the next three months. We broke in groups and did case studies to highlight policies that are most often broken.   And that usually lead to a PanAm.  (Lingo for doing something bad enough to get kicked out.) We saw a video about unwanted attention and discussed strategies on how to deal with that unwanted attention.  We talked about assimilation into another culture. Did you know that the most important factor for assimilation into another culture is to understand your own.  Then we had another nuts and bolts session about the clinic tomorrow and going to Newark airport.

I remember the games the best of course.  We played one game where we paired up and we each changed 5 things about ourselves then found the changes on our partner.  We did it with the same partner three times.

The best activity was when we were broken into 5 groups.  We picked a group from Artistic, Musical/Poets, Actors, Storytellers and Dancers. Each group was given a Peace Corps training theme and we had to tell others about it.  I joined the dancers to swell the ranks. We had to do a pantomime about sustainable development. We decided to do growing a grain, grinding it, baking something distributing it and consuming it.  This showed using local resources, involving the community and meeting a local need. The storytellers wrote a letter home.  The artist drew about your local community protecting you. The musicians/poets did a song about adapting to local culture and the actors did one about volunteer safety. We laughed so hard at the presentations. And we saw a different side of our fellow volunteers.  It was wonderful.

For the last activity each volunteer wrote down something they wanted to say to the group. We put them in a large basket then we each pulled out one and read it to the group.  Very kumbya (sp) but also very comforting, and encouraging.

Reflection:

This is becoming more of a reality everyday. Today I had my first butterflies about learning the language, finding my way around and really integrating into my community. After the video and after talking about the ways our culture can be a wall I realized how foreign it will all be.  Jen and Kate, our staff and RPCVs are living proof that it can be done. If they can do it so can I.

I am also getting to know more people everyday.  The seeds of community have been sown this weekend and I think the next 3 months are going to make us into a great support group for each other.

-vc

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1 Comment

  1. Margaret said,

    June 15, 2008 at 5:16 am

    Hi, I stumbled on your blog a month or so ago and have enjoyed reading about your journey. I remember our staging like it was yesterday, not 9 months ago! The time really does fly by… eventually. I can’t wait to read more about your experiences in Ghana. Good luck! -Macedonia PCV


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