So, I’ve been here in Cahul (in the South of Moldova) for just about 2 weeks. It’s already starting to seem familiar. Strange to realize that just a short time ago I lived in a different town with different people, had different everyday activities, was surrounded by many more people who were on the same Peace Corps journey as I was, and was still focused forward toward the time when my service would actually start. Then came Swearing In Day, August 16th, which marked the moment when I stopped being a trainee and became a volunteer. That evening I shared the photos below on Facebook, with the commentary you see below it. (I’m re-posting them here for those of you who don’t do FB. Mouse over the images to see captions, or click on them for a larger version.)
Wow, what a day! I began my morning bright and early (van comes at 7:00, be at the gate with your luggage!) as a Peace Corps Trainee in the village of Costești, and am about to end my day as a Peace Corps Volunteer (wow!) three hours further south, in the town of Cahul. In between, I danced, ate, swore the same oath that the president swears on taking office, got interviewed by Radio Free Europe, said goodbye-for-now to some incredible people (miss you already), hugged a lot of necks, spent a long time in a minibus, and was warmly welcomed to my new home with a ton of food. I am stunned by the number of experiences packed into the last 17 hours. And I am thrilled to pieces that I can finally say (after many years of considering, and more than a year of working towards it) “I am a Peace Corps Volunteer!”
Bonus! Video of the first dance we performed at Swearing In!