After months of medical appointments, dozens of Amazon packages, hours spent packing, and last minute trips to Target; I was finally about to begin my Peace Corps journey. I left my house at three in the morning to catch my six O’clock flight to Phoenix and then to Philly. I was accompanied to the airport by my best friend, sister, and parents. We said our goodbyes, cried a lot, and made many people uncomfortable—truly a great start to any adventure.
After flying across the country, I touched down in Philly and found a few other people at baggage claim who also looked like they had packed for the next two years. We arrived at the hotel, dropped our bags in our pre-assigned rooms, and then headed to registration.
Once everyone had checked-in, forty-six people congregated into a conference room where we played a quick ice breaker followed by a few announcements. Eventually, we were dismissed for dinner where we proceeded to walk around in circles looking for a good place to eat. There were about fifteen of us seated in the middle of a restaurant with multiple conversations happening all at once and lots of laughter.
The next day was a blur of ice breakers, acting out scenarios, group work, and going through polices, procedures, and core expectations. Our day of training was followed by a quick trip to the Liberty Bell and lots of pizza—I was committed to indulging in my favorite foods before our final flight to Namibia. Once we were finished with dinner, we headed back to the hotel where many of us, including myself, decided to stay up since checkout was promptly at two in the morning.
We divided into groups, boarded two different buses, and eventually arrived at JFK around five. We planted our large group in the middle of the airport waiting until we could actually check-in. Some people slept. Some conversed. I was one of the people who was still trying to get my luggage to meet the weight requirements. A few hours later, we made it to our gate where we waited some more, and then boarded our fifteen-hour flight to Johannesburg. Once we landed, we began our six-hour layover, which allowed us to eat, grab coffee, and get dressed into our business casual clothing. The next flight was a breeze and before we knew it, we were already in Namibia. We waited to get through customs, turned in our WHO cards to PC staff on the other side, and then grabbed our luggage. We were then welcomed outside by Resource Volunteers and staff—given cool drink (soda) and a fat cake. We had finally arrived in the Land of the Brave.
This blog does not reflect the views of and is not associated with Peace Corps, any of its staff or volunteers, or the United States Government.