Swearing In & Settling In

Just like you don’t really get a lot of time during training to process the very real idea that you will be living in some foreign place for 2 years, you also don’t get a lot of time to think about what the Swearing In Ceremony will be like. I’m really not even going to attempt to put how Swearing In felt in to some long poetic post but just know that is was emotionally draining in every way, shape, and form.

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Peru 26 Youth Development Volunteers, Trainers, the Ambassador, and our Country Director

Firstly, The U.S. Ambassador to Peru is sitting there telling you that you’re the best this country has to offer so you drop a few tears because of course you’re proud of yourself. Then you realize that you’ve worked so hard to survive through 11 weeks of intense training and didn’t get sent home for failing to meet some requirement – so you’re super relieved so you drop some more tears. Next, you’re ridiculously happy because you’re getting fed all these fancy h’oderves, talking to your friends, and hob knobbing with the Ambassador – so maybe you don’t cry there but you could if you really felt like it. Finally, after enjoying an hour of the pure joy that comes along with stuffing your face with mini eggrolls, you’re getting shuffled out the ambassadors residence and you realize that you’re not going to see some of your friends for at least 3 months and you’re outta this joint for good. Before you know it, you’re dropping tears like Drake be droppin’ verses. By the end of the day, I was just exhausted. Most people left that night but since my department is the farthest, we were able to stay the night in a hotel and catch our 24 hour bus in the morning.

Leaving for site is like leaving for Peru all over again. You’re leaving your
friends, your family, your routine, and where you’ve become comfortableIMG_6060[1] for some strange place you don’t know anything about. Luckily for me the
nature of my site and my living conditions have made it a lot easier for me to feel at home. My living situation is almost comparable to my living situation in the U.S. I have a really nice comfy room with wifi, cable tv, access to all of my day to day needs in my town, the food is great, the weather is hot, and the cold showers feel amazing. For anyone reading this and thinking about applying to Peru, know that this isn’t necessarily the norm here. (read about my friend Camilla’s experience in another part of Peru called Ancash).

As for my first week, nothing eventful has happened – I was busy telling different institutions that I was here and ready to work and busy putting my room together (Peace Corps Cribs episode coming soon).  I spend a lot of time walking around and getting to know the different parts of my town. Today I explored the edge of town where you can walk along the Utcubamba River — One of the tributaries of the Maranon River which is the main source for the Amazon River.  So it is here, with the Utcubamba River, where I’ll leave you today my friends.

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Hasta Luego

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Peru looks so beautiful!! always wanted to join the peace corps. it is awesome that you did. Going to Lima next year

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    1. bdwhite says:

      You can still join if you want! And Peru is absolutely beautiful country to be in and I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thanks, i will check out the peace corps again. i can’t wait for Peru! check out my posts and follow my blog when you get the chance.

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  2. Amazing pictures !! I am going to be a volunteer in Senegal. Super excited !! Any advice for making the transition?

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    1. bdwhite says:

      Thanks and Congrats! Man the best advice I can give is to know what stresses you out before you to PST and know how to mitigate that stress – I actually wrote a post about it here –https://siyahenperu.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/how-i-survived-pst/. Hope it helps!

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  3. cmarquis91 says:

    Love your blog! I like to see other peoples experiences of their journey through the Peace Corps. I have my interview on Thursday!!! https://cee91blog.wordpress.com/ Any tips for the interview?

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    1. bdwhite says:

      Hmmm my interview was way back in 2014 so I dont remember any specifics. But I will say that it was more of a conversation than an interview – my interviewer was extremely personable and easy to talk to. Most of the questions were about your own experiences – which for me is easier because I know what relevant experience I have and it was easy to talk about it because, of course, I had been through it. Just stay calm and thank of it like a regular conversation! Good luck!!!

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