Tuesday morning (September 11) my Peace Corps adventure began. Saying goodbye to my family and dogs was the worst. I was already so drained from saying goodbyes over and over and I don’t think I quite realized how mentally and physically exhausting the whole process of leaving would be. I was glum through the flight to Atlanta (where our staging event was held overnight), trying not to cry so much that my face would be a red, splotchy mess while meeting my group.
All of my tears instantly dried when I boarded the shuttle to the hotel and met 10 members of my training class. We were all suffering from the post-goodbye blues but you could feel the excitement we all generated. WE got to the hotel with enough time to check in, change and meet downstairs to officially begin staging. With the signing of the check in paper, we were officially PCTs (Peace Corps Trainees). Forms upon forms upon forms. And then what can be called “Peace Corps Bootcamp” full of generic information about the PC and Rwanda. Besides ice breakers and mind numbing information, it was great to finally meet my stagin class. We all went out for some American fare and draught beers for dinner, as we knew it would be awhile until our next cold one.
We made our way to the airport the next morning to begin the 24 hours of travelling. KLM way outdid Delta but both flights were pretty much uneventful. The first thing I noticed when I stepped off the plane was the smell, the smell of wood fires. Absolutely wonderful. PC Staff and third year extenders were there to meet us at the airport and the PCV 3rd years stayed with us for te first couple of days in Kigali. They were fantastic, answering the thousand of questions we all had without getting frusterated. Tomorrow we head to our host families in the district of Kamonyi. We are all excited to get out of the Peace Corps compound and actually see Rwanda with our own eyes!