Last night I read the beginning of my journal and couldn’t help but think of the new group that’s on it’s way. That first week was incredible! Nothing too controversial here, just my first impressions of Peace Corps.
I suppose today was officially the first day of Peace Corps service. 27 month journey began today. I flew out from Dayton after saying goodbye to mom and dad. We ate at the Boston Stoker cafe there at the airport. It was a terrible flight. Terrible turbulence… by the end of it I thought I was going to throw up. There was a storm too. I arrived at O’hare not really knowing what I was going to do, because I missed the flight to San Francisco. Everything turned out alright, though, and the flight to San Fran was a lot better.
Met Ryan and Jessica, as well as the 31 other trainees. Tried to use Dad’s trick of remembering their names. It worked about half the time. We did the ‘find someone who does this’ game as an icebreaker. We played a variety of games to get to know each other and the Peace Corps. Roomate is Andrew Hart. Pretty cool guy. We’re getting up at 6 to fly to Hong Kong. I’m a little worried about my luggage, and tried to stuff some stuff in my guitar case.
Too tired to write anymore…
I suppose the big news of the day is that I lost my roommate Andrew. He made it to the security checkpoint at the San Francisco Airport. That was the last place I saw him. So now I’m on my own, which is too bad because I kind of wanted a roommate.
We crossed the International Dateline at some point today. It feels like it’s the evening of the 5th, but we jumped over that during the flight, so it’s really the evening of the 6th.
I feel really tired and fatigued. I couldn’t sleep on the plane at all. A lot of PCT’s went into the city, but I’m just too tired. I probably wouldn’t do myself much good to go, and I’ve developed a general rule not to go out if you don’t feel like it.
I was sitting next to a married couple on the plane. I think I’ve already forgotten their names. I’m pretty sure the husband was Daniel. Must have been Daniel and Paige Gable. Talked a little bit with them about mission work they did in Spain. Said they were running a hotel on the St. Jame’s Trail. So far, everyone’s been nice and easy to talk to.
Well, it is morning on April 7th. I feel more rested today. Getting to Indonesia has been exhausting though. Just finished reading the Lincoln book to try and check my attitude. Should probably read some of the material I brought on the Indonesian English program to make sure I understand the main goals. I’m also pretty hungry but don’t really understand how to change dollars into Hong Kong currency. I will probably ask the front desk.
The day has gone better today I think. Better participation, energy level on my part. Got to keep it up!
We are largely being trained in a conference room like setting. We sit in chairs in a circle and talk about Peace Corps policy, expectations, language, culture, safety and security, health. It is definitely a rigorous schedule. There is just so much to take in, and this is going to be an endurance type of deal. We had an activity where we walked with the training manual on our heads across the room, and we couldn’t touch it, even if it fell. Someone else had to pick it up for us and put it back on our head. Mine didn’t fall, but I had to pick up Whitney’s.
Just got back from the reception with the current volunteers. Very interesting evening. The entertainment is what I generally like when I go to these kinds of things. I really hope I’m doing okay. Tomorrow I’ll have to try harder.
One cool thing today was a jam session I had with D.J., Tim, and John. All good guitar players.
You need to keep moving… don’t get stuck.
I just met my host family. Nothing can really prepare you for it. I walked through the door with Ananda, he sort of introduced us to each other, and after a minute or two, he left, and I was all alone with my pak and bu. (I forgot their names, and the paper that has them is on the other side of the mosquito net). The 2 kids were really shy. I’ve hardly spoken to them, but it’s only the first day, and I suppose as far as first days go, things could have been a lot worse. We watched a soccer game during dinner, Malang vs. Jakarta. Malang scored 2 goals. Pak really seems to like soccer. A few more random things: Mike left his bag, and they thought it was mine, so pak took me on a walk through the village to get it. Huge mountains. I’m pretty high up right now. I’m so tired…
That first moment with the family is hard to make out. You just have such limited language that it is very difficult to communicate. I think we were both trying to speak the others language, ironically. I have to go to bed. Too tired.