PST 2.0 is officially over and I am a volunteer squared! The past few weeks have been so full of extreme emotions that I almost just feel kind of numb. Our ceremony occurred yesterday late morning in rainy Maputo at the U.S. Ambassador’s house. It was a lovely ceremony, complete with a wonderful speech by our volunteer representative and a song that we prepared for the occasion! We sang the classic “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” but I re-wrote it in Portuguese to speak to our experience here. It all came together really well and was fun to see everyone all dressed up and excited for the occasion!
The last few weeks of PST were a whirlwind of model school, admin sessions, prepping for the ceremony, and of course soaking up our last minutes all together as trainees and with our homestay families. While there were definitely down-sides to going through PST again, overall it was a really painless experience. My host family was great, the other PCVs are wonderful, and the staff here is awesome! But at the end of the day, I’m ready to be done and get back to work. We’re currently on our way to the regional capitals (South, Central, and North) for a 2-day supervisor’s conference. Since I’m going north, I’ll be in Nampula. After the conference, we’ll finally go to our sites!
I will be living in a town called Macomia in the province of Cabo Delgado (hence the new blog name – Cabo Verde to Cabo Delgado)! It’s a sizeable town that seems to be sort of a transit intersection. There is a market and our school is brand new. I will be living with another volunteer from our training group named Eryn, who is a science teacher. We’ll be living on a Catholic mission and have heard only good things! We are “opening” the site for the education program, meaning there haven’t been any Ed volunteers there before, however there is a Health volunteer living there now. I’m sure this will present some new challenges as we assist the school in opening its partnership with the Peace Corps, but I think it’s going to be a really rewarding experience. And as I’ve had a year of experience already, I think I’ll be in a good position to anticipate some of the challenges we might face. Since it’s a new site, we really don’t have any more information, so I’ll have to write another update after my first few days!
We should be all moved in and ready to go just in time for Christmas. As always, spending the holiday season overseas (especially in Africa) is a little bit hard. It’s my favorite time of the year and I really miss friends and family back home. But PCV’s are great at planning wonderful events to distract from said homesicknesses, and Christmas will be no exception! Eryn and I will be making our way to Pemba to celebrate with the MOZ-17ers and I bought some cinnamon sticks and cloves in the Maputo grocery store so I can make some delicious apple cider and curl up with some Christmas music (in the stifling African summer heat).
I wish you all joy and peace this Christmas! As the song says, I’ll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams :)