Sworn In, Now What?

Well, I just spend an hour writing a lovely, witty blog update just to have the power cut out and lose it. As we like to say, “High highs, Low lows.” Peace Corps is an emotional roller coaster. I’ll summarize what I had already written:

I took an oath regarding upholding the constitution, and I’m now an official Peace Corps volunteer! Here’s a video where you can see my teacher, confidant and second mother Ouly and a bunch of my friends–all of whom kept me sane these past 2 months. One noteworthy discrepancy, however, is the atmosphere of our cocktail hour. While we seem to be leisurely enjoying pleasantries and the sunshine, it was in fact more along the lines of a bacon-in-the-middle match with hors d’oeuvres in place of a football. Fingerfood-deprived Peace Corps volunteers can’t be expected to behave themselves around cheesy mashed potato balls.

It’s bittersweet finishing training and moving to Kebemer. I developed a unique bond with my host family, the Peace Corps training staff, and my fellow volunteers. Being so vulnerable when I arrived here and being taken care of so well by everyone has left me overwhelmed with gratitude and very sad to say goodbye. It’s hard to articulate how terrifying it is to be unable to meet your basic needs on your own, and how life changing it is to be surrounded by people who you know care deeply about you. Almost like speed-growing up; I don’t know if I’ll ever experience another time in my life like this, or ever make relationships under similar circumstances again. Tears were shed during the swearing in.

But I’m excited to unpack my bags, cook for myself, and start my work. It’s both exciting and also really scary to have a completely open ended schedule in my future. Come Wednesday, it’s all up to me what I do with my time!

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2 comments

  1. Hey Hannah – I think that was you on the second row in the maroon dress with some sort of hair wrap. Nice video. You will do excellent in your venture. I am so proud of you and wish I was there to give you a great big hug. Congrats on the swearing in – you Peace Corp Volunteer you !! Love you much. Dad

  2. Hannah, WOW!!!!! Your mom mentioned to me a few weeks ago about your blog and Ive just found the paper with your info on it! I am thrilled to read of your decision to join The Peace Corps and ask God’s blessings on you as you minister to and help others in the area you have been placed. How amazing!!! Will look forward to keeping up with you and your experiences on your blog in the future. Much love sent your way,

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