On Friday, December 9, 2016, I swore in as an official Peace Corps Volunteer. It was an emotional moment for me as I realized that after three grueling months of language training I was actually living my Some Day – my Dream.
Let’s face it, CBT was hard. It tests your perseverance and resiliency in ways most of us have never been tested (although grad school is a close comparison!). You learn a lot about yourself as well as reaffirm what you know about yourself. Two main ideas that were reaffirmed for me during this time was that 1) I am a visual learner, which makes learning a spoken language all that more challenging, and 2) I need positive energy around me to help me through really trying times.
I am nowhere near where I need or want to be with the language, but I know that with time and patience (and a tutor!) it will happen. I see small improvements every day.
The day after swear in, 105 brand new PCVs headed out across the country. It was the start of a 4-day holiday (the Prophets birthday) and transportation was tricky. Since I’m in the southern region of the country, I was on a train for 7 hours and it was so packed with families that there was no room to walk in the hallways; getting to the bathroom was impossible. I arrived at my site on Sunday evening and was immediately greeted with multiple family members who were visiting for the holiday.
My new host family is just as nice and sweet as my CBT family. I am so grateful and thankful that I am well taken care of in this country! The last three weeks of being at site has consisted a lot of sleeping, reading and watching Samhini (the Turkish soap opera popular here) with my family. They got quite a kick out of me saying that Kamel was zwiin. There is a PCV in my site so I’ve also been shadowing her, meeting people and trying to figure out where I’ll best fit in.
As I ushered in 2017 with my family while watching the countdown on TV, I reflected on 2016 and all that it brought me. I also realized that I accomplished a few Bucket List items along the way: live in another country; learn a new language (work in progress!) and celebrate the New Year in another country. (See my Bucket List for more accomplishments)
Sana Sa3ida everyone! I’m excited to see what 2017 has to offer!