Let’s go back to when we started our application. The fear, the uncertainty, the bravery. The moments before hitting submit, are we good enough for this? We waited for a word, a call, a sign… wait, an interview?! Breathe.
Of course the video call doesn’t work. But here we go. These are my hopes and dreams… please, just like me! We waited again. And a little some more. The wonder, the doubt. But congratulations!!! You’ve been invited to serve… after you fill these documents, sign these papers, read these emails, go to these appointments, buy all these things, and get these shots. Got it?
After (for some of us) a year goes by, finally, we’re in Philadelphia. The cheesesteaks, the three little ghosts, the snow, the bus ride to New York, the sleepless flight.
Greeted by a hot, humid hug… mama, we made it to Guyana. But wait, our ferry isn’t leaving for another four hours?! Just. Keep. Smiling.
Finally, we reach Mainstay. Our first dip in the beautiful black water. Our first taste of rice and roti and pumpkin and curry. Our first feel for the next two years of our life. Yea, those five days were special. And on the last, we all felt it, didn’t we? This is where we are meant to be.
Now we’ve been here for two months. It wasn’t easy, but look how we’ve grown. So much has changed, even our pants size, and we’re still all here. There were times we didn’t know if we could, times we weren’t sure if we were ready, times we felt like we were done. But look! See! A million PACA presentations, memes, and coconut water bottles later… Today, we are no longer trainees.
So congratulations, GUY 30. We did it. We’re officially Peace Corps Volunteers.
I’m proud to call you not only my friends, but my family.
38, we came. And 38, I hope are here to stay.
Love always, Mel