Today is March 27, which seems like it will pass as any routine Thursday should – tutoring, prepping our Life Skills program with my counterpart, class.
The big deal, of course, is that one year ago today I was sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, having endured roughly two-and-a-half months of language and technical training. That day there were 95 of us, most dressed in traditional Moroccan djellabas, and if anyone else’s thoughts mirrored my own, scared out of our minds knowing we would be leaving the confines safety of training the next day for our respective sites.
Today we are a few less people – although I’m not sure of what our exact tally is, having seen our stage-mates depart from us due to medical and personal reasons – however as evidenced by the #95strong on our Facebook statuses our original group has stayed in our minds. We have figured ourselves out in this new country, or hopefully (as in my case) are on our way to figuring ourselves out – what is our role, how do we best benefit the communities in which we serve, what’s the best approximation of Mexican food we can come up with without spending 4 hours preparing everything?
We’re also getting ready to see what is known as the “Super Stage” exit the country. The training group who arrived in 2012 came into the country with over 100 members and they became our gurus in the ways of Peace Corps, ready with advice and suggestions as we settled in. To watch them leave, will I think, be an even bigger milestone than today.
As it is, there seems to be no time for celebrations of any sort. I’m working my way through a particularly nasty cold that had me canceling class and remaining glued to the couch all yesterday. Today at least the achiness has stopped, so I’m up and about trying my hardest to not blow my nose in public, which is a taboo action here.
Next weekend the new volunteers will arrive and the next day my stage has to make the trek north to Rabat for our Mid Service Training, which I’m assuming will contain a celebration or two. Immediately upon our return, we have another week of spring camp and then just a few weeks left until my big “vacation” in which I will go to Europe and see my family.
Maybe more than having been here for over a year, the idea that sticks out to me is that from here on out I have less than a year left of my service. Pressure is on to make things awesome.