You'll be happy to know I've passed Peace Corps Training and was sworn in this past Friday as a Peace Corps Volunteer! But to back up a bit, the final Silozi test was this past Wednesday. It went better than expected and I managed a score in the intermediate range. Thursday we traveled into Windhoek to do some administrative paperwork and shopping before going out to site. I'm going to be living with a family in a homestead for the first six weeks so I held off on buying pots and pans till I'm in a place of my own. I did buy a travel sized sleeping bag and enjoyed a much missed burger and french fries meal.
The swearing in ceremony was rather brief. Out of the 45 that we started with, 44 were swearing in. The PC country director and someone from the Ministry of Education gave speeches, the ambassador from the US embassy swore us in, and then a few from my group gave speeches in their class language. I gave a word of thanks in Silozi last weekend during our Host Family appreciation lunch, so I was spared this time around. But the Namibian crowd were really entertained hearing us speak in their languages. We sang a few Namibian songs followed by a local school choir sang and then we were let loose to celebrate. An unlucky few from our group whose sites were nearby had to leave right away, but for the majority of us who weren't leaving till the next day, made a dance party up on a few rocks just outside of town.
Managed only a couple hours of sleep before shipping out to site the next day with Lorna and Stephanie (my two fellow Caprivians). A bit of confusion with a last minute switch in drivers and a misunderstanding of just how much of luggage we each had. It didn't help that the PC gave each volunteer a humongous green truck to store our valuables in to go along with our the two years worth of belongs. After some creative reorganization, managed to get everything on board the combi and we were on the road by 7AM. Unfortunately we left earlier than everybody else so didn't get in all the goodbyes I wanted, but I'll be seeing everybody again in six weeks at our reconnect.
The drive wasn't bad. I dozed in and out for most of the 14 hours. Didn't see any elephants this time around. Since Stephanie's site was along the main highway we dropped her off, but as for Lorna and me, whose sites are a bit off the beaten path and with it being dark, we were going to have to wait in Katima till the next morning to get to site. Thankfully the UK Volunteer Marika, who we stayed with last time, was kind enough to let us crash with her again. We were even treated to a vegetarian dinner by Marika's neighbors an Australian Volunteer couple named Manna and Rani. Two of the nicest people I have ever met. Never had I been so happy to see so many vegetables as the Namibian diet is as far from vegetarian as it gets.
The next day Lorna and I spent shopping for a weeks worth of groceries and enjoyed the fish, spinach, and porridge lunch from a delicious market vendor we had been craving ever since we left Katima. The plan was to catch a ride out at 3PM to site with my principal who had to travel through Katima to get to Sangwali anyways. So we waited... and we waited... and we waited, but he never showed up or responded to any phone calls or texts. Marika was understanding though and told us we could remain as long as we need, and her roommate Vivian who does school inspections promised to give us a lift out to site the next day. It turned out it was movie night in the UK's house, so we all sat around a laptop eating popcorn.
Which now brings us to today. Just as Lorna and I were getting ready at 8AM to leave to site with Vivian, my principal calls telling me he lined up a ride for me at 11. Gah!!! So here I am waiting for a ride that may or may not show up, but I'm on Africa time now. Waiting is just something I'll have to get used to doing. I'll get to my site eventually. At least for now I can enjoy my tea and one last hot shower.