Sunday, June 14, 2015

Leaving the Abbey

After two days of training meetings and socialization at the Benedictine Abbey, our group will be dispersed later this afternoon to live with our individual host families. Living with locals for the next seven weeks is an important part of the Peace Corps training. We will be attending continuing Peace Corps training sessions at a local community center during the day, but we will be learning from our host families during our time outside of training.

The members of our group will be scattered around to various villages. There are about four or five others that will be in the village I've been assigned to for the next seven weeks.

The Peace Corps provided us money to ride the local bus, but we also have the option of walking to the community center. We've been told the walk takes about half an hour from our village (depending on where your host family lives within the village) and that the walk is primarily downhill. I think most of our little group are interested in walking at least in the mornings, and perhaps riding the bus on the way home. We will hopefully try it out tomorrow and see how it goes.

The move later today to our assigned host families brings excitement as well as questions. How will it be living in someone else's home? Will we hit it off? Will they have an internet connection I can use? There are so many questions that will start becoming clearer later today.

After seven weeks of training on St. Lucia, our group will be divided among the four island nations, and we will spend the first three weeks on our assigned island (Grenada, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, or perhaps staying on St. Lucia) living with host families there.

It is also sad to be leaving the Benedictine Abbey. Although we only spent two nights here, it has been our first home on this 26 month Peace Corps journey. The food has been delicious, the nuns have been nice to us (by the way, it turns out that they also wear habits in more colors than just white), the grounds are beautiful, and the food has been delicious (have I mentioned that?). We will long remember the time we spent here, learning about our service and getting to know one and other better. I am fortunate to be among this amazing group of fellow volunteers!

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