Thursday, September 18, 2014

The End of Training Has Come

our Ethiopian family
The end of pre-service training (PST) is rapidly approaching (swearing in is tomorrow!). I can't believe in just one day we'll all be off to our sites, scattered all around the country. It seems like we just got here and also like we've been in training forever.

No one who's been through it will ever tell you PST is easy. It's not easy. There are so many things to learn, people to meet, ways to act, and things to do. We are willingly thrown into another culture, into a family and expected to stay positive and keep learning. Keep learning the language, even if your host family can't be bothered to wake up to make you breakfast (this happened to a friend, not me!). Keep participating in training sessions, even if you have yet another bacteria infection and are just trying to get your stomach under control. Keep doing homework, even if you get home and would rather do anything but more work. Keep going, keep it positive, keep trying. Don't stop!

And inevitably through it all, we all had our bad days. We all needed time to vent about something we didn't like about our language teachers or a particular training session or our host families or whatever. We were sick with bacteria infections, amoebas, and parasites, to name a few. We endured bed bugs and cold bucket showers.

There were some parts of training that were extremely difficult, especially when some of our fellow trainees were sent or chose to return home. It's hard to lose friends in this process and I wish some things were done differently. (I miss you ,Casey!!)

It's hard, it's fun, and it can be frustrating at times. It was challenging because of all the trainings and expectations. It's A LOT of work. On the other hand, it was fun because I got to get know some really amazing Americans in my group as we went through this process together. I also got to know some really great Ethiopians, especially my host family who are some of the best people I have ever met in my life. I feel so lucky to have spent my PST under the care of Mommy (Etagu), Dad (Tadesse), and my host sister K'al. They've already made us promise we will come home for every holiday while we're in Ethiopia since our site is only about 4 hours away.

No matter how hard it is and how much I wish I could do something to change the past, I can't. I must move forward. There is a lot of work to be done in Durame and I have to give it my all.

The end of training is bittersweet. I'm excited to be off to Durame to begin working, have my own house, and meet new friends. After almost every hour being scheduled during PST, I'm excited for the freedom to make my own choices regarding my time and my diet. However, there's a lot I will miss. I will miss our parents' laughs, which are both so wonderfully unique and joyous you can't help but laugh along. I'll miss joking with my host sister. I'll miss visiting with our neighbors in the compound and the town of Butajira. I'll miss the sambusas for 1 birr that taste like heaven around the corner from my house. And most certainly I will miss spending every day learning alongside my fellow Peace Corps Trainees in G11 (Group 11). There are truly some amazing individuals in our group and I'm so happy I got the chance to meet and work with every single one of them.

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