Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Orientation in San Francisco

As I am writing this I am probably half asleep as I could not sleep the last week before I arrived.

The plane from Seattle was late as there was a dangerously thick cloud cover hanging over SFO. When we arrived, two hours after our initial arrival time, my other PCT (Peace Corps Trainee) friend Meghan (who amazingly enough is also from Olympia) were surprised to find four other trainees like ourselves on the same flight. Apparently this group of Cambodia Peace Corps volunteers is disproportionately representative of the Pacific Northwest as about 7 or 8 of the 45 of us are from Seattle and the surrounding areas.

After stowing our bags in our room we had just enough time to run downstairs and get in line to register to become a Peace Corps Trainee. Our orientation began soon afterward with some wonderful ice breakers and a workshop on Peace Corps policies.
The whole orientation lasted about 4 or 5 hours. It definitely helped me with the fundamentals. Working as a Peace Corps is a commitment and comes with many rules.

We were all starving and decided to meet downstairs at 7:30pm (we are staying at the kabuki Hotel in Japan Town in San Fran... IT IS FABULOUS). I had been able to have some wonderfully awkward but funny conversations with some other trainees durring the day but was very grateful that we had the night to go out and get to know each other better.

Tomorrow we check out of the hotel around 7:30 am. Our flight to Tokyo leaves around 1:30pm. They expect that we will need to get on the plane as soon as we check our baggage around 11 am. For the next few days we will be flying. First to Tokyo, then Bangkok (where we will stay for five hours at hotel) and then Phnom Penh on Friday.

Staging (where we will receive our shots, further information on rules and policies, and other additional information) will take place in Takeo about an hour south of the Capital. I hope hope hope I will be able to post a blog our two during that time. Internet Cafes are common in provincial cities but may not be as accessible with our training schedule. I will try to post as much as possible.

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