Posh Corps/Beach Corps...

My favorite things abour Swear In Week:

-Getting to sleep in a REAL *QUEEN SIZED* bed with FOUR pillows all to myself for 3 nights

-Having A/C in my hotel room so effective I could snuggle under the blankets

-Having access to hot water for hot showers and hot tea when I got a cold and lost my voice because my body wasn't used to air conditioning

-The Pool

-Having a lot of down time to hang out with my fellow trainees

-Being able to video skype SO MANY of my favorite people and actually *SEE* their beautiful faces!

-The food from Niko's cafe...omg lasagna

-Using an elevator to move my stuff

-Getting all dressed up, doing my hair and makeup and nails (for maybe the last time in 2 years)

-Having a conversation with the US Ambassador

-Taking pictures of the Panama skyline with lots of snazzy, brand new Volunteers


-Beer that is not Atlas, Panama, or Balboa

-The Cultural activity in my host community right before we left

-Baking homemade chocolate chip cookies in an oven that may have been farenheit or celsius, we are still not sure, without any measuring cups

-Eating homemade chocolate chip cookies

-Laying on a floor covered in mattresses with 6 of my best friends watching Cobra on the TV because it was actually in English

-Speaking in English

-Pizza, pizza, and pizza. With Veggies.

-Greek salads. With Veggies. I miss veggies all the time.

-Hotel breakfast...omelettes made to order.

-Getting 'good luck, we miss you, may God be with you in your work and travels' text from my Santa Rita host family the morning of Swear In

-Getting a manual on Embera alphabet, grammar, and vocabulary

-Being the 'kids in the back of the room' during our post tests for Spanish and Tech skills and causing as much trouble as possible without actually getting INTO trouble

-Humming American songs in the back of the room during our info sessions on the 4th of July

-Getting woken up from my sleep at 10pm on the 4th of July to a chorus of 40-some Trainees wailing the US national anthem at the top of their lungs at the pool 4 floors down outside my window. Because it was an American hotel, I think it was generally well received!

-Climbing on the rocks on the beach

-Body surfing

-Frisbee on the beach

-Napping in a purple hammock

-Flushing a toilet and using soap EVERY TIME I went to the bathroom

-Pete and Soraya's swear in speeches

-Leo gave us a 'pre game pep talk' and the first piece out advice out of his mouth was 'Raise the Stakes'. I immediately had goosebumps. Thanks, Jason.

-Watching some of the other trainees who couldn't speak any Spanish when we got here introduce themselves into a microphone, in Spanish, in front of everyone at the ceremony

-Standing together with 43 of my good friends taking an oath to serve the people of Panama and the Peace Corps for the next 2 years. My goosebumps had goosebumps.

-Calling myself an official Peace Corps Volunteer for the first time

-Getting hugs and warm wishes from my new fellow Volunteers as we did my least favorite thing about Swear In Week- scattered to the winds all over Panama

Tonight, I sleep on a mattress in a hotel room with internet, a toilet, and cold showers for the last time for...a long time. Tomorrow morning I make the last leg of my trip back home. My new home. This morning when I left the beach, I was so not ready to go back to the life in the campo, but somewhere along the 5.5 hour bus ride with Danielle and Ben (who was sitting on a 5 gal bucket for a seat, I might add) that changed, and I got re-energized for life in my community. Just in time. Because ready or not, here we go!

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