28 octubre 2010- jueves
In less than 24hrs I will be raising my right hand to swear in as a Peace Corps volunteer…Wow! I just got goosebumps reflecting on that. All of us are reacting with a sense of excitement and anxiety. There’s quite a few colds going around from the combo of stress and continuing acclimation to the microbios here. Me included. I’m on antibiotics to kick the bronchitis that developed, but I think I should be well enough to kick up my heels for some dancing celebration tomorrow night!
What a momentous day to meet the U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala who is kindly offering up his house for our ceremony. This may be the proudest day I will have as a citizen of the United States, choosing to serve my country in a peaceful capacity to benefit the people of Guatemala. Last week when I met a Mayan shopkeeper in my new town, she responded with “pobrecita” (poor thing) when I told her that I would be living there for 2 years, as if it were a punishment. I mulled this over with my new host parents, wondering why she didn’t say “bienvenido” (welcome) instead. I explained to them that applying to the Peace Corps had been a lengthy process and I had chosen to come to Guatemala…no one forced me to do so. I know that I will always be explaining my motives and my work to my host country nationals (Guatemalans), and thus, I will help to fulfill Peace Corps Goal #2- teaching other country nationals about the U.S. and its citizens….about our diversity and culture to combat the stereotypes broadcast in Hollywood films and TV.
Last Sunday we celebrated the hospitality of our current host families, offering them a home-cooked American meal… so spaghetti and garlic bread with green salad it was. The night before we had a group of 6 working on the two carrot cakes. Both cakes were polished off at the lunch, with one 7 year-old cook helper chomping down 4 pieces!! A great success, and now the recipe has been translated into Spanish for the benefit of all.
As a proud American, I will feel the presence of all of you standing alongside me in spirit as I take my oath tomorrow!