The Countdown Begins

To my family, friends, future Peace Corps members, and readers,

Let me preface with this: uncertainties are exhilarating and inspiring, but I understand the frustration bystanders may bear because of them. That being said, I’m relieved to share new information with you regarding the logistics of my Peace Corps journey, especially to my family and friends who have patiently accepted my series of “I don’t know”s to many of their questions.

August 28, 2017 – Staging. Fly from Virginia to Los Angeles, California for Staging. Staging is a two-day pre-orientation where I’ll attend preparation sessions and meet other Peace Corps trainees.

August 29, 2017 – Departure. Fly from Los Angeles to Fiji. A lengthy 12-hour flight.

August 31, 2017 – Arrive. Fly from Fiji to Tonga. Lasting less than 2 hours, this will be my shortest flight! Staff and current volunteers will meet me and other Trainees at the airport. From there, we will attend a welcome BBQ at the Peace Corps office, and then go to the Guest House, where we’ll stay for two days.

September 1, 2017 – Orientation. Along with my peers, I’ll attend formal sessions in the morning at the Peace Corps Office, which will include a Welcome Kava Ceremony (more to come on Kava Ceremonies). I will see a Medical Office for vaccines and receive more information about staying with my host family for the next three months of training.

September 2, 2017 – Orientation. I’ll attend Water Safety Training that is required of new Trainees and meet my host family.

September 2 – November 6, 2017 – Training. These next few months of training will include intensive language sessions, as well as technical, health, safety, and cross culture sessions. I will also have the opportunity to visit with current volunteers in their communities!

November 9, 2017 – Swearing-In Ceremony. I will swear in as a Peace Corps Volunteer and will soon move to the community I’m placed in to serve as an English Language Facilitator.

There you have the logistics of my Peace Corps Tonga travels and schedule! But, I’m more excited to share with you the personal accounts and experiences that will challenge me and remind me of why I made this simple, yet difficult decision.

Until then, if I left questions unanswered, please ask away!

-Urvi

P.S. To my family and friends, thank you for easing the difficulty of this month with your intentional words and actions. Sending love your way!

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