Yesterday was the big day - we boarded an airplane and took off for Namibia! Currently we are enjoying a ten hour layover in Frankfurt, and we seem to have the airport to ourselves considering the general silence and emptiness of our terminal. Two days ago I arrived in Philadelphia, and after a tearful goodbye with the family, I became an official Peace Corps Trainee (we become Volunteers when we swear-in in October)! After turning in a lot of paperwork, the 39 members of PC Namibia Group 34 began our staging activities. Everyone introduced themselves by adding something they had learned about Namibia, and I wish I could remember all the fun facts! The stuff about animals stuck with me, so I'll share those: apparently the largest concentration of rhinos in Africa are found in Namibia, giant millipedes are a specialty to eat, andddd the black mamba is widely found throughout the region (don't look that up if you don't like snakes, everything about them is scary). We talked about our anxieties, our aspirations, and the core expectations of the Peace Corps. Its so nice to be around so many people who've been going through the same process for at least a year! It seems like we have a great group and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone during training.
Anyway, staging wrapped up and all 39 of us were bold enough to try to find a restaurant to accommodate us. A place named Gigi's actually set up a row of 15 tables to fit all of us, took 25% off our meal, and then brought us a round of shots! It was a great ending to the first day with the Peace Corps.
Tonight our flight takes off around 8 and we have another ten hours on Air Namibia before arriving in Windhoek, the capital! We'll then all stay together at a training facility for 6 days while getting adjusted to Namibia, then September 1st we move in with our host families. A lot is going to happen in the next few days - after an initial interview with the Assistant Peace Corps Director in Namibia (APCD) and the Peace Corps Medical Officer (PCMO) I'll find out what language I'm going to learn, which will determine the region I'll be working in for the next two years! I'm so excited to finally get to Namibia - "the land of the brave!"