Nick and I woke up early this morning to watch the sunrise and wash our clothes in a bucket on the porch of the training hall dorms. While I scrubbed (and scrubbed and scrubbed) I found my mind wandering around thoughts ranging from, “I cannot believe this is my new home.” to the more practical, “How is it possibly this hot at 5am?”.
We have officially made it to the one week mark! To say that it’s been a blur would be an understatement. Cultural training, language training, diversity training, navigating local currency, health and security training, Peace Corps technical training, Liberian history, introductions to gender roles and challenges in Liberian education, delicious food, and of course more shots, have filled our days.
We are beginning to fall in love with this country. Every time I start to feel down, a Liberian (or fellow trainee, or PC staff member) gives me a reason to smile. Nick was greeted at the airport by a customs guard who asked, “Ah, American? Hey, who’s on first?”, and any doubts we had evaporated into the 95% humidity. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t overwhelmed and intimidated by the language barriers, navigating a market in a new city, and the mountain of learning we will climb during pre-service training. However, this is the most welcoming country I have ever visited, and so far they are patient with my Libera Englay. Liberians are hilarious, kind, tenacious, hard working, and inspiring. The staff here is brilliant, and it is an honor to have the opportunity to learn from them.
Over the next ten weeks, we will stay in Margibi County with our host families (whom we will meet this Wednesday), and continue cultural/language/technical teaching/health and safety training/etc.- and of course there are a few more rounds of shots on the schedule… so yay about that (not).