The End of Training

1 10 2011

Since our visit to Siem Reap, Tim and I have been busy, busy, busy. Despite the fact that most of us were getting eager for training to come to a close, classes continued. And so did the tests! For language, we were faced with the dreaded Language Proficiency Interview. Luckily, Tim and I both passed! For technical training, we each had to submit a portfolio with documents from all of our activities we have done throughout the course of training. Lesson plans, activity summaries, observations, quizzes and personal statements all gave the Peace Corps staff tangible evidence of our attitudes and competencies so that they could take one final look at us as potential volunteers before we swear in on October 3rd.

The past few weeks have not been all work, however. We also got to take a mini-vacation to a town called Kep, which sits on the Gulf of Thailand. We spent a night in a guesthouse there and spent 24 hours indulging in luxuries like pizza, wine and pasta. It was a quick, but very relaxing, little retreat.

At the Wat for Pchum Ben

The other fun thing that happened was Pchum Ben, a 15 day Buddhist holiday celebrated here. We went to the wat with our host family for a couple of days, accompanying them as they offered rice to the spirits of their ancestors. Women in Cambodia dress a very particular way when they attend formal ceremonies at the wat, which meant that I just had to get a new outfit made. The other perk of Pchum Ben is a yummy snack they call asom jayk– a sticky rice dessert wrapped in banana leaves and filled with a sweet banana inside.

The last big event for us was packing up our belongings and saying goodbye to our host family. I am really, really going to miss our family. Our host sister Nita and our host mother were both incredibly good to us and significantly shaped our first two months in Cambodia. It’s unfortunate that we will live an 8-hour bus ride away from them. But, on Thursday we had to say goodbye. And so we did.

Now we are spending a few short days in Phnom Penh, which will culminate with our swearing-in ceremony on Monday. This is when we will officially become Peace Corps volunteers and will move to our permanent sites. In the meantime, we will desperately try to ration our October payment as to not spend it all on ice cream and falafel.

Katie

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One response

1 10 2011
Barbara Muller

Congratulations on your language proficiency interview. You all look very nice in the picture. Your mini retreat sounded relaxing after such an intense training. I am glad they have you do these types of trips. Miss you.

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