August 8, 2009—Official Volunteer. No more training wheels.
I made it—to the beginning. Yesterday was the first day of two years of servitude here in Moldova. After 58 days of pre-service training I have been officially deemed official. The evidence can be seen in the following four photographs.
Official. Notice the overwhelming sense of self-worth in my face…no…well try harder. I don’t mean to be facetious; it just comes a little too easy.
Yesterday felt really good. A sense of accomplishment accompanied me on my way to my new village. The pre-service training can summed up as simply as a good pain. It is a large amount of time and energy invested in the growth of your language ability and a time to be Pre-steeped (if you will) in the culture prior to the big submersion. Something I near-wholeheartedly agree is necessary for service. Toward the end of training you tend to get a little tired, a little crazy, and anxious to start the projects you have been assigned.
The van ride down to my village wasn’t all that interesting, just a lot of time for reflection. Oh yeah, I did figure out what the word for smoke detector was though, why you ask, because it was going off somewhere deep within my packed luggage within the van. Lucky for me it stopped somehow and people only looked at me weird for a little while.
The drive itself was beautiful. Gorgeous day mixed with a couple of good conversations on the bus and lots of music that seemed to fit the mood perfectly. I feel that the sunflower fields were trying to tell me something though. Sunflowers are very common here; many huge fields of vivid yellow and green patch the valley floors. The harvest is approaching within a few days for them though. In fields of thousands and thousands of sunflowers I would see the occasionally sunflower with its head up following the sun on its usual course, surrounded with the rest of its buddies with their bowed bodies nose-diving for the ground. There were two ideas consistently circulating in my mind:
1) Persistence, willpower, and sheer tenacity of seeing things through; or
2) The futile attempt at surmounting the inevitable.
The Peace Corps volunteer in me concluded that there was only humor in this moment with the Oracle.