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Saturday, September 27, 2008

In the Land of Anagrams and Goats

So I mentioned to some people during the application process that I realized I was signing on to a Government program when I discovered my training handbook had an entire glossary reserved for program anagrams. Today, at orientation, I found I have entered a new realm of this. We are no longer Peace Core Volunteers: we are now PCV's. Today we got the DOS from our CD (description of service from the country director). We didn't chat about the locals: we discussed the HCN's (host country nationals). We talked about when we could do our SPA's and our VAD's (volunteer assignment description and small project assistance). And apparently, when its time to go home, its not the end: its the COS (close of service). And if we decide to don't want to finish and go home early, we don't quit: we ET (early termination). And as many of us all discussed, besides the toilet and the lack of shower fears, there is the looming terror that we will suffer from MS (medical separation) from our site. Let me just say this would be a difficult program if I was dyslexic.

The people in our group are all pretty interesting. Definitely some interesting ones in the bunch. Today was a series of ice breakers, including Fact Bingo, list making, drawing pictures (most of which turned out to be of outhouses, goats, and riding camels) and Q and A with our desk representative. We all got debit cards with american flags printed on them. Stellar. Well, the schedule for the next week should be a fun one:

Sunday: more staging (i.e. orientation) from 8am until 7pm.
Monday: leave Philly at 7:30, off to JFK, depart for Istanbul
Tueday: arrive in Istanbul, 12 hr layover
Wednesday: arrive in Ashgabat 3:00am...sleep as much as I possibly can.

After that I assume we will be doing another in-country orientation, after which they will kick us all to the curb, where we will all promptly fall of the face of the earth until about mid december while we do our language training and program prep at our first home site.

So far I can say one sentence in Turkmen : men adym megan, men turmenece gowy bilemok.

Me name is megan, I don't speak Turkmen very good.

Well, thats about it for now. Stay tuned, ya'll.

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