Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Square G

With Mama Tuti at Swear-In
Along the banks of the Rio Parana
Settling in at our new site
G: Refers to training class.  Training groups are identified by the first letter in the name of the training facility followed by their successive number.  (Training facilities move every handful of years.)  Kevin and I belong to G-36.
Moving-in Allowance: New volunteers receive a small stipend to assist with the associated costs of moving to site and settling in.  Although some move into furnished houses, more often volunteers need to purchase basic home necessities, e.g. mattress, refrigerator. 
Swear-In: During PC service, one does not become an official volunteer until completing three months of training and taking an oath.  The formal ceremony includes PC staff, local government officials, and wonderful cake. 
Swear-In Weekend: Post swear-in, volunteers have a few free days before they move to their new sites.  Most volunteers use this time to relax, spend time with G-mates, and purchase last minute basics while in the capital.

Well, at this point we can not deny it any longer.  Really, though, we never stood a chance.  If swear-in weekend defines us, we truly are the square G.  Some Gs drink away their entire moving-in allowances during swear-in weekend.  Other Gs get banned from certain hotels.  Some even spend the weekend fighting.  We, on the other hand, spent the weekend in bed.  And no, not in any infamous sort of way.  Our entire G has picked up a nasty cold.

Not that any of us expected the type of antics that turn into legend.  Generally, we keep things pretty tranquilo.  No one drinks too much (PVCs are at extremely high risk for alcohol abuse during service) and somehow everyone gets along.  Still, though, I doubt anyone expected an incident free weekend.  At least we have the next two years to gather stories of mythic stock. 

For now, we have all scattered throughout Paraguay to carve out homes and adopted families in new locales.  I will miss you, G-36.  You are all in my heart as we start this new adventure together.  And if we need to get any closer, we’re just a text away.  I’ll see you in three months.

No comments:

Post a Comment