Date: 16 June 2019
Location: Back at the concrete crib
These are my new friends!
Ivan and Godfrey have been assigned to me along with my Peace Corps site location. They are walking me through my journey in to their village. They are local Ugandan people that are in direct contact or working alongside the Relief for African Growing Generations (RAGGA).
They are a jolly bunch and like every new interaction, we were quite timid at first when meeting each other. Slowly easing in to our new companionship, I’ve gotten to know more about them, their mission and vision for their organization and about the expectations of what they want from me as their Peace Corps Volunteer.
So, tell me more about what’s going on…
Currently, we’re in this next phase for our Pre-Service Training, or PST. It goes a bit like this:
- Introduction to Peace Corps
- Language Training
- Future Site Visit
- Language Training Wrap-up
- Technical Immersion
- PST Wrap-up
At this stage, we’re more than halfway through PST. Many RPCV and current PCVs would also say that this is one of the more difficult parts of Peace Corps. Consider that you’re going through hours and hours of information everyday, with very little days off to recuperate and recharge, it’s going to be rough.
Consider that you’re going to be subjected to a lot of new things all at once:
- new friends and acquaintances
- a change in regular diet
- sleep schedules
- unwanted attention in the community
- trying to communicate home, etc.
Of course, it’s not exclusively good or bad when going through PST, it’s an entire period of training, learning, repetition and mental challenges that prepare you for the ongoing challenges that you will face as a Peace Corps Volunteer…
I’m also hoping that I’m right about that lol.
So, how was that Future Site Visit?
Like the electricity at my homestay when it rains, it was crazy.
Lots of things to be excited about in the RAGGA organization. From being a mentor and facilitator to the organization, working with a community of people whom I’ve gotten to know and befriend in my two days of visitation, and being able to use my Lusoga language skills in the field, it was basically revelation day for me.
I’ve met the leaders of the community, many of the people of the village and greeted many of the people on our many walks around the area.
It’s VERY rural. But to put it in a different light, it’s simple living.
To paint a picture briefly, once you are trained up in PST as a trainee in Peace Corps, you will be placed within an organization to work on the goals that Peace Corps has set out for you to accomplish. This can include capacity building, promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, or promoting agriculture, and so on.
Being a volunteer, you are assigned Peace Corps goals according to your sector, e.g. health or agriculture. However, you are also subjected to the goals that your organization that you are working with on site, for the next two year.