Over the past couple of weeks, I have received lots of helpful information concerning what to expect from my first week or so of Peace Corps service. Again, I’m thinking this post will be the most interesting to folks that have received their invitations and/or are approaching their staging dates, and for the rest of you it might be mind-numbingly boring. Since I know in my heart that only my family and close friends read this blog (because I make them), this will hopefully shed some light on some things I have been, ahem, interrogated about.
On April 30th I will fly to Philadelphia for what is called staging. Upon arrival at the hotel, I will register with the Peace Corps staff there. The other members of Guyana 25 will be there as well, and this is our first chance to meet and get to know each other before we depart on this adventure together—I am super excited about this part! On May 1st from roughly 8-12 we will have a mini-orientation, hop on a bus later that afternoon and head to NYC for our flight. At 1am-ish on May 2nd we are OFF!
Upon arrival in Guyana (about 7am), we are immediately whisked off into the middle of the jungle with only a machete and dropped off with no training. KIDDING Dad.
The first few days will be spent in orientation sessions and medical interviews. During this time we are put up at a hotel. There is no internet or phone at this hotel, and I have been instructed to inform you, my friends and family, that I will be unable to contact you for at least a week until I get access to a computer or phone in my training community. On Sunday May 5th we will leave the hotel and split into two training groups — Coastal or Remote—head to our respective training sites, and begin our homestay with the host families.
About 8 weeks in, we will receive our site assignments (aka where we will be spending the next two years of our lives). Two weeks after that, after being sworn in as official United States Peace Corps Volunteers, we really will be whisked off into the jungle, but WITH training 😉
Now this part is really important, so pay attention: For those of you that really love me and want to send me letters/packages, I have included my mailing address for the first 10 weeks and some information on mailing things.
Jade Hammer, GUY 25
U.S. Peace Corps Guyana
c/o United States Embassy
100 Young & Duke Streets, Kingston
***Mail service between the United States and Guyana is fairly reliable. Airmail letters from home usually take two weeks to arrive in Guyana and four to five weeks to arrive in the United States from Guyana. Surface mail may take months. The further a Volunteer’s site is from a large city, the less dependable and frequent the mail service.
Until next time!