Monday, August 17, 2009

No longer an Aspirante:Swear-in Weekend

The swearing in ceremony was short and sweet. The ambassador swore us in at her house at the embassy, then we got to eat finger foods and an amazing chocolates cake. People have been raving about this cake for days and I was a little worried that it wouldn’t meet expectations, but I was oh so wrong. It was ricisimo, especially considering I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate cake. They sell it by weight: 45,000G [$US9] per kilo. I think ours cost about $400,000G [$US80], which is more than most volunteers pay in rent each month. And the lady who makes them doesn’t have a normal cake store; you have to know about her via word of mouth. So yea, this was one damn special cake.

Ronnell’s speech:

As soon as I get a copy, I’ll post it.

I spent the weekend in Asuncion hanging out with volunteers, gorging myself on free wireless internet, trying not to spend too much money [Final bill: $360,100G(1 month’s rent). Ouch], and wandering around without a specific goal or schedule.

• Chocolate Cake!
• Getting to see admin people act like normal humans
• Josh/Josue from G24. If you know him, that is all that needs to be said; if you don’t know him, you’ll never understand anyway.
• Free breakfast and wireless internet at the hotel
• Having Gina understand the difficulties I had with former host mom Teresa.
• How many volunteers does it take to figure out how to use the ATM: Answer-5 volunteers plus the security guard that took pity on us and helped us figure the darn thing out
• One volunteer intended to go back to his training community to spend more time with his host family there. He ended up staying at the hotel in Asuncion every night: checking out every morning, and checking back into the hotel every evening. I have no idea why.
• Emailing a girl who is going to begin training in September about what to pack
• Listening to Norte music in the hotel room. BTW big thanks to Elmer for putting some more songs on my computer to mix it up a bit.
• Watching Harry Potter in English. The movie wasn’t good, but I was tickled pink to find a theater actually playing it in English. I refuse to see US movies for the first time if they have dubbed into Spanish; the actors’ voices are too important.
• Watching more reserved volunteers slowly come out of their shells, especially after a few drinks.
• Ahendu at Older Bar
• Not feeling like I misrepresent myself when I say I’m a PC volunteer ‘cause I’m official now :)

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