Change Yourself…Change The World.

How to Get 23 Peace Corps Trainees to Paraguay
May 26, 2011, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Paraguay

We have landed safe and sound in Paraguay after two long but uneventful flights! Our airport fiasco to Paraguay was definitely an adventure in itself. Imagine 23 Peace Corps Trainees trying to navigate through Miami Airport with enough luggage to sustain a small army. My only regret so far has been being so personally stringent about the 80 pound limit Peace Corps requested us to bring. I guess I had this image of a Peace Corps official standing over me while my bags were being weighed at the airport, or that my fellow Peace Corps trainees would ostracize me for not following the guidelines and having 50 lbs. in each bag- so I spent my final night at home weighing and re-weighing all of my bags to ensure that they were EXACTLY 80 pounds. In reality, many volunteers brought HUGE over-stuffed bags and decided to pay the extra fees to be transported to Paraguay. While part of me felt proud that both of my bags weighed in exactly at 80 pounds, I do regret not bringing some of the things I tossed out at the last minute because of my fear of my bags being overweight (such as my Nalgene canteen, some extra clothes, and a travel-sized blowdryer- MORE for the reason that I can heat myself up with it when I am freezing from the winter).

Bussing it to Miami International Airport

Fellow Peace Corps trainee Randi. As you can see, this girl brought a CPU with her to Paraguay. Love it.

My luggage that I brought to the Peace Corps

So in a nutshell, after a delayed flight and a near-missed connection in Montevideo, Uruguay, we finally arrived into Paraguay at 2 PM to be greeted by the director of Peace Corps Paraguay himself, Don Clark. He was very welcoming and all of the staff were very excited to have us there. After a quick walk-through the ‘diplomat’ line (score!) we arrived at baggage claim to find out that more than half of our bags did not make it to Paraguay (mine included). There are high hopes of them arriving tomorrow.

After our grand entrance into the airport terminal where our Peace Corps staff applauded and cheered with huge ‘WELCOME G-36!’ (our training group) signs, we all hopped on a bus for an hour ride to our retreat center. Everyone couldn’t stop staring out at the landscapes and squealing over the gorgeous Paraguayan countryside. Speaking of which, a little bit about my fellow trainees- they are all absolutely amazing. We all have such a good vibe and get along together really well. I’m looking forward to establishing solid friendships with everyone in this group and going through training together.

Our retreat center is a Christian building with cute little dorm rooms, hot showers, and WI-FI?! (this is serious Posh Corps). Regardless of the fact that I slept on both airplanes, I passed out for another three hours and had Inception-like dreams where I kept trying to wake myself up. We all convened for dinner in the food hall, where we had mashed potatoes, squash (for the vegetarians, myself included), and super sweet orange juice and pear sauce. I got to talk to two of my technical trainers for awhile, Jonathan and Ann. They were both Peace Corps Volunteers in Paraguay that loved their experiences so much, they are now working for the Peace Corps today. It was wonderful hearing about their own experiences.

Fellow PCTs Marilu and Veronica

Tomorrow we head off to an intense day of training and then meeting our homestay families that we will live with for the next three months. I am so excited and overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing opportunity. It was so surreal to land here in Paraguay today and think about how long I have been waiting for this day, and that it is finally here! I am a Peace Corps trainee!

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How to Get 23 Peace Corps Trainees to Paraguay | Change Yourself…Change The World.

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