So, I finished homestay about a week ago. It was really actually sad to leave. I had grown really close to everyone in my family. I told them that I would be back to visit often, though. When the bus came to take us back to the Headquarters, I hugged all my brothers and sisters and my mom, and she started crying. It was pretty emotional because I had spent the last 9 weeks with these people, learning, speaking, eating, laughing, and just beginning to know them and understand them. They were an awesome family and I was very blessed to have had an opportunity to spend my first couple of months in Mali with such a giving and hospitable family. I am only about 2 hours away from them in my new site, so seeing them will not be a problem, so I am very happy about that.
Swear In was on Friday and we went to the US Embassy in Mali and all 76 of us swore in as volunteers. It was a really cool ceremony and a relief to finally swear in. My 9 weeks of intense language training finally paid off. After the swear in, we went to the US ambassador's house and ate amazing food and had a few drinks. Then that night, we all got hotel rooms in Bamako at a pretty nice hotel and went out for our swear in party to the Pirate's club. It was an amazing time and really funny because we got to see the other side of some of the Language Profs, that we hadn't already seen. Everyone had their fair share of drinks and good times. We also received our "name" for our staging group. Each new group of volunteers receives a staging name. Since our staging group is so diverse, they named us the Breakfast Club. I was happy with it because I was overhearing that our name was going to be lame because we were going to get categorized by the Molly Ringwald's of our group. But they did a good job in giving us a name that correctly categorized all the different clicks of our staging group. We also have our Judd Nelson's - the group that likes to party and have a good time and who doesnt really give a shit. We have the guys in our staging group that dont really like to go out and the keep to themselves, the Brian Johnson's. So, just a pretty different group, which is not a bad thing. So yea that's our name.
Now, I am leaving tomorrow morning at 630 to go to Kolokani to start my service. I will be there for the next 2 years. For the first couple of months, I will continue to focus on language. I have a 4 bedroom house with a living room and a bathroom but no electricity, which is cool because I plan on just buying a solar panel and a car battery. My house is completely empty, no bed, mattress, chairs, table, NOTHING! The Peace Corps was gracious enough, though, to provide me with a little more than 200 bucks to furnish my entire house, Thanks! So, I will be living pretty bear for a while and slowly accumulating furniture in what not while im at site, whenever I get more money.
So, that's about all I got right now. I get 3 vouchers a month to go to Bamako because I bank there. So that means I will be there quite a bit which is awesome because Bamako is really the only taste of fun in Mali. Bars/night clubs/restaurants etc... Anyways, I will also be able to use internet when I am there too so I will continue to do my best to keep you updated.
Take care and be safe.