“Tennessee and Texas (and I should have said, London, California, Missouri, Alabama, DC. North Carolina and lots of other points around the globe), thank you that even when you don’t understand me, you still support me. Love you.”
And with those words, I returned to my seat as a newly sworn in volunteer in the Peace Corps.
I found the day to be equal parts fascinating to watch (as an event planner), confusing (as a new language learner), and inspiring (as in all the speakers – except the emcee — were women and my fellow volunteers make my heart sing).
For three months we have listened to the rules of Peace Corps, found out what we needed to do in case we get bit/fall/have an earthquake or other natural disaster, and discovered how Teaching English as a Foreign Language works. And now we were to return to the homes that had provided most of us safe refuge and kindness, pack our bags, and with our new Spanish skills set up our homes and work in our assigned communities.
In the following photos, you’ll see what you’ve been seeing and several have commented on since I began posting on Facebook and here — a wide smile on my face. I wish I could introduce you to each person I’m standing alongside, tell you the impact they have had as teachers, fellow language learners, and now volunteers of Tico 29 (the name given to our group). I hope you that know me, know the smile is genuine and I’m really proud to be among people who are willing to take the kind of steps that await us in our two years of service.