Sunday, November 17, 2013

8. Site Placements

This particular week of training was the big “Site Placement” week.  This week (Week 7 out of 10), was the week in which each of the volunteers learned the name of their new site, and the town in which they would work for the next two years of their lives. 

The atmosphere was full of excitement and nerves.  The new trainees had trouble concentrating all morning and afternoon, and were impatient to get to “Site Announcements.”  Most claimed that they didn’t have expectations, but also admitted that it was hard not to harbor some preferences.  Some people decided that they wanted to go north.  Some people thought that they would prefer to stay south.  Some wanted beach sites and others wanted mountains.  All, of course, would adapt and survive wherever they were placed. 

Jules smiles while Steven comforts a nervous Sarah
Thelma and Maria laugh anxiously
The trainees wait for their site placement envelopes
Standing at the edge of the giant map of Mozambique
Starting to read the letter of introduction on each of the sealed envelopes
Rayna and Tania receive their envelopes
Camila, Fei, and Colin wait to open their envelopes with the rest of the group
Salome stands at the ready
Opening the site placement envelopes
Sienna strides off to her site on the map
Tania shows off her new site in Angonia, Tete!

My dear replacement put it best, when she wrote,

I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a combination of nerves, excitement, anticipation, and anxiety.  Not when I went to college, not when I graduated from college, not when I found out I was going to Mozambique, not even when I left for Mozambique.  When we were about the get our placement envelopes I felt like I was either going to throw up or burst into tears.  But it’s over--now we know our site placements and can begin to prepare for what is next.”

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