Hi everyone! I am typing this blog from my hotel room in Philly- free internet/desktop computers in every room :)
Yesterday started off on a bad note- my flight was delayed almost an hour and a half, making it a rush when we got into Philly. Luckily there were 5 people from my Benin group on my flight so we were all late together!
Staging has been pretty fun, just lectures, activities, and getting to know one another. The people in my group are great, and come from all over the country (Alabama, Hawii, even a few from thr UK who have dual citizenship). There is a married couple who I would venture to say is in their late 50s, as well as a single woman that age. Three volunteers from MSU and one from OSU, but I am the only UofM grad! There is also a girl who finished Peace Corps service in Ukraine one month ago in our group, and one girl who had to be evacuated from Kenya after the political violence there- so brave on both of their parts! The only thing about other volunteers that I am surprised about is the lack of French language knowledge... I think I may be one of the most (if not THE most) fluent French-speakers here. Last night we went to Chilis for dinner and got good old American food, and tonight a small group of us went to a nice seafood restaurant for our last dinner in the US. Both of our cab drivers tonight were from Africa, so it was fun to speak to them!
Tomorrow we get some more vaccinations and then fly to Benin via Paris! (It is going to take everything in me not to bust out of Charles de Gaulle airport and stay in France :) I can't WAIT to get there. It is the first time that training has been in Porto Novo, meaning that we will be the first Americans our families will have hosted. Our swearing-in as volunteers on Spetember 5th will also be a part of the 40th anniversary of PC Benin, so the president will be there! Awesome!
I miss you all already, but my extreme excitement to move to Africa tomorrow is keeping me very happy. I will update as soon as I can once in Benin!