I’ve been in Ghana for 11 weeks and I still haven’t been able to call myself a Peace Corps Volunteer—until last Thursday when I officially swore in as a volunteer. Peace Corps Ghana threw a big ceremony for our homestay families and us. After the Ghanaian and United States national anthems, the 23 trainees swore in with an oath and were handed “graduation certificates”. The rest of the ceremony consisted of speeches, cultural dances, gifts for our host families, and lunch. After the ceremony we took pictures with our host families.
Me with my homestay mom and dad.
Me with my homestay mom, two brothers, and sister.
For the ceremony, each homestay family made matching shirts for the guys and dresses for the girls. So my dad and I wore identical shirts and my mom wore a dress made out of the same pattern. Unfortunately, the tailor finished my clothes halfway through the ceremony, so I had run outside for a wardrobe change during the Peace Corps Ghana Country Director’s speech. However, my shirt was worth the wait, because my mom picked out a bright red fabric with shiny golden streaks on it. The next time I wear it will be for Chinese New Year.
It’s a huge relief to be done with training, as it was starting to drag on and get really repetitive. Now, the rest of my service will be drastically different from what I’m used to. Instead of having every hour of the day planned out for you, it will be up to me to find ways to fill my time. Furthermore, it’s going to be difficult to be apart from the other 22 volunteers. After spending every day for the past 11 weeks with each other, we have all grown to be pretty close. In order for us to integrate faster, the Peace Corps requires us to spend the next 3 months at our site with little to no travel. So there is a good chance I won’t see the other 22 volunteers until we have a week of training in 3 months. However, I am excited to finally start living at my village!