Our new batch of volunteers (ID 8) have been in country since mid April, but until now, they’ve been quarantined in Batu, Malang. Last week they were let loose for a Peace Corps training exercise called ‘site visit.’ During a site visit, current volunteers play host to two or three trainees so that the trainees may develop a clearer idea about what to expect once they are posted at their permanent site, where they will spend the next two years.
When the staff began asking us to host volunteers a few weeks ago, I took an oath of silence. I didn’t think I, nor my site, were suitable. A week later though I learned that my buddy Brian was going to be participating. This shocked me. Brian, like me, is not the hosting type. Brian mentioned that the PC was still short on volunteer hosts, so, on a whim, I reluctantly threw my name in the hat. I regretted that decision instantly, but fortunately, this story has a happy ending…but not that kind.
Before my guests arrived I began contemplating what approach I’d take. Should I give them the true story, sans filter? Sprinkle it with a little sugar, or perhaps, mix it up and give them a little sweet n’ sour? I still hadn’t sorted my strategy until the moment they arrived. In the end, I figured the truth was what they needed to hear. Someone else could blow rainbows up their bums.
Marty and Mike already seemed to be buddies, so that made things a lot easier. I’m not a real ‘ra ra’ guy, and once we all felt the situation out, we knew we could relax and speak freely, which was a huge relief.
We didn’t do anything earth shattering, I think the visit was a nice balance of relaxing (a reality during service), visiting school(s) and information swapping. Here are a couple of photos from their stay. I’m really happy I did this and, while you never really know what you’re going to get, I encourage any current volunteers to take the opportunity to do the same this time next year. You just might enjoy it.
Finally, to Marty and Mark, best of luck boys!