Monday, May 16, 2011

It's Official! I'm a PCV!

So I'm now officially a Peace Corps Volunteer! We had our swearing in on Friday at the US Ambassador's house in Dakar. You can look at a little snipit of the ceremony here:

Here's a shot of my Stage right after we swore in!

And here's the group of the 6 of us that are in the Linguere region! Get used to seeing these faces because they're the people that I'm going to be with for the next two years. It just stinks that I hate all of them. Just kidding. I'm super happy about my group.

Anyway... so we swore in on Friday, then on Saturday most of us headed out. My group left around 2pm and arrived in Linguere at around 7pm. Not a bad drive at all. We're hanging out all together at the regional house for a few days buying things for our new homes and meeting local officials and all that important stuff. We start installing in our new sites TOMORROW! Luckily, my friend Jenn and I are the last two to be installed in our region so we get an extra night of American time together and install on Wednesday.

I'm not really freaking out yet, but I know that the first couple days are going to be really hard. Up until this point I've been able to see my friends and speak English on a regular basis, even when I was living with my homestay family. But once I'm dropped off in my new village it's just me there. Scary. Thankfully Jenn is a 10k bike ride away each way and we both plan on seeing each other as much as possible. Nothing like biking 20k to work of all the rice you eat here.

New volunteers are encouraged to try to spend as much of their first 2 months as possible in their village. I'm going to try as much as I can, but there will be a few times I think I'm going to see my friends (my birthday, possibly)... and the Barcelona-Manchester game on the 28th is a big event as well. We're all REALLLLY excited because everyone gets together for 4th of July, so I know that in less than 2 months I'll be able to see all of my friends and we can swap horror stories. It's gonna be tough, but my new family seems really cool and I have an awesome support system here in Linguere. Also, we get free volunteer-to-volunteer calling, so I have a feeling we'll all be venting to each other quite a bit.

AND now that I'm in my region, I have my address for packages, letters, huge boxes full of American delicacies, etc. It is:

PCV Fae Patton
B.P. 79
Linguere, Louga Region
Senegal, West Africa

If any of you are wonderful enough to entertain the idea of sending me anything, just make sure you send it air mail. Also, flat rate boxes are a wise choice because stuff can get pretty pricey. Currently I'm craving....
  • Anything sweet- peanut butter m&ms or regular m&ms, pepperidge farm soft baked cookies (OH MY GOD!), basically anything sweet
  • MAC AND CHEESE! Boxes of Kraft, or ez mac, really anything even resembling mac and cheese
  • Peanut butter would also be amazing
  • Propel drink mixes. The tiny ones you put in water bottles
  • Salty snacks like goldfish, wheat thins, cheeze-its, etc.
  • Honestly anything American and delicious
  • And tupperware containers would be too good to be true

That's all I got for now. Just trying to get all of my stuff together to move in in 2 days. I need to get my family a present for install and I'm leaning towards a live chicken because they would appreciate it and then I'd get to eat chicken, which is a rare treat here.

Next time I update I'll be living in my new home that I'll be in for the next two years. So weird!


  1. Fae,
    First I would like to say Congratulations and I love the outfit ... Seems like everything is going well for you... I'll be sending you out a package of goodies soon .. Stay safe ...

  2. I was about to send you a live chicken! I guess I'll have to think of something else. Oh well.

  3. hi fae, peggy bland keeps me up on your new postings. we are enjoying your adventures and very proud of you. love, anne marie

  4. P.S. Loved the video!! Love, Anne Marie and Peggy