December 14, 2007

It's Official...We're Volunteers!

This morning came the culminating event our pre-service training, Swearing In. Held at a large banquet hall on the banks of a nearby lake, the ceremony was a really nice send off for us all before we head out to our permanent sites tomorrow morning. The U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia was there and swore us in as the twelfth group of volunteers in this country. We did the whole raising the right hand thing and solemnly swore to support and defend the constitution, etc.

After the ceremony there was a little reception, which gave us all plenty of time to take pictures with our friends and host families. Most everyone seems quite eager to move on to their new homes and most host families seem sad to be losing their volunteers. Lela and Nicola have been so good to us and made these last three months so much easier. We look forward to visiting them often in the next two years.

Tomorrow's the big move! It just so happens that tomorrow comes the first major snow of the season in Macedonia. What a scene it should be: traveling by the public buses with all our luggage (which now includes a 2-ton space heater and water distiller), arriving in our new town in the snow, seeing our apartment/house for the first time. Other than that it should be a pretty uneventful day.

With our language teacher, Alexander

Before being sworn in

Our group from the village

A couple of new volunteers

With Lela and Nicola after the ceremony


Hotel Concierge:: said...

Congratulations! You're official! I have no doubt that you will be succesful! Happy Holidays! -Mikii

Anonymous said...

Dan and Jillian, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. By now you should be moved into your new home apartment in spite of the first snowfall of this season. Any move is a real pain in the posterior. We will be sending a belated Xmas care package as soon as the hectic holidays are over and are glad that your new address has proven to be OK. This Saturday we are visiting one of my old engeering buddies who was born in the former Yugoslavia state, in Zahgreb. He speaks and understands 4 different languages, Russian,German,French and English. Compared to him we are living a sheltered life. Take care, and enjoy your newfound home.
Grandpa and Grandma