Disclaimer: I am running on almost 30 hours of no sleep, I apologize in advance for typos, word usuage/content… I’m so delirious!

I arrived in Philadelphia on Monday the 15th exhausted. My jitters kept me awake the night before.

After receiving my luggage and taking a shuttle, I settled into my hotel and I met up with a couple of other volunteers at a German restaurant. Although I ordered food I couldn’t bear to eat. I was relatively anxious and couldn’t control it. After dinner wrapped up we walked back to the hotel and I had thee best sleep! My roommate Rachael got to the hotel around 12 and I talked to her for a bit before I dozed off again. 

Early the next morning I met up with Allsion and we took a tour around downtown Philly. Our first stop was checking out Liberty Bell. 

We then headed over to Penns Landing, the waterfront overlooks the Delaware River. The view was spectacular! There’s something about water that makes me feel so at peace and tranquil, it was definitely what I needed!!

Our next stop included Christ Church and we were able to view Benjamin Franklins gravesight. Before heading back to the hotel for orientation we decided to grab some food at the Reading Terminal Market. The options were plentiful and boy was I hungry! I tried Amish food for the first time and will mos def try it again!


This was it!! The moment I’ve been waiting for since Oct 2nd the first event – Staging. Staging is pre orientation before the 3 month pre service training. All the Peace Corps Traniees in your group gather and get introduced to the logistics of the Peace Corps. There was paperwork to fill out, upon checking in we were also given a workbook that included an ice breaker activity, some history about the PC, PC mission, we broke into groups and shared our fears and anxieties, discussed safety and security, PC core expectations, performed skits, got cool t -shirts… although it was long (5 hours) it surprisingly went smoothly! 

There are 38 volunteers that will be departing with me to Swaziland! Two sectors: Youth in Development and Community Health – I’d say it’s split 50/50. The trainees come from all over the US varying in different ages, colors, sizes, and backgrounds! (I started to communicate with some of the folks in my group in November), it was so cool to finally meet them!

Meet my new family for the next 27 months! 

Well I have to wrap up, my flight is about to board (for a 14 & 1/2 hour flight). I’ll be sure to update this as soon as I can. Love you! Please write me!!! ❤

Author: Nicole

I've decided to uproot my life and dedicate it to serving in the Peace Corps for 27 months. Yuuuuup, you read that right. God has helped me redefine limitations. A dear friend once told me that, "boxes are for shoes, you never know how great you are until you break out of the box and see what you are really made of!" This blog will chronicle my adventures as a Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer in the Kingdom of Swaziland! You'll read about my highest of highs compounded with the lowest of lows - raw and unfiltered. Please enjoy the view. :) *The contents of this blog are mine and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.*

One thought on “Staging”

  1. Hi Nicole,
    As you can understand, getting to your site was confusing for me, so hope this comes through with all my and G-pa’s good feelings–really missing you. We have been reading your wonderful blog and great pictures, and are following everything very carefully as it makes us believe you are close by–very happy to hear all is going well. Please let us know what you still need (or need more of) on your wish list so you will feel more at home. Sending our love! G-ma & G-pa


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