We are officially Peace Corps Volunteers! As of Wednesday, we are no longer trainees. We had our swearing in ceremony on Wednesday afternoon with the ambassador, our country director, and some other very important people in Peace Corps. Our oath was even the one the U.S. President takes when he is sworn in, because we are now officially acting as government officials. The ceremony went well. One trainee gave a speech in Russian and another gave one in Romanian. It was all very exciting (pictures to come) and after a small reception we were quickly swept away to our site. Since then, things have been pretty dull around here. We unpacked that night, and since then we have just been puttering around our city, getting to know people, and waiting for school to start on September 1.
I have still been keeping my running routine, and it has been really good for getting to know the city. Saturday we baked up a storm, and we have been taking them around to different neighbors and people that we want to get to know. Sunday we ran 7 kilometers around the lake and attended a Catholic service.We are already becoming fast friends with a Language Training Instructor who was in a PST site with another program. She also works at my school and she will be our language tutor. Tim has his first session today.
The church service was difficult to understand, especially as some parts were in Russian. The decision to speak Russian or Romanian is a big political issue here, and apparently the priest decides what language to use based on who shows up that today. Yesterday he chose a mixture. But we hope we will begin to understand the Romanian parts more clearly, and we can become a part of the community this way. Tim had a much better idea of what was going on because Catholic services are the same everywhere. I could mostly translate the hymns and I knew some of the prayers by the rhythm. We found out at the end that the priest and the nuns speak English. We really liked going for several reasons … community, routine, language practice … so we’re going to try to keep going every Sunday.
I will try to put up pictures of the swearing in soon. Next weekend we have plans to go shopping and site seeing with some other volunteers. We hope all is well at home and everyone is happy and healthy.