My first flight leaves on Saturday morning at 6:28am from Central Wisconsin Airport. I fly to Detroit, switch planes, and go to Philadelphia for my official Peace Corps staging event.
Staging is the first step of my Peace Corps training. It’s a chance to meet fellow trainees that are going to Ghana, handle any remaining paperwork, and otherwise tie up any loose ends that need to be dealt with in the U.S.
On the 9th, we get our final state-side medical check and then get on a bus for Newark, New Jersey. From there, we get on an evening flight to Amsterdam, sit through a four-hour layover in Amsterdam, and then fly to our final destination in Accra.
The Peace Corps “Bridge to Pre-service Training” document that I received has a good description of what comes next:
The first four days is an orientation. You will stay at the Adventist Women’s Multipurpose Center in double rooms. The electricity and running water are intermittent. On the fifth day you will travel independently to a current Volunteer’s site on a five-day “Vision Quest.” After the quest you will travel on your own to the training site in Kukurantumi, where the rest of your ten-week training will take place. After one or two nights, you will move to live with a family in one of several surrounding villages. You will stay with home-stay families the rest of training. Kukurantumi is about a two-hour drive from Accra.
Your home-stay accommodations will vary greatly. Some of you will be in homes that have no electricity and running water, while others may need to use kerosene lamps and take bucket baths. All homes have had visits from training staff as well as the Safety and Security Coordinator. Home-stay families have also attended a training workshop on how to be an effective host. In all cases the families are very excited about hosting you.