The Last Hurdle

The month is already disappearing into a picture perfect memory. The last 2 months have already provided me with so many new experiences and as I journey into the next chapter of my adventures I look forward to much more. Looking back…

PC training is tedious and monotonous and there is no way around it. What you should take away from training is that it is just a long interview “experience”. During this experience you gain friendships and connections, knowledge, and patience. From June to August I have been able to experience living like a native Kenyan, amenities and all, which humbles me and illuminates my appreciation for “creature comforts, ” and in a mere 7 weeks have obtained a working knowledge of a new language (more than 8 years worth of Spanish). This is truly outside the normal comfort zone. But the grass-roots level is what PC is all about and why I am here. I look back and wonder where the time went! It seems like only yesterday I was stepping off the plane in Nairobi and now I am preparing to go off to Bondo, my new home for the next two years. For any future volunteers, training is only the beginning and no matter how tedious, in the blink of an eye it will be over even if at the moment it feels like it will never end, and before you know it for the second time your life will change again. Appreciate the moments with your other PCTs, try not to get too frustrated at the organized chaos of class structure, and just live! You are where you need to be, and if it isn’t hard it isn’t worth doing.

Moving forward..The moment every PCT fears, the day of the LPI. Weeks of training climaxes one dreaded day when your language proficiency is put to the test. Even after both mock tests and hours of preparation, when the day final comes there is nothing that you can be truly prepared for. Going into Friday I was nervous, anxious, and focused. I passed my second mock LPI the week prior and was confident I could conquer the final. My test was one of the last on Friday, and one by one as fellow trainees emerged from the hidden room I could feel my nerves eating at me. Finally at 4 pm, I was summoned into the room. I walked by previous trainers all cheering me on as I made my way forward. With one deep breathe I was left in a room facing the LPI, door closing firmly to forbid any quick escape. My tester started by trying to calm my nerves, and with a single click the recorder was on and it began. I managed to fumble my way through thirty agonizing minutes and emerged a wreck. I blew it. In my head, I did not do nearly as well as the previous, nor did I feel comfortable with the fluidity of the conversation. I spent the weekend frustrated; Monday looming so far in the future, the day they announced the results. Come the morning of Monday the most pleasant announcement fell upon the ears of our group of 37. We all passed! I released a heavy sigh and smiled with relief. I happily received an intermediate low-level, the passing level of the LPI. As harrowing as it was, it is behind me and on August 14, 2013 I will swear in as an official CED volunteer in the PC.

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