Last Friday ended our orientation with all the Holy Cross Associates, domestic and international. That afternoon, the domestic kids loaded their stuff onto Greyhound buses and rode to their new homes. For some of them, the trip took over 50 hours!
But for Roy, Emily, Caitlin, and I, orientation is starting again. During the next two weeks, we’ll be attending more seminars and doing activities geared specifically towards people involved with international service. We have been joined by about 20 other people, from Catholic Relief Services, the Augustinian Volunteers, and a few other programs. Having all these other foreign-bound people around has changed the feeling of orientation. Together, we’re headed to over 15 countries. Here’s a sample of the diversity: Zambia, Gambia, Madagascar, Peru, Burkina Faso, Nicaragua, Bosnia, and Chile.
The demographic of volunteers has also changed from last week. While Holy Cross Associates is composed of all recent college graduates, the people here with other groups are twenty-, thirty-, forty-, fifty-, even sixty-somethings. There are some married couples, and lots of other people with significantly more life experience than the four of us going to Chile. It will be nice to have the added perspective.