When one thinks of staging you might automatically think about making a house look perfect before a showing when said house is for sale or maybe something to do with a theatre performance. Staging in the Peace Corps is nothing like this.
Nothing. At. All.
Staging is usually 1-2 days in a major city in America where you and your Peace Corps Group finally come together, meet each other, put faces to names and Facebook posts and learn a lot about your upcoming trip to your Country od Service. This is also a very crucial time to get paperwork done for student loans, and any other last minute forms you need signed verifying you are about to spend the next 27 months in the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps takes this time to show you what to expect upon arrival in country, what life is about to become and go over general rules, procedures and security for Peace Corps service.
I had staging in Miami, which was awesome and different for my country of service, Ukraine. Usually it is done in Washington D.C. However, none of us were complaining. We were able to get a few more days of nice sunshine and warmth before we landed in the cold but beautiful country of Ukraine. It was a little crazy going from 85 degrees to 25 degrees, not going to lie. But you adapt, maybe, not really.
Staging had it ups and downs. My roommate was awesome! I do believe we will be friends for many years to come. During staging we had 2 different sessions where we took in a lot of information, did ice breakers and many other things. At night I went out and checked out an authentic Mexican restaurant, it was amazing!
Finally the day had come to head to Ukraine! I quickly realized that I had massively over packed. Thankfully one of the other Volunteers only packed 1 checked bag and let me use his 2nd checked bag for my big backpack. I was very thankful for this so I don’t have to carry my big bag all over Europe. My last meal in America before I left, Taco Bell! Had to get that Mountain Dew Baja Blast one last time! Check in went smooth and so did TSA. We had a long wait at the airport but out of nowhere it became time to head to Munich. We boarded, got situated and were on our way to Ukraine. Staging was officially over…