Wow, formation camp. What this means is I am living in community with the Salesian Sisters and 5 other volunteers. We are getting some pretty intensive lessons on the founders of the community, how to survive and thrive in another country, and a big focus on preparing us spiritually as well. We work mainly with two sisters, Sister Gloria and Sister Theresa, but have our meals with the other sisters as well. There are so many characters here, and such sweet hearts! Not to mention amazing cooks!
The other volunteers are amazing! We all got along from day one and spending each day with them has been great. Being here has given me peace regarding the mission work I am heading into, because missionary work is very normal here. Many of the sisters have done missionary work and speak about it as a common occurrence. This is so relieving to hear! To know that I am not forging completely new territory, others have gone before me and are here to tell me about it.
The other volunteers are going to Santiago, Chile; Rome, Italy; Vietnam; and Africa (location to be determined). My departure date for my missionary site is the earliest out of the group. BUT... I have had several opportunities to speak Spanish with the Sisters and people in the community and the girls in my Vacation Bible Study group taught me the word for flip flops today - chauncas. I am not sure how to spell it and apparently I also can not say it right since the girls kept laughing and correcting me. (probably didn't help that I kept changing the word on purpose:)
Overall a very fruitful and needed experience and I am grateful to everyone who is here, is guiding us, the past volunteers talking with us, the emails and comments on my blog keeping me encouraged (big smile!). I'll be ready to go to El Salvador when the time comes. Of course, then my blog from El Salvador will probably say something like "I'm not ready!" But too late by then.