There are surreal moments in life, so distinct in detail you can pluck them out of your memory like a lone wildflower in a field of shrubs. The seconds are so very precise that I can feel the memory being formed in my mind, being packaged and wrapped in a neat little box. I have just said goodbye to batch mates, to the only friends I have in a country that is not yet my own. It’s sometime after 2am, I’ve yet to sleep and I’m in the back of a cab listening to my work-partner and the driver converse easily in a language of which I still understand so little. Enrique Iglesias’s Bailamos is playing on the radio and I think of the wonderful evening I’ve spent dancing with my friends until the taxis started coming to take us away. There is a prickling in the back of my eyes but tears do not come, though after a moment it starts to rain. I think of William Shakespeare and his use of weather in portraying the mood of his characters and cannot help feeling that the rain is falling for me.
Today, I and 61 others became Peace Corps Volunteers. For the first time that I can remember I took an official oath; the same oath that any US Government official takes, even the president. We are the real deal: 61 Peace Corps Volunteer following in the footsteps of thousands of others. We laughed, we hugged, we cheered, we devoured cheese plate after cheese plate. It was an incredibly moving, pivotal day in my life that is forever wrapped into the memory of me in the cab with Inglesias. Tonight we dance, like no tomorrow.