April 17, 2018

Caitlin was officially sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) last week. This is a picture of all the agriculture and health volunteers sworn in this session. They are referred to as G18. Here is the group picture I posted on FB. Caitlin is hard to find as she is in the middle in the very back row.

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Here she is being shaking hands with the US Ambassador:

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And here is the agriculture group with the US ambassador:

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You may notice the similar dresses and colors, many of them are wearing the Oromia cultural dresses and scarfs. Cait’s is a little different with also more national colors.

Here is a picture of Caitlin….

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I cant even express how proud I am of her.  I am sad I could not be there to watch her ‘graduate’ and to share in this moment. This is the first big moment in her life that I have missed. As much as I swell with pride, I can not seem to look at this picture without also crying – not a ‘sad boohoo cry’, but a ‘I am so happy but miss you cry’.  But I also see how happy and healthy she looks and I am comforted…..well, maybe only a little between tears.

Do you see her pins? She made them for her going away party – an Ethiopian and US flag. I noticed all the agriculture volunteers wearing the necklace with what looks like a tree but I dont really know the meaning or where they came from as I wasnt able to ask Caitlin.

Caitlin left Addis Ababa on Sunday as she started her travels to her site. She flew to Jima on Sunday and then she was traveling Monday and scheduled to arrive to her village on Tuesday. She said that a total of 5 of the agricultural volunteers (including herself)  flew to Jima but they will split up as some are more south. I am sure it is hard for them to separate as they have probably built strong bonds in the short time they have been there with the rigors of their studies and the challenges of adjusting to a new culture. She was scheduled to arrive to her site today. I have not heard from her and do not know what communication will be like at her new site. It is more remote than where she did her PST.

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