So far, most of our training has been about being flexible and rolling with whatever comes our way. I think our swearing in epitomized this lesson nicely. The original plan said that we would all wear island dresses/shirts and sit in neat orderly rows while various people spoke, including one soon-to-be volunteer as a speaker and one with a short reading. We added in me to present a plaque to our country director. After, we would finish up and go eat and say goodbye to our training host-families. That was a great theory that started to go wrong rather quickly.
Around noon, the man who was going to the trainees’ speaker came down with a bad case of something. By 1 pm, there was a question about whether or not he would be able to make it to the swearing in at all, and he was definitely not speaking. By 1:30, we were on a bus heading to swearing in without a speaker. Because I was already planning on speaking, I got nominated to just talk a little longer. Then that plan changed when another woman came forward and said she would do the thank yous. We had a plan again. However, by 2:45 we still didn’t have our clothes. At 3:00, still no dresses or shirts. At 3:20, ten minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start, the last of the host families come rolling in with our clothes. There is just one hitch. Jason’s shirt doesn’t have buttons. I go running to the bathroom to change into my dress and Jason starts looking for a solution. It turns out that little girl’s hairclips work wonders for closing a shirt in an emergency. By the time I got out of the bathroom, I couldn’t tell that he didn’t have good buttons. Then, the ceremony was delayed because the Minister of Internal Affairs was tied up trying to get an immigration bill passed. He ended up not showing and sent his second in command instead.
I believe this is a fitting swearing in. Roll with it and don’t get stuck on a plan, that’s the trick of the next few months and the next few years.