The evening after our excursion to Aregua, we arrived back at the training center for a special celebration. Tonight, we will learn exactly where in Paraguay we will be spending the next two years of our lives! As we entered through the doors of the training center, we were met with the applause and cheers of the entire training staff: our language professors, technical trainers, training directors, country director, and program directors all were there. Our normally down-to-business lecture hall was transformed into a fiesta with banners, paperchains, and flowers. A giant topographical map of Paraguay stood at the focal point of the room. As we filed in and found our seats, we exchanged nervous hugs, excited handshakes, and words of encouragement. This moment would define the rest of our time here in Paraguay.
After several introductions from the staff, it was finally time for the site announcements to begin. Everyone waited excitedly for their names to be drawn out of a large straw sombrero. As the names were drawn, each person taped their picture next the location of their future site on the giant map of Paraguay. One by one they called out the names of our fellow trainees: Nari would be going to Caaguazu, Andrew to Ayolas, Grace and Tamarra to Yguazu, and then it was our turn! The Overstreets will be going to Coronel Bogado. We jumped up out of our chairs and hurried to the front of the room. Our trainers helped us locate our future site on the map and together we taped our pictures up. Afterwards, we were given a folder of information about our site including a welcome letter, the volunteer request form, community demographics, and a tourist brochure for the Department of Itapua. After everyone’s name had been called, we celebrated with cake and fruit salad while we scoured our folders for every ounce of information we could find about our future sites.