Tomorrow we officially will become volunteers! I wasn't sure if I would make it this far, in all honesty. But here I am, still in Paraguay 10 weeks after leaving the States. Yesterday we had our final language interviews to examine our language levels. I am advanced high in Spanish and intermediate high in Guarani. I'm not exactly sure what that means besides that below native born level of fluency is superior, and below that is advanced high. How I can reach the superior level in Spanish, I don't know.
I am shocked that I received such a high grade in Guarani considering that I was really sick yesterday during my language interview. On Sunday afternoon my stomach started to hurt and I felt like my insides were angry with me. Yesterday I was feeling terrible, with stomach cramps and the feeling that I was about to vomit. I talked to one of our tech trainers about it, and he said I probably have giardia, a parasite that according to the CDC is transmitted through contaminated water. Usually it is not manifested until 1-2 weeks after exposure. Even after you stop feeling sick, it can still stick around in your body. For others, they may have giardia but show no symptoms. I still don't feel 100% today because I'm pretty dehydrated from the fluids I lost, but at least my stomach doesn't feel like it's trying to get out of my body anymore.
Tomorrow we have to come to the training center at 7:30 am to go to the Peace Corps office early. We have to decide which bags of ours we're going to put in long-term storage and which ones we'll take us to our sites. We'll be reunited with the bags in long-term storage when our area director (Fernando) comes to our site presentations in September. After going through a security check we'll head over to the US Embassy for our official swear in ceremony at 10 am. Afterwards there will be a mini reception, at which there should be some cake! In the afternoon it's hours of meetings and "Bridge to Service" info: getting out cell phones, bank cards, signing up for bikes, etc. In the evening we'll be eating at a Mexican restaurant and hopefully finding a karaoke place.
Take care and I hope to talk to you on my new cell phone!