Monday, April 25, 2011

In-Service Training

After three months of service at site, Peace Corps volunteers attend In-Service Training (IST). The program is meant to re-energize volunteers and give them insights into how to improve their service. Ours was last week.

The location of our input's IST was the beautiful Hotel Bethanie on Lake Kivu. A week here in this nice hotel, with occasional running hot water and decent western-style food, helped to improve morale in spite of a grueling schedule of meetings and presentations. In addition, we volunteers were happy just to see each other, having grown close in training. The hotel bar made plenty of money that week, though I imagine some non-Peace Corps hotel guests might have been less enthusiastic about our reunion (if they were planning on having a quiet stay, anyway).

We arrived at the hotel in scattered groups on Palm Sunday. The next three days were spent mostly in the conference room. On Thursday, Peace Corps took us on a boat trip to a picnic on Amahoro Island (highlight of the trip, pictures below). On good Friday, we returned to our various sites.

Rock bridge in the middle of the island.
Mimi and Stephanie pose dramatically on the beached rowboat.
Turkeys wander over to look for picnic scraps.

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