April 8, 2013

Monday last week, our site’s warden called to tell me we got the call we’d been expecting: Consolidation. Part of Peace Corps’ Safety and Security efforts include having a consolidation drill, wherein all volunteers are to stop what they’re doing and report to to the warden’s home ASAP. It’s done once a year, and hadn’t happened in my first 7 months at site, so we had recently been wondering when it would happen.

During Consolidation, PCVs are expected to bring their sleeping bags, emergency contact information (as in, those local people we call in an emergency, not our individual information), snacks, water, and stuff to keep ourselves occupied since we don’t know how long we’ll be holed up together. In addition to contacting and hosting all the volunteers, the Warden logs how long it takes for each person to arrive and relays this information back to Peace Corps’ Safety and Security Officer. (I’m the Sub-Warden, so this will be my charge next year.)

I was the third and final PCV to arrive. I thought I’d made good time but was surprised that it took me 31 minutes (even though I live the farthest from the Warden). When I walked in the door, the Warden said, “now that you’re all here, April Fools!” They made up for it with chocolate chip pancackes, though.