you would be correct in assuming that, when asked about a large group that i've been a participant in the past year, my group of peace corps volunteers is the first that comes to mind.
i've made a good number of great friends these past sixteen months. friends that live in provinces far away, but the focus of today are those close at home.
some people wrongly assume that married couples do not make friends with other volunteers. i can't speak for anyone, but that is not something chris and i have faced during our service.
mayhaps that's because we were placed in the best province of all of cambodia: takeo. equidistant from the capital city and an amazing city near the gulf of thailand. not too full of foreigners tourist-traipsing through. and home to some of the best senses of humors this side of the international date line.
on our site announcement day, september second or something or other, last year, we found out where we'd be placed. on a whim, i suggested we put our hands in a T for team takeo. it evolved over time (we've gone from flat hands to fists, right over left, always), but it's now the most dreaded sight of our fellow volunteers. you can't get more than one takeo volunteer in a place with cameras and not witness the following:
'picture time! put your T's up!'
'team takeo! T's up! picture!'
it's annoying, yes, but it's our thing. we've got pride, us team takeo volunteers. and we aren't afraid to let be it seen.
being a part of this fellowship, this team, has allowed me to be surrounded by people like jill, my dexter-watching-and-loving, sandwich-eating, cookie-making-and-devouring sisterwife. she has been a running partner for chris, and my nearest fellow female who listens to me and provides her own commiseration in our cultural gender struggles. it has provided me with friends like andrea, who inspires me to be more athletically fit, makes me laugh ridiculously hard, and can always be counted on to be up for drinking a coca light.
and i have to stop there because this could get ridiculously long if i reference the remaining nine team takeo peeps. so, just let it be known i love them all, and even those who have gone home already but are original team takeo members.
so what have i gotten out of this team? friendship. physical fitness. awesome pictures. frequent opportunities to show our fellow volunteers how much we love each other. and a cool tee shirt.
so, put your T's up.