I won't be showing my armpits in public for a while. Tongans frown on such risque behavior for women, so I'm appeasing Tongans everywhere and covering them up for the next 27 months. To all the fans of my armpits, I'm sorry. The same goes for fans of my knees, midriff, and shoulders.
Fans of my wrists, elbows, feet, and face may rejoice, however, since they will be able to see these appendages as I volunteer with the Peace Corps in Tonga for the next 27 months.
On Monday, October 5, I leave for Los Angeles for a day of training, mostly paperwork I'd guess. Tuesday night we're off to Apia, Samoa, then we head to the island of Tongatapu, Tonga. We'll have about 8 weeks of Pre-Service Training on the island of Ha'apai, when we'll learn about the culture, technical training for our jobs (for me, teaching English), and other safety and health issues. We'll also have an intense Tongan-language program. We'll be living with a host family for that time, so it will be an opportunity to put into action everything we learned from the Pre-Service Training.
We'll officially be sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers on December 16, then we head off to different parts of the country to work for the next two years.
But for now, it's goodbye to my sultry armpits, hello to my calf-length skirts, and tau o to Tonga!