I went to Welcome Days in Canada. This was shortly prior to being accepted to the finance pool. This lasted a few days in Montreal. It was very intensive, and we had very long days. We were in hostels, with 4 women to a room and 4 in an adjoined room, sharing one bathroom. This actually worked out better than it sounds. During the welcome days, I was quite energized, and ready to learn. The group was very large, and I found the topics very interesting and soaked up all the information I could. It was a great chance to meet people from the Canadian offices.
About a month after I returned home from welcome days, I was matched to my mission. Once I was matched, things happened very quickly. It was kind of a challenge to be ready on time to leave again. It was such a whirlwind to pack everything and be prepared because at the time I thought that it was my final goodbye back home. I felt a bit scattered and in hindsight, I wish I had arranged to leave my last job sooner so that I had more free time to prepare to leave.
I travelled to Bonn, Germany for the Preparation Pre Departure (PPD) training. The training at the PPD was very thorough. At first, I felt that some parts were a bit repetitive of what we were taught in the welcome days, but after the fact, I can see why this was important to do. I think that the repetition of some parts of the training really set things in my mind clearly, and kept it from being forgotten and also was very important. There was also a lot of new information too, and it was quite intensive, and very interactive. We had a lot of training on security, and protocols. After this training, I really felt very comfortable with what to expect in my mission.
We were quite a large group from all over the world. We stayed in hostels for our training, and so we were sharing 1 room to 4 people, which was not so bad. I met some really awesome people, and although I had fun, it was also very long days, and exhausting.
Looking back… I think it was kind of funny…. We had some training on how to be sensitive to the patient’s situations and the stress that they may be going through. I realized that I lost sight of the stress that each of us were also going through.
Of course, it is not at the same level, but it was all so fast and busy, and I had said goodbye to very important people in my life, given away all my material possessions and was leaving to go to some other area of the world to live and work with people I have never met, where I did not speak the language.
All of us had different circumstances that brought us there, and we did not have any privacy or time to decompress… I realized after the training that I forgot to be gentle with myself and recognize that I was going through a very life changing, stressful time too. Even good changes are tough sometimes.