Note: This is the first of my catch-up posts for the month that I haven’t been updating the blog with my experiences. I wrote most of these a while ago but am just now able to post them and the accompanying photos.
I headed off to San Francisco the day before Staging so that I could see some of the sites. A group of 4 of us early arrivals shared a hotel room at Hotel Bijou. We got some lunch near the hotel then walked over to the pier where the ferry would take us to Alcatraz. This sounded like a great idea at first, but I guess I never realized just how hilly San Francisco is! I don’t even know how the cars can get up some of those hills!
Anyway, the Alcatraz tour was a lot of fun and very interesting. We even ran into some other Peace Corps Trainees (PCTs) while waiting to get on the ferry. And although I didn’t have time to go to the Golden Gate Bridge, we were able to see it from the ferry.
And after Alcatraz, we went to Pier 39 to see the sea lions! Yay!
And finally, we had dinner at Bubba Gump. Overall, a very nice day!
The next day was Staging. But first, a couple of us tried to navigate the public transportation system to get to a coffee shop that was highly recommended. We finally got on the correct MUNI train (which is different from a BART train as we found out) and got our yummy breakfast. Staging was at the swanky Parc 55 hotel, which is conveniently right across the street from Hotel Bijou, so we didn’t have to drag all of our luggage too far. Staging was basically a 5-hour orientation on general Peace Corps stuff. Nothing too exciting. And with 91 of us Mongolia PCTs, it was (and still is) impossible to learn everyone’s names.