For Summit V and for (I think) all of FEMA Corps, today--10/6/2012--is our first day off in the last twenty-seven. That's a hell of a sobering thought.
If I recall correctly, we finished our last week of classes at Vicksburg nearly a month ago, Monday 9/10 through Friday 9/15. That Saturday was a travel day to get to Anniston, Alabama, where we then had two straight weeks of FEMA training through Saturday 9/29. Sunday 9/30 was a travel day as well, and we've worked the five-day week since that time. So today is our first day off since Sunday, September 9th, when the Packers were busy getting stomped by the 49ers. Happily, Columbus Day is this Monday, so us federal employees will get a well-deserved three-day weekend, barring the machinations of a mischievous Fate.
What did Summit V do in all that time?
We learned about more about FEMA--its language, its teaching style, its mission and goals and duties--then I thought we could possibly absorb. We crisscrossed the Deep South, got lost on back roads, got to know one another, shared inside jokes and popular songs and little happy conversations. We ran, biked, sat on walls, played Ultimate Frisbee and hung out and BSed in the Building 322 lounge until curfew came and the TLs kicked everyone out. We sat in the classroom for hours upon hours, learning in groups, listening to Powerpoints, getting alternately bored silly and extremely into what we were hearing. We learned to shove everything we owned--practically, anyway--into a capacious red bag and take it wherever we went. We began to integrate ourselves into the culture of a FEMA office. And all throughout, we had fun.
I have no idea what the next month will bring or where it will take us, but one thing is for sure: our training is over and we're out in the world now, ready to respond. I can't wait to see where we end up.