Well, it has finally arrived: Departure Day!
It has been a whirlwind since the incredible Bon Voyage from my friends and family last weekend. Seven straight days of busy finished up the school year, working the final weekend, and celebrating graduation with the Oliverian School meant that the final ten days have passes quickly.
I made it home last night shortly after 8pm. Tomorrow morning, we will be leaving for the airport sometime before 5am. Today, I got a haircut, panicked and bought another pair of shoes, packed, weighed my checked bags multiple times after minute adjustments, prayed that airlines would magically changed the weight limit by a measly 5 pounds, adjusted the packed bags again, signed over my car, and somehow managed to avoid a complete freak out!
Thankfully my sister is the most incredible woman in the world and does not mind that my room is not as neat and tidy as I had intended it be when I left, as I am now enjoying some "seester" bonding after a great dinner with the family.
The travel timeline looks something like this:
5am Leave for Boston Logan
8:25 Flight to Philadelphia
12:00-7:00 Peace Corps Staging in Philadelphia
2am Start loading up/bus to JFK
11:30am Flight to Johannesburg
8:05am (local time, actually 15 hours later) Arrive in Johannesburg
9:45 Flight to Maseru
10:40 (6:40am EST) Arrive in Maseru, Lesotho. From there we move to our training villages, meet our host families, and settle in. From what little I have seen of the training schedule, it will be a busy nine weeks.
Personally, I cannot wait to be the student. Many people have asked if I am nervous, and admittedly, I am in a few ways. I am anxious that Kathy's scale lies and my luggage weighs too much. I am anxious that I will be terrible at Sotho and therefore not pass my language exam at the end of training. I am anxious that I have forgotten to take care of something terribly important that my sister won't be able to deal with for me.
But, mostly I am simply excited. It is hard to believe that after more than a decade of thinking about it and years in the application and preparation process, I am finally leaving the country with the Peace Corps. I feel genuinely ready for the challenges that I anticipate before me and firmly believe that this is the path I am supposed to be on right now.
I also cannot wait to finally meet the folks noted below. It has been great getting to know them online over the last few months and I anticipate we will be incredible friends in a very short amount of time.
Please consider sending me mail during training (and beyond!), I promise to write back!