The countdown started at 6 months; now it’s down to almost 2 weeks till departure day! So many emotions, preparations, and learning has gone into the process of leaving for Peace Corps and I know so many more are awaiting me in the country of Swaziland. I am still so excited to meet the 50 other people that are joining me on this journey.
I just wanted to take a moment and thank everybody here in the U.S.A that has been so great to me over the past few months. I have been surrounded by love as I take this step forward into the next phase of my life.
:I would like to thank my Grandparents for your love and support. You have no idea the positive impact you have made by gifting us with ability to go get a college degree and to be able to graduate debt-free. I am so incredibly blessed because of this. So, thank you.
:I would like to thank my Parents for you telling me “no” to Cambodia. I was very inspired to go volunteer abroad last summer, but after making a budget and getting accepted to a program you came back with the astounding answer of “no you may not go”. This drove me to not only want to do something that you cannot say no to, but also to go to a “safer” organization to volunteer abroad with.
:Everyone that helped out with my Pig Roast party, first of all my lovely parents and brother :), Jim, Ainsley, Connie, Eric, Pete, Sheila, Laura, Jill, Courtney THANK YOU, it was great to see everyone else too!
:&&& My dear friends that have still want to be friends with limited communication for the next two years 🙂
I received my “staging” information just over a week ago which just means how we are actually going to make it to Swaziland. All 50 of us Peace Corps Volunteers headed to Swaziland are meeting in Philadelphia on June 23rd. I depart here in the morning on the 23rd to land in Philly at about 10am, then we have a “Peace Corps conference” from noon till 7pm that same day. From there we have our own hotel rooms to use from 7pm till just before 2am when we have to get on a bus that takes us to New York airport. We fly straight to Johannesburg on a non-stop flight. It’s only a 14 hour flight, this surprised because my flight to Sydney took me about 24 hours. From Johannesburg we take a bus to the country of Swaziland, which should take us about 5 hours.
Note: This day will probably be the longest day of my life! Ah, I’m just so excited!
I am most excited about the people I am going to meet. All the other people preparing to leave are experiencing most of the emotions I am right now and that is very comforting to me. This also makes me feel that I’m not so crazy for leaving the country for two years when there is also 50 other people doing the same exact thing I am.
As I am reviewing everything I need and have to do before my departure the nerves are sinking in. I woke up from a nap the other day thinking, “what the hell am I doing?!” but I believe and hope that this is a normal response when leaving everything I have known for two years in Africa.
There is so many times that I can just think about what I’m leaving behind and freak myself out, but as I take a deep breath I realize I am completely fine or “kute inkinga” or means no problem in SiSwati (I’m slowing working on the language). Anyway traveling, helping people, and experiencing a new life are all things I really want to do and its where my heart is yearning for me to go towards.
I will leave with joy and hope in my heart that Swaziland is a place that I can call home for the next two years.
Below is the letter that our in country director gave us to share with Friends and Family, and that describes most of you reading this blog.. so feel free to print it out or what not. It does have my address on it 🙂