Thursday, May 22, 2008

Staging 101

Hey Everyone -

So I made it to Philadelphia safe and sound. It was definately an emotional night before. People were at my house non-stop and I had to say goodbye to some of my favorite people in the world. I ended up staying up with my bestest friend Deb until about midnight and then didn't fall asleep until 2am. 3:30am the alarm goes off.... and it is time to begin my day. Got ready, drove to the airport, said goodbye to Mom and Gene (tear) and flew to Detroit. Had a short layover and then flew to Philly. Once I got there I immediately found a shuttle to take me to the hotel and then I had just enough time to grab a Starbucks before I had to be in meetings until 7pm. Had dinner with a bunch of people from my group and am now lying in my hotel bed taking advantage of internet for one of the last times in awhile.

Staging was definately an eye-opening experience today. I met all of the people that will be going with me. And boy, did it take alot of the pressure off. There are 22 of us. Everyone is absolutely amazing. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and has a different story to tell. Everyone is bringing something different to the table. It was really refreshing because the Peace Corps didn't make us do those stupid ice-breakers. We all just got to tell "our story". It was nice to hear about the people. It is weird what a bond we all seem to have already. I think we just know that we are each other's families right now and need to be there to support each other. The meetings were pretty basic stuff about general Peace Corps rules and regulations, safety stuff, what to expect, anxieties and aspirations, etc. Kind of a boring post I know.... But, tomorrow is another day of meetings and what not. I will probably post one more time. Then, Saturday we leave for the airport and I probably won't have e-mail access for awhile after that. I love you all and I thank you for the sweet messages and prayers. Your support gives me the strength to know that I can do this.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


So today I found out some really amazing news! I thought I was going to have to wait for about 10 days to get my official invite in the mail but today when I got home from work, it was waiting for me. With much anticipation, I opened the very large envelope and it said: Malawi!!!!! I am so excited about this placement. Malawi was on the very top of my list as far as hopeful placements and now that I know I am actually leaving, it is all becoming extremely surreal and a little bit scary, mixed with tons of excitement and anxiety about all the things that have to be done before I go. Here are the basics:

Location: Malawi
Job Title: Community Health Coordinator with AIDS/HIV emphasis
Departure Date: May 23rd, 2008

I will leave for either Washington D.C. or Philadelphia on May 23rd and have a very brief "staging" there for 2 days. From there I will fly to Lilongwe, Malawi and do 8 weeks of training (which I understand to be extremely intense). After that is over, I will "officially" be sworn in as a volunteer and will spend 2 years in Malawi either working in a clinic and/or helping the Malawian government with their HIV/AIDS prevention/education/awareness. I am so extremely excited right now.... this whole process is 7 months in the making and I have been looking forward to this day for a long time. I am spending the evening emailing, celebrating and getting ever more nervous about my next adventure.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Trying Something New...

So, as some of you may know by now, I have been officially invited to serve in the Peace Corps. I received a call Thursday saying that my invitation was in the mail and that I should get it within 10 days. So, after months and months of the Peace Corps application process, I have been told to wait some more. However, this time I know that in a few days, I will know my exact placement, leave date and work title. I have been told to expect an invitation to non-French speaking Africa leaving in the end of May.

Therefore, with a looming date of departure, I figured it was about time to get some things in order. I have been told by many people that creating a blog would be a good way to keep in touch with people for the next few years of my life while in Africa. Although I feel that blogs can be a little bit self-indulgent, I have decided to give it a try! It may be easier than trying to email tons of people all the time. So, that is all for now. I will post again when I know my country of service (hopefully just a few days) and will know more then.