Sunday, May 29, 2011

Farewell Party

Last night I had the best going away party ever! My friends made sure to do it up big by cooking 20lbs of meat, making various side dishes, and bringing tons of alcohol to the party. Every person there made me feel very loved with all their kind words and creative gifts. We celebrated from afternoon till night with outdoor games and karaoke. Highlights included watching the boys climb a super tall tree, finishing a keg of local brew, and my friends signing a magnum size bottle from the best local winery. 

Of course, there was a little rain to deal with but we couldn't let it bring us down. People were still outside playing the games Richard made and huddling around a makeshift heater. Oh, and how can I forget how awesome the outdoor movie theater was! To top it off, I got to wake up to an amazing brunch that my dear friends slaved over! Overall, it was a great party and I cannot thank my friends enough for putting it on for me!

The hardest part was saying goodbye, and I'll have to admit that I've been tearing up all day after leaving the party. 

I'll keep in touch with all of you guys the best that I can. I don't think I'll have internet access at my training site (I'll be there for 9 weeks), but I'll try to keep you posted through letters and/or Richard. Alright, well now I'm off to do my final baggage weigh-in and get some sleep for my flight to Philadelphia for staging. 

 Richard cooking up the butt
 Nicole's spread
 Shannon surprising me with her 27 letters prepared for every month I'm gone
 Joe licking the magnum wine bottle
Richard and his party cup

Friday, May 27, 2011

How I feel about leaving for africa in a couple days.

"How do you feel about it?" That is the number one question people are asking me about my upcoming departure to Lesotho. Well, I feel mostly overwhelmed with tasks, but otherwise, excited and nervous at the same time. Over the past month, I've spent so much time with friends and family that almost every moment has been filled with fun. I feel spoiled and happy about that. 

When I'm by myself, that's when I start getting a little nervous. I don't really think too hard about what to anticipate when I'm in Lesotho, because I know it will all be new and I will be thrown into a whole different lifestyle than what I'm used to. I'm okay with that, and luckily, I love the unknown. 

Packing for Lesotho has been the most difficult thing for me. That, and tying up all the loose ends like finishing up work, volunteer work, and canceling services and memberships. I've mostly followed the suggested packing list that the Peace Corps Lesotho desk sent me. My two bags now total 100 lbs (my limit) and I feel like I'm as set as I can be. Luckily, I'm ultra fortunate to have my parents and Richard to help me out with anything I need on the home front. 

I think the main thing I've neglected to pack is stuff to support my hobbies. I can't think of what to bring for hobbies, so I'm not bringing anything. Instead I've packed my bags with just tons of clothes. Yes, I know this might be a mistake, but my hobbies include working out, hanging out with friends, and staring at the wall. So therefore, I don't need that much. Most volunteers and the PC handbook suggested loading my computer with tons of movies and music. I have yet to do that. That's where Richard will most likely come to the rescue and put a ton of media on my tiny netbook at the last minute (probably Sunday night...I leave Monday morning).  If we don't have time, then I'll just be screwed and figure it out as I go along. 

Other than, I feel set. And, to my friends and family: I want to thank you for dedicating the last 3 weeks to me and supporting me 100%. You guys are the best!