Monday, July 15, 2013

Greetings - Preparations for a Cross-Continental Move!

Welcome to my page! I'm assuming most of you reading this are already well aware of my upcoming journey and what it entails - to some extent - as it is what has consumed my life and thoughts since getting my invitation in April. Just in case that's not the case, here is a brief breakdown: 

On August 12th, I will be departing for Botswana, Africa with 67 other volunteers from the United States. Botswana is located directly above South Africa and is relatively developed as far as Africa goes. It does, however, have the second highest population in the world infected with HIV/AIDS. As far as my studies have gone, normally, when development goes up, spread of infectious disease goes down, however, there is a definite disconnect in Botswana. It is my hope that this team of dynamic individuals departing for Botswana can work to bridge that gap. Upon our arrival, we will complete 10.5 weeks of in-country training. At this point, we will be living with separate host families in order to immerse ourselves into the culture of Botswana and better understand social norms. After the training is complete, we will be assessed and subsequently placed at our individual site. We will have our own homes and it is at this point that our two years of service begins. What a journey we are all in for! 

As I prepare for this move, it is quite difficult to put into words what I am feeling. I have moments of overwhelming excitement about what lies ahead – the unknown, the complete life transformation I will undergo, and the people I will meet and come to love along the way. On the other hand, I am overcome with moments of sadness at what and who I am leaving behind and the things I know I will miss stateside while serving abroad.

The main goal I have as my departure nears is to keep an open mind. I am trying my best to hold little expectations of what Peace Corps Service will mean to me. I remind myself daily that I will struggle and that I will be homesick. But I also remember how excited I am about the work I will be doing and the change I intend on bringing along with my service. One thing I am confident in through all of this CRAZY CHAOS I feel right now is that I have made the best and most fit choice in accepting my Peace Corps Invitation. So, for now, I sign off. If you are reading this, I love you and you have touched my life in some way. I hope you will follow me in my adventure and support me along the way.