Let’s Fly Away!

 

Flight to Philly

 
The Peace Corps and my German mother already have something in common. They both like to get to the airport absurdly early. I am currently sitting in JFK with my 26 other Madagascar volunteers. It is 6:40 am and our flight leaves at 11am. And get this! We have been here for 2 hours already! It’s so early that the kiosks are closed and we cannot check in for another hour. I am not complaining though, my mother has rubbed off on me a little. So this means I am even a little anxious that we aren’t at the gate yet!

 

All of our bags in a pile!

 
The last couple days have been a whirlwind. On Sunday, I took a flight from California to Philly. I slept at the hotel and then the next day we had staging! Staging is basically a fancy word the Peace Corps uses for orientation. It was a series of presentations and conversations about Peace Corps expectations and safety. I really enjoyed it. It was nice to hear from returned Peace Corps volunteers and hear them relate their own experiences to the material that we were learning.

Honestly though it was kind of difficult to even remember most of the topics we covered. The most probable reason for this is that my nervousness left me with a mild case of amnesia. Oh well.

 

Tying yarn to our bags- a Peace Corps tradition!

 
The hardest part of all of this has been saying goodbye to everyone. I love my family and friends so much that most of my phone calls/facetimes/skypes ended in tears. I am so thankful that I have such an amazing support group. I love you all very much. I will let you know how I am the second I have access to the Internet! Until then, wish me luck! Madagascar, here I come!

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Last Day at Home

My dog wants to come with!

Today is my last day in California, by this time next week I will be living in Madagascar. I cannot even believe it. It is completely crazy and my mind cannot wrap itself around the idea that I will be there for 27 months.

Not that I haven’t had enough time to prepare! This process has been a long one. At one point I hadn’t heard a peep from the Peace Corps for 6 long months! Since it is my first post on the blog, I thought I would give you a quick timeline of my Peace Corps journey so far. So here it goes:

My Peace Corps Timeline

December 2013: Apply to Peace Corps

February 2014: 15 min phone interview

March 2014: 1.5 hour in-person interview with recruiter

May 2014: Receive 5 potential options for nomination (Madagascar, Georgia, Guyana, Azerbaijan and Zambia)

May 2014: Nominated for Peace Corps Madagascar (my first choice!)

May 2014: Graduation from University of Wisconsin-Madison

June 2014: Legal Clearance given

June – December 2014: Waiting to hear back

December 2014: Invited to join!

March 2015: Medical clearance given

June 2015: Departure
Yes, you read it correctly, I applied a year and a half ago. I know what you are thinking, “She has known for a while that she might go away for 2 years, she should be used to the idea by now.”

Well I’m not. I never really gave myself the chance to process it because I keep worrying that somehow this opportunity will be taken away from me. Going to live in Madagascar for 27 months, that can’t be real, right? But it is.

I am incredibly honored to have been given this opportunity and I hope I make all of you proud.