Ack! Sorry for another hideously long blogging hiatus. I’m leaving for Africa soon, you know? I’d like to say I’ve been super busy with packing and saying goodbye’s, but it would be a lie. I’ve been skiing, and snowshoeing, and spending beautiful wintery days in little cabins in the Alaskan woods.
Here’s a picture:
The last few pieces are falling into place as my Zambia departure group prepares to hop on a plane in (my case) just 20 days. We (my Zamily and I) received emails just after the new year from our staging desk instructing us to call the Peace Corps travel agent and arrange for our flights to Philadelphia. For me, that means my Peace Corps voyage is going to look a little something like this:
February 1st, 2014 (The Adventure Begins)
- 7:30pm – Fly from Homer to Anchorage (AK)
- 11:45pm – Fly from Anchorage to Phoenix, AZ
- 8:05am (Feb. 2nd) – Fly from Phoenix to Philadelphia, PA
Have I mentioned that flying from Alaska (to just about anywhere) can also serve as a tour of the country? Arizona? Sure, why not.
Once we arrive in Philly
and have a crazy Zamily hug-a-thon in the airport and check in to our hotel, we start our whirlwind staging frenzy on February 3rd.
February 3, 2014
- 12:00pm – Registration
- 2:00 – 4:25pm – Who We Are, What You Expect, What’s Next
- 4:25 – 4:45pm – Break
- 4:45 – 7:00pm – What We Expect, Closing
February 4, 2014
- 2:00am – Check out of hotel
- 2:30am – Bus arrives for loading and departure to the airport (JFK)
- 10:30am – Fly from JFK to Johannesburg (nearly 15 hours in the air)
- 10:30am – Fly from Johannesburg to Lusaka (Feb. 5th)
The good folks at our staging desk have also requested our participation in several conference calls later this week. Mine is scheduled for 6am on the 16th, with this agenda:
- The History of Peace Corps in Zambia
- Peace Corps Programs in Zambia
- Safety & Security as a Volunteer
- Zambian Culture (food, dress, language)
For those of you thinking, “6am seems like a little early for a conference call…” you’re not alone. Alaska time is an hour behind Pacific Time (or West Coast time, as we often call it). Peace Corps seems to run on Eastern Standard Time, and so I’ll be setting my alarm clock early for the 16th.
It’s really just beginning to sink in that in just 20 days, I’ll be flying away from my beloved little hometown to begin a 27 (+) month journey in Africa. I’m excited (an understatement), but I’m also beginning to feel pangs of anxiety, nervousness, and not a little apprehension as the days at home rapidly disappear.