Jambo (hello) family and friends,
As I prepare for my 27 month stint with the Peace Corps in Kenya, many emotions have been running through my head. Excitement (yay, travel!), worry (can I really pack for 2 years?!), and a whole lot of nervousness (No Sweet Peas Chicken Pesto sandwiches for TWO years?!). But I think the most overriding emotion has been thankfulness. I am so thankful for the opportunity to live and work in another country. The Peace Corps combines volunteering and travel, two of my most beloved pastimes. I am so thankful for those who have supported me throughout the long application and decision process. And, in this last month, I have been incredibly thankful for the opportunity to spend time with my family in Hawaii and California and my best girlfriends in Vegas. Family and friends are definitely what I will miss most.
So to keep in touch, I am starting this blog. I’m not sure what my electricity/internet situation will be like. But I’ll try to update and let you know that I am alive whenever possible. I’ll also leave you with my address in case you want to send me a chicken pesto sandwich! ( Just kidding, packages take up to 3 months to get to me!) Here is my address while I am in training for the next three months:
US Peace Corps
P.O. Box 698-00621
If you get a minute, write to me. I always appreciate snail mail : )
*NOTE ON PACKAGES* Do NOT value package at more than $100.00 on customs form, do NOT write food, electronics, or anything expensive on form. DO write vague descriptions such as education materials, used books, used cloths, personal effects etc. And DO NOT send porn (not that any of you were going to) apparently it's super illegal here... and I do not want to be jailed for possession of pornography :) DHL and UPS are expensive, regular mail is fine to use. Apparently things get here pretty quick (2-3 weeks).
Much of this process has flown by, a whirlwind of applications, travel, and last minute packing. But for those of you that are curious, here is what I know so far about the upcoming months of my Peace Corps journey.
At this moment I am on my way to Philadelphia where I have “Staging” my quick four hour training and registration in the USA. On November 3rd, I embark on the journey to Kenya (JFK-> to Zurich -> Nairobi). I’ll be spending a few nights in the capitol before taking a 8 hour bus ride to the southern border to a town called Loitokitok. Here is where I will live with a host family for the next three months. I’ll be learning Swahili as well as some technical, health/safety aspects of the job. Then on January 7th 2010 (my 23rd birthday!), I’ll be moving to my site where I will live and teach high school science for the next two years. Writing about this makes me excited to meet new people, try new foods, learn a new language, and travel another country. Hopefully, I’ll soon be a Kenya expert and can give those of you that come to visit me a tour of the country ;)
Ok, check back later for updates!