I have spent the last 3 hours sitting on the floor of my room (also known as my sisters basement) surrounded by piles of what will be my life for 2 years. this has become a daily ritual. taking one block of goods out of one of 4 bags, carefully examining the contents and assessing whether i may want this item during the next 27 months, then placing it in another pile. I have piles within piles. I have more “maybe” piles then “yes” piles. it’s not so much that i have too much stuff. i am fairly certain that with my champion tetris skills i could fit everything (maybe piles included) into one bag. however packing for the peace corps is like a riddle. “if you have 4 bags total, with 2 bags equaling 80lbs, but not one bag exceeding 50lbs, and one bag holding all of your valuables and the last bag holding enough clothing for 1 week of flying, busing, business casual, introductions in an African winter climate etc; then how much can you pack AND be able to carry at the same time?” if anyone can think of the answer to this question, please let me know i was never very good at story problems. i am comforted by knowing that this time next week I will have figured out the magic combination and all of my chosen things will be in suitcases and on a plane.
My last week stateside is flying by, but despite my mental incapability of packing, I am more excited than ever. I have been fortunate to talk to a few volunteers who are already there, and am eager to meet them in person. I feel like i’m preparing for a blind date with 40 people!
I have received a few detailed emails from the peace corps about what to expect when I arrive which has been very helpful, and also reconfirmed that I will not be able to write or call anyone for a couple of weeks at least so if I go MIA don’t fret. I will be in the country on June 9th in the evening, and will be starting class the very next day, learning siswati and everything there is to know about Swaziland. since I will be out of the loop I would love to hear from friends and family. feel free to send packages or hello’s to:
Peace Corps Swaziland
Mbabane H100 Swaziland
make sure you write “AFRICA” on anything you mail, since Swaziland and switzerland share a very similar post code. I’ve also heard a rumour that if you write “god bless” or something of the like on any package they won’t be tampered with, so keep that in mind. a lot of people have been asking what to send me. I will be happy to get anything from home, but i would love updated pics of your baminos (or ultrasounds ::cough::cough::), any updates on how the ladies of whistera lane are doing, or if the bachelorette marries that creepy guy with the mask would be welcome.
if you have any questions or comments, I’ll be on facebook when i can, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or skype me at ginger.bryan. I look forward to sharing more news as it happens! miss you all already!