Tuesday, December 14, 2010
On the Cliff
I received my flight information this week. Jan 4th at 630 am I will be departing for Chicago. For two days I will be "oriented" for two years abroad, I will then be stuck with needles until I am just short of super soldier, and then I will be stuck on a plane and flown to Brussels, and then to Dakar (Senegal). From there the details get a little sketchy, I am guessing a camel convoy will take me to the capital of Banjul fording the Gambian river in Conestoga wagon. Provided that we do not get attacked by robbers at their equivalent at chimney rock (the pyramids? I am so bad at geography. Where's Sarah Palin when you need her?). Once in Banjul, we will be reoriented for a week and then train for nine more in a village with a host family and language teachers. Here we will learn the culture, language, survival techniques and which snakes to pet and which snakes will cause paralysis. Then I will be placed in a village, and told to create a project that helps the locals achieve goals of sustainability and welfare well promoting the cultural interactions that come with "hey there is a tall white man in our village".
Sanity is being achieved in the mean time by soaking up all the things that I will miss dearly well gone for two years, my mom, friends, my dogs, salsa dancing, climbing, and eating food that costs one month's wages in peanut crops. Things that I love that I can do even more of… African dance, yoga, meditation, running, riding hyena, photography, cultural immersion, learning another language, and helping others, things I hope I can do… learn an instrument or two, plant my own garden, travel often to visit peace corps friends, and camp in the bush under the stars and away from hungry hippos.
Packing is difficult, 80 pounds = my entire life for two years. Solution, send Xander care packages as I feel I will be cutting down many things to make my weight restrictions work out. I hope all is well and merry Christmas.