Last week, one of my fellow future volunteers articulated exactly how I would describe the past few months: both the fastest and slowest of our lives. With our departure date only 26 days away, time has certainly been eluding me the way it does during a week’s vacation in the tropics. Strangely enough, I’ve been living in cold & snowy New Hampshire but am still feeling the same sensation. The window of opportunity to visit friends one last time, buy gear for my packing list, and practice Chichewa before I depart is quickly shrinking. At the same time, the. days. are. passing. so. slowly. I feel like I’ve read countless Peace Corps blogs, watched hundreds of YouTube videos (like this one styled after the show “MTV Cribs” that made me laugh a little too hard https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LtQXUyssu8), and mentally prepared myself as much as possible. Aside from having nothing actually packed and no directions on how to get to my staging event, I AM READY!
For those who are reading this that are future volunteers in my same situation, you may be wondering what I have consumed by time with. My activities include:
- Visiting friends out-of-state
- Buying new gear (who knew that moving to Africa could be so expensive!)
- Learning to play the guitar
- Working part-time
- Chilling with my friends who (thank god) are still living in my hometown
- Transferring music, books and videos to my electronics
- Practicing Chichewa
- Consuming all the chocolate, cheese and wine that I can, and of course,
- Watching Netflix
As for my communication with the Peace Corps, every few weeks, the PC Malawi office sends out an email update and requests certain things such our bicycle size or updated medical information. We also had a short conference call last week to go over any questions we might have had. It was a bit difficult to understand the callers on the other end, but was exciting to hear the voices of my future coworkers. This morning, I received the most exciting email to date, with information regarding our staging event and arrival in Malawi. Although it did not outline the specifics of staging, we learned about our accommodations in Kasungu, what the training schedule will be like, and a few logistical things. To say that I was bouncing off the walls would be an understatement!
*This entry was written on January 29th, but due to a trip to Cincinnati, I am now posting it on February 5th. More updates to follow!