Slowly but surely, the time is coming for me to head out. At this time next week, I will probably be sitting on a plane in NY awaiting take-off for Johannesburg. Crazy to think about, hard to believe, exciting and scary all at the same time.
I am officially packed, at last, thanks a lot to a RPCV that my aunt and uncle connected me with! She had a lot of advice as far as what types of clothes to bring, and odds and ends that she found useful while she was in Africa. So far, the headlamp has been a hit. I have 2, and it’s my understanding that it is absolutely essential while in Africa without electricity. I have been unpacking and repacking daily, mainly because I just keep worrying that I’m forgetting something. It seems that I’ve got basically everything on the packing list and that is all I can do for now, because I really don’t know exactly what I will need.
I recently received an email saying that the city in which my training will take place is not Loitokitok! Shocking! Instead, I will be spending most of my time in Machakos. Google it. It’s 2 hours from the capital, Nairobi, and has a population of ~350,000! Just a bit of a change from good ol’ Wirt! Machakos is MUCH bigger than Loitokitok and also has a school for the deaf (unlike Loitokitok). I also had to fill out a “home stay family survey” which asked questions like “do you like kids” and “have you ever lived in a rural community” to help match me with a host family during my pre-service training. I’m not for sure whether the family will be in Loitokitok or Machakos, they say that I will be bouncing back and forth between the two sites.
Last weekend I turned 24, and my family threw a birthday/going away celebration. It was awesome, so many people came and the weather was perfect. It’s so nice to know you’re supported by so many people! I don’t think I can remember seeing that much of my family together, all at once, EVER! My church also had a ceremony-type thing for me, which I really appreciated. Like I said, it means SO MUCH to know that people are thinking of you and really care about you.
So, as my last week in WV slips away, all I can really think about is how fast time goes by! It seems like yesterday I was in Cancun, talking to a RPCV about her time in Africa while sitting on a bus to Chichen Itza. That day totally changed my life. I went back to the hotel and began my Peace Corps application that night, over a year ago. Now I’m packed, waiting for my tickets to arrive in the mail.