How Do You Pack for Two Years?

In 80lbs?

This is my life

I mean, I get it.  I wouldn’t really want to bring more than that.  I have scoured the internet and blogosphere looking at what is most pertinent to buy.  But it is a critical time, because now I want to save so I have enough money to visit Cape Town or Mozambique!

I love this picture.  This is after my three month stint in Nepal.  Three months!  I was only there for three months and look at what I carried around with me in.  In my defense, I accumulated that striped bag only at the end. But if this is what I look like for only three months, what about two years?

Luckily, I have a lot of items due to my travels in India and Nepal.  But now I find I am in need of items that I wouldn’t otherwise think about.  Like I need a short wave radio.  I don’t even know what that is, but I know that I need it.

And a hammock.

And a sleeping bag.

And perhaps a sewing kit… that would be nice, right?

Happy packing!

Invite in the Mail… WHAT!?

It happened.  I got a call from DC during work and I decided that this was more important.  I chatted with the placement officer about being Mormon and the struggle that that might be and about my decision to abstain from alchohol.  And then … all of the sudden he said, “great, well we mentioned about leaving in April and we are sending an invite in the mail for an HIV program leaving April 7th.”  I freaking flipped out.  That is sooo soon, so soon.  I mean, I am prepared to leave, my job ends on March 31st, but I was going to visit my siblings, my friend’s new baby and finish my quilt.  But I am not going to complain.

I know I am jumping the gun a bit, but according to some blogs and the peace corps wiki that would mean Botswana!  So that is what i am claiming.  I could try to illustrate the joy and ectasy of nine months of suspense, but I can’t.  My words get twisted and I can seem to concentrate. 

So here is to less than six weeks.

Finally, a word

I got a call from the Placement Office!  Finally! Crazy, last night I had resigned myself to not hearing anything for another month.  I thought “I will know by April, for sure.”  The officer was asking me about my application and interview.  In my application I specified that I would only go to Africa or Asia.  And when my recruiter interviewed me I said this was because I had invested interest because of my field of study and my undergraduate research and internship.  When my placement officer saw this in my application it was a red flag.  He says, in his mind if there are things that an applicant is unwilling to do, like go to other regions, then it may mean that they are unwilling to do some other things in the field.  He has a lot of applicants, about three times the amount he needs, and something like this could throw me out of the pool.  I was shocked.  After stuttering and saying um a bunch of times, I finally explained to him that this was a career move, that I want to spend the rest of my career in Asia or Africa and the peace corps could push me forward.  And he understood but he wanted to see that I was willing and I consented.

Then he asked some resume specific questions, blah blah blah.  He said that the program I have been nominated for has a bunch of applicants and it is a relatively small program and then he asked if I would be willing to leave in early April, and I was like ‘heck yes.’ He said he would call me again in the next couple of days.

I feel like I have been waiting for this call for nine months, ever since I got my nomination.  It feels so good to finally have the ball rolling!