Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rubiks' Cubes and yarn

Ugh, packing... or maybe its just thinking of packing that seems so daunting!  One piece of advice thatI have heard a lot is that if I think I am going to want something, then bring it.  So I have been trying to figure out what extra things I am going to bring to help me keep sane during my 27 months in Swaziland.
- needles and yarn to knit
- 2 rubiks cubes
- an American flag
- a world map
- soccer ball w pump, needles, juggling net
- my laptop
 I am really looking forward to this weekend, going to Myrtle Beach!!  I am excited to see my sister, brother, and Grandma.  This may be the last time I see my brother before I leave, and I am looking forward to some girl shopping with Patty and Mom.  Hopefully we can find some skirts and dresses to add to my wardrobe!  I can't wait for the beach!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What is church like in Swaziland?

and why are so many PCVs atheist/agnostic?  I have read a lot of PC blogs in way too LONG nomination process and many volunteers do mention church and how they try to avoid it at all costs.  That question might be a misconception on my part of the PC blog world or the PC bloggers might be a misrepresentation of volunteers' religious views...who knows?!?  I am looking forward to experiencing (at least one) Swazi church service, although I have this impression that it is going to be long, boring, and I will have no idea what is going on!  I will wait until I get to Swaziland to decide on my real impression of their churches.

I only bring this because I went to church this morning and I am always wondering what I will be doing in Swaziland this time next year.  I grew up in a protestant church.  I have a lot of great memories from my church and it has definitely been an inspiration in my life as far as the kind of person I want to be and how I want to live my life.  I don't consider myself to be a very religious person and I despise preach-y people, but I do enjoy the loving, supportive community, and the message to be a good person and to care for each other.

Since I have moved to NJ during my gap year between college and PC, I started attending a church down here, United Methodist Church of Parsippany.  They have been fantastic to me and I really enjoy their service.  They sing a number of the same songs every week, and one truly speaks to me, so will share it.

   "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me;
    Let there be peace on earth,the peace that was meant to be.
    With God our Creator, children all are we.
    Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.
    Let peace begin with me; let this be the moment now.
   With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow;
   to take each moment,and liveeach moment in peace eternally.
   Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The little things

Lately I have been trying to become conscious of all the little things that I have taken for granted in my life thus far. Things that seem so normal to me now, I feel that I will have a whole new perspective on in a few months when I am in Swaziland.
I wake up in a warm comfortable bed where it is nice and quiet.  I go to the next room, a nice clean bathroom with running water, not only that, its hot or cold and always clean! I can take a shower whenever I want.  I have been taking longer showers nowadays in preparation, knowing I may not have that simple luxury in Africa.  I blow dry my hair and straighten it.  I go downstairs, head for the kitchen, which my mom has stocked with plenty of food.  When I open the fridge there are always leftovers!  And if there is nothing to eat, regardless of the fully stocked fridge and pantry, there is a grocery store, Chinese food, subway and dunkin next door.  They are so close I don't even need to drive, but if I wanted to drive then the options are limitless
I turn on the tv with hundreds of channels, all in English...and if there is nothing on I can check the dvr or the ondemand channels, and then if I still cant find anything I watch hulu on my laptop.
If its too cold or too hot in the house I can fix the temp at the touch of a button.  And my bedtime is not determined by when the sun goes down.  Thank you electricity! and thanks to all the other things that I don't even realize I am taking for granted!