Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I feel like a rockstar! Tons of Good Bye Celebrations!

6 days until I leave for Pre-Service Training!
I am beside myself with excitement! It still doesn't feel real that I am actually moving to Swaziland.  I don't know why I am not nervous about leaving to a third world country, but only about packing for it!

The last couple of weeks I have been spending in Syracuse, my hometown while preparing for departure, and the time has been going by way too fast!  I have been the center of attention, consumed way too much food and alcohol, received a surplus of hugs and well-wishes from all the most important people in my life!  You all have made me feel so special!  My life has been a huge party for the last couple of weeks, it has been great, but I think my sister is going to be happy when she finally gets to have a full night's sleep again!

Shout outs to:
My Sister, Patty for letting me live with her, hosting a barbeque, road tripping to Buffalo, staying up late, and making my time left at home really special!
My girls: Sommer, Melissa, Allison, Maureen, and Julie.... and Kyle.  You are the best!!
My family and my Plymouth UCC family for a great send-off on Sunday.
My camping family and a beautiful day at Southwick Beach!  (I will try to remember about Itis)
Linda - I am so glad I made it out to Buffalo to see you and your family.  The memorial day parade was great, but now I have a sunburn, ouch!
Danielle and Shawn - Congrats and have a blast at your wedding!
And to everyone that I saw this past weekend that I forgot to mention: I really appreciate your support!

I am looking forward to one more week full of going away excitement!  Soon I will be blogging from Swaziland, but for the first couple months I will have very limited access to the internet and I will be super busy training and learning siSwati anyway, so be patient and stay tuned because I am about to begin the experience of a lifetime and I am excited to share my adventure with you all!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Going away party!

14 days until Staging!  These two weeks are going to fly by.

Yesterday was my going going away party.  It was great to see everyone.  I could feel your love, excitement, and support for me.  I am very lucky to have you all.  I appreciate all of your gifts, cards, and words of encouragement!!!

I had to show everyone where Swaziland is on the map.

Awesome cake! Yum!

Love spending time with my family before I leave!

Packing Madness!  Too much to pack, not enough time!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

My ticket for Staging is booked!

This morning I heard my computer chime, notifying me that I have a new e-mail.  It was the staging information from the Peace Corps!!!  Staging is being held in Philadelphia for a day full of ice breaker games and sore arms from all the vaccines we need to get.

My travel itinerary for the next month:
In 5 days.. Saturday 5/14 - Leaving NJ for Syracuse!
about 3 weeks in Syracuse.
June 6 @ 3:23p - Leaving Syracuse and arriving in Philadelphia @ 4:25p
June 8 @ 3:00a!!! Leave hotel for JFK airport .... idk why staging isn't held in NYC?
   plane leaves @ 11:25a for Swaziland
June 9 - Arriving in Swaziland!!!!
June 10 - CULTURE SHOCK!! lol

I am very grateful for the last 8 or so months I was able to spend with my mom and stepdad in New Jersey and also for all the people I met while living here, especially the Carnes family, all of my coworkers at the Gap, and the members of Parsippany UMC.  You have all touched my life!

I am looking forward to seeing all of my friends and family in Syracuse for the next couple weeks!
Pastor Jeff of Parsippany UMC gave me a beautiful
blessing and a prayer blanket for my PC journey!

Will and Kari Carnes - I will really miss you guys!