Getting ready to leave this east coast bipolar weather and make my way to the sunshine on the other side of the world insh’Allah (God-willing). Even though I have made myself comfortable traveling and living in Africa as well as visiting other parts of the world, I cannot shake the nervousness of leaving for Peace Corps service. During the beginning of my Peace Corps process, I was frustrated by the lack of information provided. I felt completely clueless about the depth and breadth of service. Once you have been accepted and getting ready for departure, Peace Corps will overwhelm you with information. From emails and packages regarding immunizations, schedules, insurance, procedures, dates and important health material that I am usually negligent about living in the U.S. It is all very overwhelming, but I feel comforted to know that I will be working in a well-equipped government agency.
My plane ticket is booked. Staging will take place in Philadelphia February 9th. During staging, trainees from all over the nation who will be serving in Tanzania come together to meet and get to know one another (maybe bond over some Philly/NYC shenanigans), as well as review logistical information before leaving for service. On February 10th, we will fly out of JFK to Johannesburg then to Dar es Salaam, the major city in Tanzania, where we will spend our first three months in training.
After acquiring dates of departure and tasks to complete, I am finally beginning to grasp the reality of this entire experience. I have 13 days left to spend with family and friends and try to find a possible way to pack two years of my life, in Africa, in two medium-sized luggage.