Tuesday, February 8, 2011

'Twas the night before staging

I leave for staging in nine hours. Whoa. I'm pretty much all packed, except for the stuff in the bathroom that I'll use to get ready in the morning. My bags are at 79.4 lbs and I'm crossing my fingers that they stay that way. I really would love to have had them well under 80, but I'll take what I can get. I am pretty surprised that they're that heavy, I thought I did a better job at not going crazy. My packing list was obviously amended during the process, so I'll post the new one eventually. Or maybe not. Whatever, I'm moving to Africa. I took a picture of the before, during, and after packing (two of Danielle trying to climb in my bag this afternoon, a couple of the dog laying on things so I couldn't get to them, etc), but my iphoto is being sketchy and not showing the new imports. I'll try again in Philly.

My cat is at her new home, with my friend, Nora, who is the only person who loves Nadia as much as I do, and therefore the only person who should have her. I hope she adjusts well, I hate the thought of both girl and cat being stressed out and at odds with one another for 2+ years. I'm pretty stoked, though, that everyone who visits Nora while I'm gone will get to see her and love on her (if she lets them) and think of me.

I got a fantastic message on facebook tonight that made me smile so so big... it ends like this: "in closing, i am so happy for you and know you are going to love the fuck out of being in africa. and just think, only 27 months until you get to move to boston! be safe out there, and keep in touch!" Poetry.

I really do have some pretty amazing friends. I love you all, a.o.t.h.

Lastly, we've been told that we will be incommunicado for the first three months or so after arriving, even to the point where they're going to be collecting email addresses from us as staging to email FOR us that we arrived safely. No news will definitely be good news during that time, so please don't get too flustered that I'm not posting my hilarious status updates like I usually do. The best best best most awesome way to keep in touch with me during this time is through LETTERS!!!!! (You know you love getting letters in the mail!) So don't ask me about the blog or facebook or skype, just write me a letter and we can pretend like it's 1995 and the internet is still a baby. Do it.

Liz S., Peace Corps Trainee (or PCT)
PO Box 29348
Kampala, Uganda

Tips for successful communications:

  • Write Air Mail/Par Avion on the envelopes (if it goes surface mail it could take months)
  • Draw religious symbols, bible verses, "God Bless this Package", "Sister Liz" etc. to instill a guilty conscience into would-be mail thieves.
  • Padded envelopes work best, as they're seen as letters rather than prizes (as opposed to boxes when sending something more than a letter, like pez, green tabasco sauce, or aquaphor)
  • Undervalue everything, no more than $20 or $25 for sure, and say it's educational materials or something generic, boring, and good natured.
  • Obviously you will use my real last name and not just the initial, I'm just trying to be careful on the internet ;)
  • Number the letters so I'll know if some went missing (and therefore nothing you're saying is making sense)
  • You don't have to wait for a response to write again! If we're waiting for a response to write back, but the letter was lost in some weird Ugandan fashion, it could spell disaster! (or just no letters) So just send me things when it strikes your fancy, not just because it's "your turn to write"
  • Send me random, funny stuff that made you laugh, chances are it will make my entire week. I'll do the same for you.

3 comments:

RENEE! said...

Good luck Liz!!

Kate said...

I'm a lurker and nominee (August, Asia) and have enjoyed reading your journey to today! good luck!

Tija Leigh said...

I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU! Have an amazing time at staging and PST! Soak it up! I look forward to catching up after June when I get back online too! Wishing you all the best!