I know, I know, I’ve been very bad about blogging since getting back to the United States. It’s not for a lack of interesting adventures – I visited Duluth in the middle of freezing winter, flew to DC to visit friends and eat lots of delicious food (the strangest fare coming from a Russian-Uzbek fusion restaurant in Virginia), enjoyed delicious home-cooked meals and lovely company on my friends’ balcony (weather permitting, of course), and danced like a crazy person at weekly Zumba classes.
Today is my last day working in data entry (gotta love my random temporary jobs since graduating: camp counselor, glorified door-locker and table-setter, and data entry minion), after which I have three whole weeks of free time to pack and prepare for Kyrgyzstan. Preparations include: figuring out how to shrink a giant sleeping bag, pillow, and fluffy coat into a duffel bag; deciding which clothes will be most prudent to hand-wash; and eating as much delicious food as my wallet and stomach can bear. I’ll also be watching movies and catching up on reading, which I’m counting as official preparation for my service. (If I’m going to share American culture with my students, I should be well-informed on all the big pop culture references, right?) So, if you have any recommendations, please send them my way.
In the last three months, I’ve worked through a mountain of medical paperwork for Peace Corps and sorted through my financial affairs – but it didn’t feel like I was actually going to move to Kyrgyzstan until this week, when I finally received my itinerary for leaving the U.S. April 17 will be my last full day in Minnesota, and I’ll have a few days to say goodbye to people in DC before I meet all of my fellow volunteers on April 23. We’ll have a full day of orientation and training before lugging our hundred-pounds-each of bags to the airport and setting off for Bishkek. If all goes according to plan, our plane will land in Kyrgyzstan in the very early hours of April 26 (it’s pretty auspicious that I’ll be starting this big new chapter of my life on a birthday, no?).
Anyway, I’m not 100% sure of what’s going to happen to me once I’m there, though I do know that I won’t find out about my permanent site – where I’ll be living and working for my 2 years of service – until after I’ve already been in the country for several weeks. I’m rocking a go-with-the-flow attitude about this, though, and it’s one of the Peace Corps’ 10 core expectations that I serve where they tell me to go. Go with the flow, you know?
Anyway, some landscape porn to tide me over for the 3-ish weeks left in the States:*
*(Fine, I know it’s closer to 4, but I’m just really excited)