Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's finally happening!

Wow. What a whirlwind these last few weeks have been. It was exactly one month ago when I got the call from my Peace Corps Placement Officer letting me know that I had been medically cleared (finally!). Hearing those words was such sweet news. The bigger surprise, though, was that he was offering me a spot in a program leaving early April, if I was available. I couldn't believe it. That was so soon!

Obviously there was no way I could pass up the opportunity to go to Africa for HIV/AIDS work, so here I am. I'm excited, nervous, happy, sad, and anxious that it is all finally happening. It's going to be an incredible adventure and I can't wait for the experiences that lie ahead.

The basics: I'll be serving for approximately 27 months (April 2010 - June 2012). I'll be doing some sort of HIV/AIDS outreach with a local NGO. The first couple of months I will be living in Molepolole, Botswana with a host family. This is our training period in which we will delve into Setswana (the local language), cross-cultural issues, and the technical aspects of our jobs. During this time the Peace Corps will decide which organization and village will be the best fit for each of us. This is when I will find out more specifically what I will be doing for the next two years, so more info to come... :)

My itinerary for the first few days is as follows...
Saturday, April 10th I fly from Atlanta to Philadelphia for Staging where I will meet up with my group. Then we take a bus to JFK and fly to Johannesburg, South Africa (about a 15 hour flight!). After a layover in Johannesburg we will take a 45 minute flight to Gaborone, Botswana (the capital). We will stay there for a few days and then meet our host families in a town outside Gaborone where we will live the next two months.

Right now the main thing on my mind is packing. My room is currently a disaster with everything thrown about, but packing for the Peace Corps is no easy feat. I will post my packing list soon.