Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gauging Staging

Peace Corps "Staging" is this crazy little event where 61 nervous people sit in a room chatting about culture, anxieties, dress code, and rules... all while trying to get a real sense of what this new "family" is going to feel like for the next 2 years. Mine is ending tomorrow morning when we all shuffle (err... drag, pull, hoist) ourselves + 80lbs of luggage onto a bus for JFK airport. Flight to Botswana leaves at 5:20.

While I'm battling a v e r y nervous stomach and nausea from malaria meds I'm also craving Africa in a way I never have-- everything is so close and I cant help day dreaming about stepping off that plane into the sun and smells and colors of my new planet (don't pretend like you dont know I'm melodramatic)

The women here are truly amazing-- I've made some great connections already and everyone has fabulous stories of international travel and volunteer work... we compare war-tales of packing, discuss the ambiguities that frustrate us, and munch on our last American dinners before diving into the Botswana cuisine (which one gal has playfully prophesied to be "2 years of beef and Fanta"... still crossing my fingers for fresh veggies)

The group is incredibly diverse with 3 married couples, 15 retirees and everyone else spanning the age groups in a way that makes me feel Snuggly In the Middle.

Lots more details but this is the boring stuff-- look again in a couple days for an update on Jo-burg arrival: possibly exhausted but surely fascinated, eager and r e l i e v e d…

6 comments:

Gloria Cho said...

Hello, Jessica
I'm sorry I missed your farewell party.
I hope you have a safe trip to Botwana. I remember you were talking about your irresistable desire to experience 'to be foreign' despite your 'plan for 30's'. I'm sure you are so excited and nervous about your unknown future which is about to be displayed in all the exotic settings. I hope this journey takes you to the abundant joy, and fruitful learnings.
Without even your noticing, all the Botwanian things will lead you to the incredible experiences as long as you let them.
Wish you all the best,

Gloria

Jodes said...

Hi Jess,
Safe travels...as you know you will be covered in prayer daily and truly be missed. May you find all you are looking for.. and much, much more in Botswana. Hopefully I will be able to visit and see you in action. I am saving my pennies. Can't wait to hear from your next blog. All my love best friend!!! -Jodi & Nate

Jodes said...

Hi Jess,
Safe travels...as you know you will be covered in prayer daily and truly be missed. May you find all you are looking for.. and much, much more in Botswana. Hopefully I will be able to visit and see you in action. I am saving my pennies. Can't wait to hear from your next blog. All my love best friend!!! -Jodi & Nate

Jeff D said...

Jess,

Nice to finally meet you at the party. Pam and I are looking forward to following your adventures and experiences in Africa.

All the best,

Jeff

Linnea said...

Hey my love,
I can't believe I have to spend the next 2 years on a computer... but hey we're a;ready use to it, right? (it's not like I've never done this blogging thing before). Love you girl!

Charles said...

hey jess we are thinking of you can't wait to hear some more take care of yourself. Love, Lauren and Chick