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…