I was happy to see that cell phones are common in all areas of the country and service is reliable. Mail is very reliable as well (takes 1-2 weeks). However I did read that in the winter (November-March), I might lack heating, hot water and cooking gas...hellooo Peace Corps Experience!! :) Bring it on. I am definitely investing in a super warm jacket and sleeping bag as well as long underwear and extra thick socks.
Looking over the checklist the PC gave me, I noticed that "ice gripping boots" were under the shoe category. So this week I marched over to REI for my first pair of real, waterproof, ice gripping boots. The clerk informed me that I also needed "ice spikes" on the bottom of my boots, (because I'm going to be hiking glaciers?!) so with my new boots and ice spikes I walked around REI, and felt, for the first time, "Wow. This is happening...in 5 WEEKS!!" I walked out with the new boots, new thermal socks, and left the ice spikes for the pros. :)
One huge blessing--dear friends from Epiphany have given me a beautiful hiking backpack!! I was totally shocked and so thankful. I again thank you all for your support..I am so blessed to have you in my life.