All of a sudden, everything has become insanely real. I quit work in two days. I leave for staging in Chicago in 14 days. I will be in Romania in 16 days. Woah. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t freaking out right now. It’s 11:30PM and I cannot go to sleep. My mind is racing—things to do, people to see, goodbyes to start and I’m sure tears to come. This is happening and it’s happening fast. All of a sudden I realize I don’t have THAT much time to spend with my family and my friends. Literally…this experience is two weeks away.
I started this whole process in August of 2009. I knew coming back from Guatemala that I was going to apply for the Peace Corps. It had been a dream of mine for years-I remember learning about it in High School and knew I had to do this. Originally, I thought a two year commitment was just too long-I wanted to try a year or less first. So off I went to Guatemala to teach English in the small village of San Cristobal. After 6 months there, I returned to the states and realized how fast the months flew by. I knew that I could give the Corps a solid two year (actually 27 month!) commitment. I applied (the application process is no joke!) and had my interview with my Peace Corps Recruiter in DC. I was nominated in September to teach English in Central America. Being fluent in Spanish, I was almost positive they would send me to a Spanish speaking country. PEACE CORPS LESSON # 1-BE FLEXIBLE!! When I heard I was going to Romania EVERYTHING changed. My departure date, my packing list (I all of a sudden had to think ICE GRIPPING BOOTS instead of mosquito nets and malaria pills), and my little sense of security I had thinking I was going to a country where I knew the language. Truly everything will be new, the language, the customs, the sights-its exciting and yet scary at the same time.
I am so grateful for the amazing fellow volunteers I have met in person and on Facebook. Everyone is so helpful, so excited, and its comforting to know that I’ll have 47 American friends all experiencing the same things I am experiencing. I think our youngest volunteer is 21, and there are a few in their 50s and 60s.
I am most grateful for my friends and family here. You all have been so supportive, so encouraging, so amazing-I am going to have such a hard time saying goodbye. How can you say how my life, or how your life will change in the next few years? I will inevitably miss weddings, births, perhaps deaths, and other important events in all of your lives. I know that some friends will drift away, and some relationships will only become stronger. Some people are questioning why I would do this, and those who know me well knew this was coming all along. ☺
As my time here in the states comes to a close, please know that saying goodbye to all of you is not and will not be easy for me. I will miss you all more than you know, and I hope that you will stay in touch and continue to follow my blog. One of my fears is that life here with you all will continue on and I’ll somehow be forgotten in the mountains of Eastern Europe…silly but true. Please continue to tell me what you’re up to—even if it seems silly to you it will mean everything to me. Knowing that I have people supporting me, praying for me, and believing in me means more than you know.