I have been preparing for my upcoming departure. I think it has been going well. Fortunately, I already have a lot of the items I need. I have also been getting rid of most of what I own. This process has been surprising to me, because I consider myself to be a minimalist. I don’t like collecting anything (except, maybe DVDs), and I have the tendency to move every six months. We all know that whenever you move, you get rid of stuff. I usually unload at least 3 garbage bags full every time I move. When I moved to Hawaii at the end of the summer I had 2 yard sales, and a carload of stuff went to Goodwill. When I came back to Flagstaff I realized I still had a truckload of stuff. I spent the week before I left Flagstaff (for the second time) selling stuff; I dumped another garbage bag or 2; and I still took a carload to San Diego. WTF?! I plan on leaving my mother with a suitcase full of clothes (surprise mom!) before I leave. I will be taking a suitcase, backpack, carry-on bag, and my guitar with me to Africa. That will be everything I own, and I couldn’t be happier.
One of my favorite things to do lately (while being jobless in SD) is read the blogs of current PCVs (that’s Peace Corps Volunteers- I will be introducing you to the lingo along the way). The people LOVE IT over there. Well, after the first 3 months or so. It’s not that they don’t like that time, but it’s difficult. That separation period, you know. Not that I’ll have any trouble leaving your sorry-asses behind (jk! ;). The one thing that helped them through it was letters from friends and family. So, here comes my pathetic begging…ready? PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE write me letters. Tell me what’s up. Went to a party last night? Hey, send me a picture!
Also, remember that it takes 2-3 weeks for letters to get there. Packages take 6-9 weeks. (so, you should write before I even leave, heh-heh).
Make sure to write “Airmail” and “Par Avion” and any letters/packages. (if stuff doesn’t go by airmail, it apparently takes way longer). Also, I hear drawing crosses and writing “Jesus Saves” helps deter thieves. Hey, whatever works.
For the first 3 months, this will be my address:
Maureen Maloney, PCT, Peace Corps
Corps de la Paix
Post Zook Ankorondrano