Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Staging and Departure

Well guys, I'm flying out tonight at 11:30PM.  I somehow ended up a group leader, so I have to keep track of 7 other people.  It's all good though... I think that taking on some responsibility has shifted my mind from all of the things that are happening.  Before I know it, I'll be passed out on a plane overnight and hopefully waking up in Buenos Aires.

Staging has been great.  I suppose that this knot in the pit of my stomach will disappear eventually, and much of it will be due to the great people that I am traveling with.  Though we're all different, it's very apparent that we have a lot in common.  The staging was comprised of 35 Peace Corps Trainees, all of whom are part of the Agriculture or Environmental Education sectors.  Today was full of icebreakers and opportunities to get to know each other, as well as discussing our anxieties and aspirations.

Please pray that I will continue to find Christian fellowship as I serve with trainees, volunteers, and native Paraguayans.  I have met one other believer in the group, which is a HUGE answer to prayer.  So keep 'em coming guys!  Have a great week and I definitely am looking forward to future correspondence.

Adios Estados Unidos! Next stop Argentina!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm in Miami trick...

So many  things in my life come down to LMFAO songs.  There's something seriously wrong with that... :-p

Hello!  I realize it's been a while since I gave an update.  After my final day of work, I moved all of my stuff back to Lansing and then took off for 4 days in Washington with my sister and my niece.  We had a blast, but when I got home it was total crunch-time.  I had two days to pack and get mentally prepared to leave.

I'm currently in my hotel room in Miami awaiting a supposed room mate for the evening.  Registration doesn't start until 6PM, so I have plenty of time to explore/adjust.  It's been an emotional few days for me, and I'm not entirely sure why.  It's not as if I'd never left home before.  But now, instead of just an hour drive, it's a 10 hour plane ride.

Please pray that God will give me peace and flexibility.  I know that it is completely natural to ask questions like "What am I doing?!" or "I'm sure about this, right?"  I need to move forward from that.  There are some awesome people and great experiences to be had in Paraguay, and I need to stop focusing on what I'm leaving behind and embrace the adventure ahead of me.  I'm sure it will be a rough couple of weeks, but I'll find my groove.  Thanks to all of you came to see me/say goodbye before I took off.  It meant a lot.  God, family, and friends are all that is really important in life, and I'm incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many supportive people.

I have registration tonight, some orientation stuff tomorrow, and then I leave for Buenos Aires, Argentina tomorrow night at 11:30.  Then I will DEFINITELY be off the grid for a few days... probably until Sunday or Monday.  It's going to take a while to get settled, meet my host family, etc.   I look forward to keeping you up to date on what I'm doing and I hope you enjoy reading this blog.  I'm going to do my best to update it on a regular basis.

For those of you who don't have my contact information, I've listed my email and skype screen name on the sidebar.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Three Weeks and Counting

It's almost 2:00 AM and I'm still awake.  Sure, the evening coffee could be keeping me up, but after six years of guzzling the heavenly beverage at all hours of the day I'm not sure it has any effect on me.  I'm still awake because my brain won't shut off.

The last four months have been a complete blur here in Ann Arbor.  After selling most of my possessions, I moved into a house with a friend and planned on enjoying the fun in the sun of a typical Michigan summer.  Well, I did that-- but it felt like it only lasted for a few hours.  Now I'm sitting awake at two in the morning realizing that I have three days left of work as a Soil Conservationist for the USDA, one more week of meeting with my Huron Hills Bible study group, and less than three weeks until I board a plane to Miami.  Life moves so fast, it's almost a crime to find it funny.

It's been an emotional few days for me.  The start of football season and the slow cooling of the air have really made me realize how much I've been blessed during my near 3-year stay in Ann Arbor.  I have some great supportive friends, a job that gave me enough vacation time to travel and see my sisters and nieces, and close enough proximity to my parents that I could still manage a free dinner every once in a while.  But you know what?  God is good.  It took less than a year for me to find Ann Arbor a city I could call my home, and I look forward to the people that I will meet and the adventures I will have while serving the people of Paraguay.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, it's no secret that I have developed a particular affection for the Around the World for Free series on CBS.com.  I've been a Parvati Shallow fan ever since her first season of Survivor in the Cook Islands and it's no doubt that her charisma is what got her in the Survivor Hall of Fame, and is now what is getting her around the world on the goodwill of other people.  But anyway--you people probably don't care so much about that.  The point I'm making is that she spent a significant part of the show up to this point in South America, and I have really been inspired to approach my Peace Corp experience in a similar way.  I want to clear my head of any expectations and close my eyes, open my arms, and just fall into the experience of living and serving in Paraguay.

I know that God has a plan for my life, and I know that this is part of His plan.  I'm just beginning to face the fact that I'm about to step into this whole new chapter of my life, and I can only be excited and optimistic.  As the departure date approaches, I want to make a real effort to post here.  I'm currently developing a partnering website to this page, and have added my photo page back, etc.  I have some work to do still.  Obviously, the success of this blog and the website are dependent on what is available to me upon arrival in South America.  No guarantees!

Until later... =D