I received an email a day or two ago (OK, it was actually on Monday during my round trip excursion to Duluth) with a bunch of information for my 'Staging Event' in Philadelphia. When I saw I leave for Rwanda on the 19th of October, I really mean that I leave for Staging on the 19th and for Rwanda on the 20th.
After getting all the details, I had to call the travel company that handles all the airline tickets and whatnot. The kind woman there informed me that I needed to be at the hotel in Philadelphia by 11am on the 19th and the only flight for the Twin Cities that would meet the deadline takes off at 6:30 in the morning. This really wasn't a problem for me because I routinely start work at 6am. However, she then informed me that she could not pre-print my ticket or assign me a specific seat, so I need to make sure to check in with plenty of extra time. This means I need to be at the airport at like 4:30 or 5, which means I have to be conscious before then. Yeah, not too keen for that one.
After all the orientation in Philadelphia, we (the ~70 member training group) will be bused to JFK in New York (ish) for a 6pm flight on the 20th. that flight will take us to Brussels and be a little under 8 hours long. We then transfer flights for another 8 hour leg to Kigali (the capital of Rwanda) and will land at about the same time we left JFK, only a day later. Bring on the exhaustion...
Today is also National Punctuation Day in the US. Feel free to scan this post for any mistakes, hopefully you find none (thanks spellcheck).
In addition, today was also two week notice day. By that I mean I talked to my boss and let him know I will be done working on the 8th of October and informed him that I will be joining the Peace Corps. Or at least, that was the plan. However, my boss has decided that I am not yet convinced of my own decision and asked me to let him know on Monday if I really am going. After failing to convince him once again that I am already set on going, I backed down and accepted that I will just have to tell him again on Monday.
With less than a month before I leave, I feel slightly deprived of information. This is however, nothing new as far as my relation with the Peace Corps. Almost everything is done in ambiguity and they expect you to just hang on for the ride. They tell you what you need to know and not a whole lot else. I'm not saying this is a bad thing; I completely understand the logic behind it. Plus, I feel that it may be good practice for my time abroad. But if you're going to be a volunteer with the Peace Corps, expect to be left in the dark. Just remember that there are hundreds of others in the dark with you, some of which may be your closest American contacts for 27 months.
Don't forget to be awesome...