The content of this blog is the creator's own thoughts and does not represent the views or opinions of the Peace Corps or the United States Government. I would also like to apologize for all my spelling and grammatical errors... there will be a lot.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Twas the night before staging

Alright that its! It's time! My flight it tomorrow at 4 and I should be getting into Philly at 5ish. I was playing with the video on my camera and I made a little something for everyone who reads this (hi mom!).

(Sorry about the Um's)

Anyway I have magically managed to pack everything with amazing ease. I'm honestly in shock. I'm bringing with me checked bags (One LARGE pack and a smallish duffel) and I'm carrying on my day pack and my largest purse.

So what do you pack for 2 years in Africa? If you are me...

Luggage –

  • Osprey Ariel 75 Pack (4200 cu in) - checked
  • Mid-sized Red Duffel Bag - checked
  • Day pack (2000 cu in) – carry on

Clothing –

  • Dress shirt long sleeve x 1
  • Casual/dressy Tops x 5
  • Tank tops x 5
  • Knee Length Shorts x 1
  • Dresses x 2
  • Jeans x 1
  • Skirts x 5
  • T-shirts x 3
  • PJ pants x 3
  • Sleep shorts x 3
  • Sweather/shawl x 2
  • Columbia Rain Jacket x 1
  • Rain Suit x 2
  • Work out shorts (I always wear shorts under skirts) x 4
  • Work out pants x 2
  • Leggings x 4
  • Socks x 5-10
  • Underwear x10-15
  • Bras x 4
  • Sports Bras x 2
  • Hiking lo-top shoes x 1
  • Chaco sandals x 2
  • Dressy Flats x 1
  • Running shoes x 1
  • Dress boots x 1 (Wearing)

Toiletries -

  • Tweezers
  • Nail Clippers
  • Nail File
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Wash
  • Lotion
  • Hand Salve
  • Deodorant
  • Razor and extra blades
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Baby Wipes
  • Diva cup

Camping Gear -

  • Nalgenes x3
  • Camelbak Reservoir
  • Mamont Limelight 2p Tent
  • Kelty Cosmic 35 sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Head Lamp
  • Sea to Summit Towel
  • Leather Man Tool
  • Backup multitool
  • Hobotool (best thing ever)

Useful Electronics -

  • Olympus Stylus Tough Camera (Point and Shoot)
  • Cannon Rebel xti (SLR)
  • KINDLE!!! (I’m in love with this thing)
  • Solio Solar Charger
  • Adapters

Books -

  • Globetrotter Guide to Zambia
  • Dead Aid: How there is a better way for Africa
  • 20 Kindle books

Educational Supplies -

  • Phonics, Word, Number, Color & etc, Flash Cards
  • Everything New Teacher Book
  • Painless - Grammar Writing and Spelling (half for myself and half for teaching haha)
  • Websters misspeller's dictionary (you have no idea how much I need this...)
  • Pocket dictionary and thesaurus
  • Literacy and the Arts for the Integrated Classroom
  • Instruction for all Students
  • LARGE world map

Fun Things -

  • Duncan Yo-yo
  • 5 Blank Travel Journals (Haha my friends know me very well…)
  • Address Book

Last Min Things –

  • Can opener
  • Duct Tape
  • Stationary
  • Envelopes
  • Sewing kit

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Time for Africa! (in 3 days)

Oh man, where did January go? Staging is Monday I'm the expected combination of excited, amazed, and anxious. Most anxiety is about packing, haha. I have to tell you packing for the Peace Corps is one of those tasks you think will be annoying but doable, and it sneaks up on you! We can only bring 2 checked in bags (that can't weigh over 80lbs) and one carry on.

I had started to pack then realized that that it is the wet season! I should water proof everything... this is proving hard to do because Long Island has decided to be one continuous snow storm all day every day. And I live in a small apartment, so the fumes from the waterproof-er would kill us instantly.

I still cant believe its time to leave! I have been using my time off to visit family and read every book I can on Africa. I am so grateful that I got to see my family before I left and I am thankful for how supportive they have been about this adventure.

Anyway here is a picture of the stuff currently taking over my living space:

That btw isn't including my clothes, ugh I wish had magical packing fairies to help me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Giving Away More Things

Alright I finally chopped it off! I have been planning to donate my hair since I started my PC application, luckily I just made the length before I left for Africa. I couldn't donate to Locks of Love because they require 10 inches but I managed 8 inches for Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

Ahhh a little less then 2 weeks to go. I'm spending the week with my family in North Carolina, coming back for the last week to finish packing and getting ready.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


WOO! Got my staging E-mail and booked my flight with SATO (despite some E-mail issues) So here is my staging info!

Monday, January 31, 2011: (Updated - date changed by SATO)
+ 4:00 PM - Flight from MacArthur to Philly
+ 5:11 PM - Arrive in Philly find way to hotel
+ Check in at the hotel
+ 6:00 PM - Registration- Official registration as a Peace Corps trainee – turn in your completed forms.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011:
+ 7:00 AM - Registration
+ 7:30 AM - Meet in lobby for departure to clinic. To avoid taking duplicate vaccinations, bring a copy of your physician’s proof of immunization to your Staging event.
+ 8:00 - 10:00 AM - Clinic appointment
+ 1:00 - 3:45 PM - Icebreaker Who We Are What’s Expected of You
+ 3:45 - 4:00 PM - Break
+ 4:00 - 6:30 PM - What You Expect What’s Next Closing

Wednesday, February 2, 2011:
+ 2:00 AM - Check out of hotel
+ 2:30 AM - Bus arrives for loading and departure to New York JFK Airport (funny because that's 20 miles from my house)
+ 10:40 AM - Flight departs for Zambia

Thursday, February 3, 2011:
+ 8:40 AM - Arrive at Johannesburg, South Africa (15 hr flight - ahhhhhhhh its like Germany all over again)
+ 10:30 AM - Depart from Johannesburg (2 hr. flight)
+ 12:20 PM - Arrive: Lusaka, Zambia (Woo!)

In other news, I'm making some progress in the packing up of my material possessions. So far I have about 2 bags and 1 LARGE box to donate and have throw out a few bags. I need to get my room in "moving" condition for while I'm gone. Been doing it about an hour or so a day instead of one big move to prevent insanity. As for peace corps packing my room is currently being over taken by things that are going to be packed. More to come stay tuned.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1: One month to go

Happy New Year! 2010 was pretty wonderful for me, saw my sister marry someone great, graduated college, worked at a job I love, got accepted into the Peace Corps, just to name some of the highlights.

2011 will present all kinds of new adventures for me, only one month left to go! That got me thinking and another blogs mention of the 365 project. I did the project a few years ago and actually managed to do a year and half straight. Which was personally very rewarding for me, considering I have a new camera and I want have as much as possible to bring back from Africa I think I'm gonna start the project again. So like the last time, one photo a day for a year, can be anything. Obviously uploading will be sporadic but I figure I'll upload in bunches when I can.

You can see the old and new project on my flickr account. (plus I'll try to do a bulk update often)

I present day 1:

Me testing out my new Osprey pack it's huge... 4,200 cu in.!