Four months since my last adventure and I finally hear the official approval of my next adventure coming to fruition.
Departure: January 19th, 2018 8:45 AM
I will be getting on a plane to Washington D.C. and on January 20th after a couple info sessions I will board another plane to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Yep. You read it right…Africa!!
Where I will live for 27 months: 2 years and three months.
I am officially a Peace Corps Volunteer!
I sent in my application for the Peace Corps before I left for the Appalachian Trail and while on trail had heard that I was accepted.
Little did I know the whole process was long and intensive.
Sending in fingerprints, setting up medical appointment after appointment to in return have to sit tight and wait…and wait to hear back from the medical and legal team.
Clearance from the medical team came back after a couple months of being back and then it has been an arduous wait to hear back from the legal team.
“What if they get back to me too late?” The possibility of not leaving in January was becoming realistic as they had told me I might get postponed up to six more months.
Six more months?!? You have got to be kidding me.
Frustration, was present. No doubt. I wanted to know now if I was leaving, if I should let my place of employment know, if I needed to hang out with friends more. I had already sold my motorcycle and car…I had so many questions and worrying thoughts swirling around in my head.
Every time my phone would vibrate I would look down at it with such anticipation. Kind of like you do when you first start talking to a crush. Is it them?! Did they text me?!
Then Today (December 26th) I looked down at my phone and there was an email. I felt no vibration. It was just sitting there quietly, waiting for me to notice it. A quiet Merry Christmas gift.
Sent from the legal team.
The butterflies in my stomach quickly flew up to my heart.
My heart was thumping, sweat was collecting in my armpits.
Is this it???
I let out a scream and ran into my brothers room. I got it!! I got it!!
The excitement was palpable but then the precious butterflies made their swirling more serious as the nervousness set in.
Oh my God.
Oh my God.
I am actually leaving. For TWO years.
I sent out texts to family and close friends.
This is it folks. It is official.
So, if you are wondering what I will be doing.
My job title is Community Health Educator:
“Community Health Educators work directly with caregivers of children under five and in local primary and secondary schools to improve behaviors in the areas of water, sanitation, hygiene-related diseases (WASH), nutrition, early care seeking, menstrual hygiene, family planning, contraception methods, HIV/AIDS prevention, girls’ empowerment and life skills.
Community Health Educators will focus on 8-10 families; conducting weekly home visits, performing analysis of barriers to practicing healthy behaviors, and implement action plans to help each family adopt healthy behaviors. “
My first three months will be training to learn the language, culture, and projects in my community. Then I will embark on the work stated above.
Volunteer housing is typically a mud house, with a dirt floor, and a corrugated iron roof. With it will be a pit latrine and water is usually form a hand dug well or protected spring that may be a 15 minute walk away.
I will not have electricity or internet unless I travel to the bigger towns that will be 20 to 30 miles away.
I know some of you are reading this and shriek thinking I am crazy.
Maybe I am. But to me, it makes sense. This adventure makes perfect sense in what step I should be taking next in life.
I could not be more excited. I have dreamed of being/living/experiencing another culture/language and here it is, an opportunity of a lifetime.
I am ready to see what is is like to truly live in a third world country. Not just visit. But live.
So please, if you are in the area, I would absolutely LOVE to catch up and hang out a few more times before I embark on this journey.
I do plan to continue to blog on this domain since Ozzy will be present with me. 🙂 However, blogging will come less frequently than the trail since internet and phone service will be pretty nonexistent but I will do the best I can (I know it is doable!)
Email will be one of the best ways to contact me when I am in Africa if you feel the need!
If you have questions, ask away! 🙂
Hold on to your seats ladies and gents. This is going to be a wild ride!