Friday, January 29, 2010

One Week!

This time next week I am will almost be in Philadelphia New York. I would like you all to know that I am completely packed and ready to go. Tomorrow my mom and I are driving to California for the next few days, as I am excited to see family and friends I am a little sad to say good-bye to Utah. I have learned a lot while living in Utah and I have no regrets about moving here back in 2006. I believe that deciding to move to Utah and my time here is a reason why I am going into the Peace Corps. Living here has made me accept new and different things and it has given me the opportunity to be comfortable in a new environment. Utah is truly a beautiful place and I know this is not good-bye forever.
With that said, I would like to take a minute to talk about time. When people ask me how long I am going to be gone I get the same response, "Wow, 2 years" but I have been thinking about it and the fact that I am going to be gone for 2 years does not phase me. And I don't know why. If you know me, you know I have a hard time with time. When I first moved to Utah and I was re-thinking me decision to stay and finish school as 2 years seemed like a life time, but my mom said, "you can do anything for 2 years" and she was completely right. Those 2 years flew by and I can't believe in April it will be 2 years since I graduated college. Although I know it's going to tough--being gone that long and not being able to see the people I love most--time is going to fly by. Now, I might freak out when I get home and I'll be 26 but that's a whole other story.
I got a call today from a lady in Guyana. She calls PCT (Peace Corps Trainees) before they leave to give them a taste of life in Guyana and to see how they are feeling and if they have any questions. It was good talking to someone who is actually there and who can explain things a little better. Although, she called in the middle of getting my oil I was outside and it was cold and the reception was not that clear. She asked how I was feeling and what I most excited about. I told her I am really excited, anxious, and a little nervous and she asked what I was nervous about and I just the unknown, she said that's normal. She asked how I would feel living in a remote area where electricity, running water, transportation, and food is scarce? I said I am open to that and it would be a great experience. It would be totally different from the fast pace American lifestyle. She really emphasized the fact that communication with people back home will be different. I will have access to a phone and the internet but not every day. So just so you all know if you don't hear from me for awhile do not panic! I am really looking forward to writing you all letters!
Wow, this is a long post.
Here are some pictures to give you an idea of how I am packed.

More was added to this pile

Well this should get me through the next 2 years...I just hope I am not over the weight limit of 80 pounds.
P.S. the clothes hanging will be packed later in California.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Fun Before I Go

Since mom and I have moved to Utah we've wanted to do a snow sport. She made sure before I left we accomplished we went snowmobiling. It was a lot of fun and peaceful!

Thank goodness Dan was with us...he has experience and was there to get us unstuck. I was trying to turn around and my snowmobile got stuck and it was in pretty deep snow, about mid thigh on me. I have never experienced being in snow like that before. I am glad we finally got to do a snow activity together thanks mom and Dan!

I also got together with some friends from work for some fun bowling!

I am really going to miss them.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thank You

As my time is getting short I am feeling really excited, a little nervous, anxious, and happy. But most of all I am feeling very grateful and blessed. I am so blessed to have great loving and supportive friends and family and I just want to thank everyone.
Today was my last day of work and I am truly grateful for the experience, knowledge, and friendships I found at LA! I am really going to miss everyone but I know I'll see them again. Thank you to my family at LAH!!
To my mom and Dan, thank you for all of your help with shopping and making sure I have everything I need to take with me. Thank you for all the of the nights out to dinner, I owe you when you visit me in Guyana! Most of all, thank you for your love and encouragement!!
To my dad and Berna, thank you for your unconditional love, faith and support! Thank you for always being there for me, I am excited to see you guys and I will miss you.
To my sister Amie, I know we see things differently but thank you for standing by me as I follow my dream! I love you so much and I hope we live near each other again.
To papa, grandma, Cola, Greg and Tori, thank you all for your motivation to live life to the fullest and not being afraid to do something out of the box!
To my best friend Andrea, thank you for always being there for me! You truly are like a sister to me and I love that we have been friends for 18 years. I am so happy you have gotten the life you've always wanted. You are going to make a great mom and you better send me lots of pictures of that little one!
To everyone else who has touched my heart...your friendship, love, support, and blessings will stay with me forever.
Thank you,

Sunday, January 17, 2010

18 Days

I had my first going away get-together last night at Andrea's. She is so sweet to have a good-bye gathering for me. It was good to see everyone and all the cute babies! Thank you everyone for coming :)
You would think with 18 days left one would be mostly packed and ready for departure. But not's like I have so much to do but yet I don't know where to start. I guess it's good I have started setting things out that I plan on taking with me. I still have some shopping to do--I need some more shirts, I would like one more skirt, a few dresses, underwear and shorts. I need sandals, sheets, water bottles, toiletries, and I am sure many other things. I still need to take care of a few things like my phone, gym, car insurance, and filling out paper work for staging. On top of all that I need to pack up my room and get ready to store things. Good thing I will have a week to get every thing done.
My last day of work is Sunday the 24th, I am already starting to feel sad about that, I am really going to miss everyone I work with. Then my mom and I leave Utah on Saturday the 30th to drive to California where I will be for 5 days seeing family and friends.
I have to admit I am starting to get a little emotional thinking about saying good-bye to people but I know with their love and support I will be fine.
The next 3 weeks are going to be busy and the time is going to fly by, but I am excited!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Follow Your Dream

I have been getting a lot of comments like, "I can't believe you are going to Guyana to serve in the Peace Corps"..."Are you sure you want to do this?"..."What made you want to go into the Peace Corps?"..."You are brave/daring"..."I could never do something like that"..."Aren't you scared?"..."Aren't you going to miss the U.S.?". So I was thinking about some of these questions/comments and I just think you CAN'T be afraid to do something new, something you are passionate about, something totally out of the norm.
I first got the idea of joining the Peace Corps when I was talking to my family. We were discussing my life and what I wanted to do in life, what were my goals? All I knew was I wanted to do something with health and help others and if it involved travel that was a plus. My family asked, "Why not join the Peace Corps? It would be a great opportunity and experience". And so I began researching online and I fell in love with the idea of being a Peace Corps Volunteer. I mostly loved the idea of moving somewhere new and different to help others and experiencing a new culture and applying what I went to school for--Community Health. A little over a year later I am getting my dream of going into the Peace Corps!! It's a great feeling knowing if you truly want something you can have it, you just have to follow your dream and heart.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Getting Excited!

It just hit me that all of this is real...I am really moving to another country where I know nobody. I am going to be living in an unfamiliar place and I don't know what to expect. But I am SUPER excited for this great adventure!! It's a little nerve racking not knowing what I am getting myself into but it's also exhilarating. I am kind of putting off my packing until the last week here in's just a little overwhelming right now, I have NO idea what to bring! And I definitely need to do some shopping.
I took care of my flight arrangement to staging in Philadelphia today, I am leaving from LAX early on the 5th. I am excited to go to Philly and New York, although I probably won't get to see much I have never been to either place. But one's going to be freezing there. So I am going to have to lug a coat and some warm clothes with me for just 2 days...looks like I'll be mailing those back home--don't think I'll be needing those in Guyana.
So I have been thinking of some things that I am really excited about and thought I would share...
1. Warm tropical weather
2. Going somewhere new
3. Doing work that I am passionate about
4. Meeting new people
5. Being in a totally different culture/environment
6. Having blond hair again
7. Writing and receiving letters
8. Getting over my fear of rodents and other large animals
9. What I am going to learn in general and about myself
10. Having friends and family coming to visit
*I have already met some people in my Guy-22 group thanks to Facebook and blogging!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I just got an email about my staging and reporting to Guyana. I now know the date I leave!! February 5th. My staging will take place in Philadelphia, this is where I meet my fellow Peace Corps trainees and turn in all my paper work and get shots. Registration begins Friday the 5th at 6:00pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The following morning starts at 8:30am with some information classes then at 4:00pm the bus will arrive and take us to New York JFK airport where our flight departs at 12:15am and we will arrive in Guyana at 7:00am. Oh my gosh! This is really happening and it's happening soon! Right now I feel really excited, maybe a little nervous and over whelmed just because of all the stuff I have to do before I leave. I put in for the 24th to be my last day of work, that will leave me a full week in Utah, packing and saying good-bye to people. Then my mom and I are planning on driving to California, I will be flying to Philadelphia from LA. I will be there for a few days so I can say good-bye to my family and friends.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Assignment

First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

I received my call of duty: Guyana. It's not an island in the Caribbean, it's at the top of South America between Venezuela and Suriname. However, it is a non-Spanish speaking country. It looks like the towns are on the coast line, which is the Caribbean and there are many rivers through out the country. It's the Amazon rain forest so it's going to be very hot and humid, I will have to adapt to the humidity. I have been doing research and it seems there is electricity, running water, and houses made of wood or concrete.
My job title is Community Health Education Promoter, which I am really excited for, it sounds like what I got my degree in! As of now it looks like I have to be there February 9th. I have a lot to do in one months time....aahh. I found someone's blog, he served in Guyana from 2006-2008 if you want to read a little of his experience to get a feeling for the adventure I am going to embark!
Guyana the country in red at the top