Well, we are officially down to four days until Chris and I come out of retirement. We have spent the last month and a half in good ole Oklahoma soaking up time with family, packing, un-packing, repacking, trolling around our old stomping grounds, road tripping (Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Colorado), and sleeping a tonnnn. I think we have caught up on every hour we have ever missed in our whole lives. My mom says this is a good thing:)
Saturday morning we leave for Philadelphia where we will unite with most of our group in the evening- there are 30 of us- all Health volunteers. We have been communicating via Facebook up to this point, so we are really excited to finally get to meet everyone in person. The next morning is called “staging.” It’s where we will review the foundations of the Peace Corps and go over everything to make our travels safe and effective. The following morning, which also happens to be CHRIS’S 24TH BDAY!!!!! 24 IN DA PEACE CORPS O YEA O YEA! We will bus to JFK where we will take a direct 10 hour flight straight into the capital, Accra. However, there’s apparently a blizzard brewing in the Northeast so flights may get delayed. I must admit, I wouldn’t be too distraught if we got “stranded” in NYC for a day or two. I’ll be on the subway to Manhattan in one of those New York minutes. We will look pretty funny (and freezing) running around in sandals and tank tops, but we love NYC so much I think we would do it.
So that’s where we are. Many people ask us what we are feeling. Chris and I talk about it a lot and I think we are both feeling a mixture of excitement and sadness. We were nervous for a while, but after processing this for over a year now (yea, most married couples have a yearlong application/ wait time). I think the nervousness has transferred to excitement. The sad part is about leaving our family and friends (we just love you guys so much!!). Goodbyes are always difficult, plus big events like this usually bring up feelings about the unpredictability of life. That’s never comfortable, but in my opinion essential. Chris and I talk about how at times leaving and joining the Peace Corps has felt like an ice bucket to the body (Thanks Aunt Mardelle, because of you we literally know what that feels like). It’s alerted us in many areas. We have evaluated our priorities, our relationships, asked the questions “do people know how much we love them? What do our lives reflect in the world? Are we being the people who we really are at heart?” Big events usually do this sort of thing and it can be tough going through them, but if you are willing to really look at things and change in areas you see fit, it can be a powerful experience. So we haven’t even left yet, and we are already growing:p We have been told the Peace Corps is one growth experience after another so that prospect is slightly exhausting, but also exciting. So cheers to a new year and growing into the people we are at heart!!
I will work on not making my posts so long. I didn’t think I had much to say, but apparently that wasn’t the case. Family we love you guys SO much. Your loving-kindness and sacrifices to show us your love always, but especially the past few months has meant the world to us. Everyone come visit!!!!
Kallie (and Chris too- he will eventually get inspired I’m sure:p)
We have done a poor job at taking pics with everyone:( I’m sad, but sometimes you are just soaking up the moment so much that you forget to try and capture it. Plus, let’s admit it, aren’t we all a little over constant picture posing? I do wish I had hard copies, but the images, and better yet the feelings, are forever in our minds. So here’s another lovely selfie of us packing that somewhat captures “is this really happening…”