On the whole, life doesn’t pose that many new dilemmas; it merely recycles the same ones in new packaging. -Craig Storti

3 May

Well, here I am in Philadelphia, PA. I arrived last night at 10 pm, sat through several sessions this afternoon aimed at jazzing me up for service, enjoyed a nice dinner and prepared for the departure today. I don’t do all nighters but my alarm is set to go off in four hours and between the afternoon coffee, west coast time, and nerves it’s questionable if I’ll sleep tonight.

Since I left my job on April 15th the reality of what I’m about to do has really started to sink in. That is up until a few days ago when I went into some kind of survival mode. This survival mode only allows me to think a few hours into the future and prevents me from saying real goodbyes to friends. I settled for hugs and see you laters in the name of self preservation.

Even after sitting through this afternoon I can’t believe that Thursday night will be the first of many nights in Rwanda.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever been so scared to do something. It’s not fear of failing, or fear of not liking it but simply fear of the unknown. I’ve never been to Africa, or even another country where I don’t speak the language. Despite this overwhelming fear I feel like every experience in my whole life has prepared me for Peace Corps Service. I have met challenges on numerous occasions and believe in my ability to continue to do so. Besides, how often do people get to say they achieved a dream (this one six years in the making) AND conquered something that terrifies them in one fell swoop?

I thought this would be a great time to share some of my goals for service.

– I want to experience what it is like to live as a minority. Although I can never unpack my backpack of white privilege, I will definitely be a minority in Rwanda.

– I want to utilize the community mobilization techniques I learned. One realistic ‘work’ related goal I have is to engage an interested group in defining an important issue, identifying steps to take, and leveraging the resources to move forward. What I want most out of life is to help people achieve their dreams, if not through the work that I do, than by living as an example of the resulting satisfaction.

– I want to thrive. There have been moments in this adult life I created for myself where I felt truly satisfied, blissful. I want to do more than just get by in Rwanda. I want to live a life worth living.

-Run a half marathon on the continent of Africa. Running is something I took up to keep my sanity. I hope to settle into a routine of running 6 miles a couple times a week. There is some flexibility to the routine as it will be based on how much I walk in the course of work and how I am able to feed my body.

I think that covers what’s been floating in my head the last couple of days. Thank you to everyone for your support and well wishes. I continue to need whatever you want to send my way in the form of positive thinking/prayer/well wishes or whathaveyou.

Thank you to my family and friends who have been incredible the last couple of weeks. Even though I suck at saying goodbye there has been an outpouring of love and support.

There’s no power at my host family’s house and currently the USPS is not accepting mail from Rwanda so it may be several weeks or a month before you hear from me. However, my parents will receive an email upon our safe arrival in Kigali as will my friend who promised to post it on my facebook wall. I can still receive mail from the US and welcome your letters!

The next time I post it should be from Rwanda!



5 Responses to “On the whole, life doesn’t pose that many new dilemmas; it merely recycles the same ones in new packaging. -Craig Storti”

  1. Jessie E. May 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Woman, you are amazing!! This is going to be an incredible journey, and no doubt a difficult one, but if anyone in this world can THRIVE, you can!! I can’t wait to read more as you progress. Best of luck!!

  2. Kelly May 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    Love ya and hope you are sleeping like a baby on the flight right now! PS when ever you do see this jump over to my blog as I posted and will be posting your packing/April Brews Day stuff 🙂

  3. Jamie and Helen! May 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Hello Lovely Lady!

    We have both been thinking about you! Your blog is so inspirational! Very happy to see the photo of you in your group. You looked happy! Hope you’re enjoying your host family. Helen leaves in a week! You are so brave, and Helen found your thoughts about staging and preparation so validating! We love you and are sending so many positive thoughts your way!!
    Helen and Jamie

  4. Zachary Pullin May 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    we want more! we want more! how are you?! update! update! update! miss you and love you-hope you’re safe and loving life! saw a pic with your new group-so pumped and proud.

    • Heidi May 27, 2011 at 8:15 am #

      Zach I think of you so much and have been dreaming about the day I get to update. I miss your texts.


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