Friday, July 1, 2011

Wrapping things up

Dumelang borra le bomma,

Well it is now the start of July and that means the second to last full month before departure.  I can't quite say 75 days since it is still 76, but eh, close enough.

While this is only my second post since starting this blog, I still don't have too much to report on departure and such as we have not yet received the details on that yet, but once we do you can bet I will let you all know.  About the most I can report on at this point is the process of wrapping things up here in the states.  I have traveled abroad for an extended period in the past (3 months in Spain), but this time is completely different.  Being gone for 2+ years means I have a lot more to take care of before I leave.  As of Wednesday I finished with my summer job (thankfully), and I now have the rest of the time off to just enjoy myself, family, and friends.

I already have a lot planned out (try as I might to get free time, I just can't help but plan ahead, something I desperately need to work on) such as: a couple parties with friends here in Grand Rapids including my going away party, a few movie dates already figured out (Harry Potter!!!) and a week stay in Illinois in mid-July before the longer stay in August.  And I recently got my plane ticket out to North Carolina to see my dad, which is my last stop on the pre-departure journey (minus the couple days of staging of course).

In addition to all of this, the other part of wrapping things up is the dreaded concept of packing.  I have a small list going, but packing for two years of my life seems like a daunting task.  Although since I discovered that I can fit all my worldly possessions into one car load, maybe it won't be so bad, but I do need to buckle down and do it.  I decided to start with might possibly be the hardest part of packing, pictures.  I have a photo album that I bought in Spain that I had originally planned to use for some of my favorite pictures from there, but seeing as it is still lying around empty I am changing its purpose to hold pictures of family and friends.  While pictures on a computer or Facebook are nice and all, nothing can beat printed pictures in my mind.  This project will probably take a few weeks on and off in itself as I only have 40 slots in the small album and a lot of people and memories to try and fit.

I think the strangest part of this how wrapping things up concept is that while I am going through it I am watching both my roommates do it as well.  Ben has been working on getting letters of recommendation to apply for a Navy Officer position.  And Bethany is leaving the country 5 days before me to teach English in Japan.  All 3 of us are approaching this in different ways, but still all towards the same end, a complete and total change in our lives.

Right now the one thing I am not looking forward to is saying good-bye to everyone.  I timed this all in a way to where I can see my family last, but that means I have to say good-bye to friends sooner than I would like.  And then after that comes the inevitable goodbye to the family, and finally my dad.  Alas, such is life and these things cannot be avoided.  I am really grateful for the Conference Calls that some of us have been doing because it has helped me start to establish a support group that I can use in Botswana when all of the people I would normally turn to are an ocean away.  Also, this is the first time I will be doing a major trip without Bethany.  After going on every trip (minus one weekend at the end) with her while in Spain, and having more classes together than I can count, it is going to be a new experience not seeing her while abroad.  But at least I can still keep in touch with everyone via good ole fashion snail mail if nothing else (hint hint, you all should write me letters please :)

Other than all of this the language lessons are still going good.  Trying to double team the learning by using both the Peace Corps provided lessons and the Eurotalk CD my brother got me.  Hopefully in a few weeks I will be comfortable enough with simple verb conjugation to make sentences, but as of right now it is mostly just small phrases and vocab.  So maybe on the next blog post I can show off a bit ;)

But until then, ke tla go bona!


P.S.  Wow this turned out longer than I thought, and here I was assuming I had nothing to say.