Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I believe I can Surabaya.

I'm here at the San Francisco airport, sitting in a Tex-Mex restaurant with many of the new Peace Corps trainees. Our flight is leaving in a couple of hours. Then it's 14.5 hours to Hong Kong. Weeee doggy. I'm not sure what to write here.

The whole process so far has been great. Saying good-byes was tough, and I was very glad when it was all over. Still, even after saying all my face-to-face farewells, I've gotten lots of phone calls from people. I just want to say thanks to all of you that have called me to wish me a good trip and/or say good-bye. Your support means a lot to me, and I will do my best to keep you updated about what's happening with me.

Staging was fun. I've met all the other trainees (there are 31, including me), and I've even learned all of their names. We spent much of the day yesterday in the hotel conference room learning more about peace corps, discussing potential challenges and expectations, getting to know each other, and talking logistics. Afterward we split into different groups to go eat, and my group of eight went to a pizza/burger joint thing, where we said good-bye to American dinner cuisine by eating hamburgers and fries. Meanwhile, UConn and Butler were fighting it out in the ugliest, most boring NCAA championship game I think I ever caught a glimpse of. I passed out not long after getting back to the hotel room, but thankfully I mustered the discipline to do most of my re-packing at night, rather than at 6:30 in the morning before checkout.

We took a charter bus to the airport, and we waited at least 45 minutes in line check-in, because United is a crap airline and didn't have anyone working our line. But check-in we did, and security was easy. Ft. Lauderdale to SFO was the first time I had to go through the 'enhanced security procedures'. You definitely feel like a criminal with your hands over your head while getting a body scan.

But the Peace Corps staff have been fantastic. I really appreciate how organized everything has been. They have anticipated pretty much every pit of logistical quicksand and have saved the trainees from all the headaches. They've done a great job.

Internet access over the next couple months will be irregular, so I will write posts when I can. That could mean frequent or spotty publication...guess we'll find out.

See ya later, America!

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