All Aboard!

Every morning, after shoving my way to the back of the bus and throwing all my weight into an unforgiving seat, I look up. Plastered to the ceiling of each bus on my route to work is an advertisement for Peace Corps. After acknowledging it, I spend the rest of my commute wearing the smirky grin of a Cheshire cat.

I’m suitably impressed by the advertising team that PC employed. “Life is calling” has reverberated around my brain for the past few weeks. I’m starting to realize that Peace Corps isn’t going to be about the travel or the new cultures awaiting. It’s all about experiencing two years of Western Guilt, homesickness, multiple bouts of diarrhea and still kicking AIDS/HIV awareness butt.

When grad schools, employers and attractive blind dates ask, “Why you? What makes you the best choice?” You can answer: Because while others can do it, I’ve proven that I’ll still be doing it after two years of continual challenges on multiple fronts.

And then there’s also massive amounts of food that I plan on consuming. It was probably contributing factor numero dos. Luckily, I managed to hold back that response during the PC interviews!

Africalled… and I knitted my response.

This is the beginning of a bitter-sweet end. We start in Seattle, WA, where I have started the process of slowly culling out what of my meager possessions will be tossed, donated, stored, or brought with me to Namibia. Oh, did we mention the I’M GOING TO AFRICA part? Hmm. Must have been shoved out of my thoughts with the massive amounts of horror I’m experiencing having to abandon my yarn hoard.

Back to the start, I’m departing the second week of March to Windhoek, Namibia with Peace Corps. After completing three months of language, culture and “Don’t do bad things” training I’ll be assigned to a village for two years. I’ve been recruited as a Community Health and HIV/AIDS Health Extension Volunteer.

NOW we can talk yarn. I’ve given myself about 2-3 weeks before my service starts to pack my room, craft the heck out of my supplies, and donate what remains to charities and friends. I have a full closet and am emotionally attached to each skein and every yard. It’s going to be hard. I’ve already put a bag marked “donate” back into my closet. I’ll note all my completed stash-dispensing milestones. It’s gonna get crazy!