Sunday, August 30, 2009

Less than 30 days before departure

I would assume I'm hitting the normal freaking out period for volunteers. Realizing that my departure is now just weeks away makes me full with different emotions that it's hard to figure where everything is coming from - if that makes sense. I know that once I am over there my internal strength and ability to ignore some of my more vunerable feelings will take over (even though at times it's not the best way to deal with things). It's hard for me to not feel in control of my own emotions and I know that I will need to start coping better now to help with the more dramatic changes coming my way. I'm a great adapter, but this is the first time I have made such a drastic decision for myself and I thought I would be dealing with everything in a much calmer fashion. But again I am at times too hard on myself and this is the mental challenge I need face to be prepared for leaving.

On a positive note, I have now met four PCVs also leaving to Azerbaijan - two in Jacksonville and two more in New York City. It was great to talk with others about the things going through my head and the possibilites of what life will be like over there. I am very lucky to have had this opportunity and can say that we have a great group of people joining the AZ6s, who have been really great in giving us constant reality checks. I can't wait to meet everyone in Philly and have a lot to do over the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Packing List

Please comment if you feel like I could do without something or if I forgot anything.


Wool black down coat
One thick sweater
3 long sleeve shirts
2 cardigans
2 light weight jackets that are great for layering
silk long underwear and a smart wool pair that's antibacterial
long black rain boots - highly suggested b/c it's so muddy - fleece warmers too
hiking boots - waterproof
4 pairs of hiking socks - smart wool that keeps your feet dry
2 pairs of gloves
Lot's of scarves
ear muffs - have to buy them
2 winter hats - have to buy
2 pairs of tights
3 pairs of knee highs

Summer / Fall:

2 pair of jeans
1 pair brown khaki pants
3 skirts - check out macabi - you get a skirt for $40 as a PCV if you email customer service an email with your invitation - they turn into short pants / shorts
1 pair long shorts
2/3 tank tops
3 blouses
1 pair khakis that come down to my calf
3 t shirts
1 summer dress
1 sexy dress - just in case
1 black pair of work out pants - need to buy
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair of sneaker sandals - not sure what they are
1 pairs of dress shoes


2 cameras - I have a really nice one that I'm bringing b/c I love taking pics & a smaller one for everyday use
shower bag - haven't bought it yet (REI) website sells one that military use and would be great instead of washing out of a bucket
compactible sleeping bag
glove warmers
spices/measuring cups
laundry bag
duck tap
adapter & voltage adapter - plugs for electronics most likely will be different and voltage
Lot's of daily contacts - OMG I did not imagine how much a year supply would really be until I picked them up and walked about with a huge box.
Alarm clock - need to buy
Double flat sheets - need to buy
Batteries - need to buy - AA
Flashlight - one w/ batteries - other wind-up
Emergency water tablets - may or may not buy them, but can't hurt

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What I Will Miss The Most

What I will miss the most while I am gone and a good way for people to get to know more about me.

1) My MOM - such a great woman that has always been my best friend and there for me through all the changes in my life.
2) My sis and Dad - hopefully they can make the trip over to check out Azerbaijan first hand.
3) Fox - my baby the best dog in the world!!! Shiba Inu's rule!!
4) Driving a car - being able to get in my Mazada and zooom around town whenever I feel like it.
5) BBQ - I will miss you little piggy all the way home....
6) Being able to wear whatever I want. (accumulating too much clothes and shoes)
7) TV and movies - so many good shows starting this Fall (Glee) and going to the movies - doesn't even matter if it is horribly gut wrenching to get through.
8) Late night walks with my dog.
9) Used bookstores and thrift store shopping.
10)Being able to communicate and read signs everywhere I go.
11) Finally, western toilets, showers, washer / dryers, microwaves - all the conveniences that I take for granted everyday of my life, but I understand not having these luxuries is going to build strength as well as gratitude for a simpler way of life.

I think I needed to just say what I am going to miss because time is speeding up every day before I leave and I try to stay strong by ignoring the things I will miss most. From talking to all the other PCVs leaving with me I know they are feeling the same way. It's too late to turn back and I am so excited to leave.

I hope that above all I can bring happiness and creativity to those I work with. Show all who I encounter the love I have to share. Inspire only open thought and a drive to be yourself. Fight the worthy battles and humble myself to learn as much as I can from my host family, youth I work with, my community, and fellow PCVs.