It’s after midnight, but I’m still wide awake. It’s officially September 19th, 2015 – departure day. Everything is packed. I have my trusty blue suitcase that’s come on every overseas adventure I’ve ever taken, full to its 50 lb limit. My pack frame is stuffed. My sling bag and purse hold all the odds and ends I can survive on in case my luggage falls into the Atlantic on the way.
Staging today was mostly what I expected, basics about expectations and Peace Corps combined with ice breakers. We have a pretty diverse group of 46 trainees, and I haven’t even had the chance to really talk with everyone yet. Our last meal was at Surfside (duh), it’s kind of bittersweet being back in DC for such a short time before leaving for so long. When we landed from LA, I had this surge of emotion that only happens when you’ve arrived home, which was pretty surprising given that when we left in July I was SO READY to be done with DC for a while. After dinner we grabbed a few beers, and then headed down for a walk around the monuments. The mall at night will never get old to me. It was the perfect closing of this chapter in my life, and I am feeling so ready for what is to come.
This afternoon(!) we’ll head to the airport for our flight to Vienna, and then onward to Skopje where the Peace Corps staff, along with media and the US ambassador, will be waiting for us. Time to get some sleep!