Friday, July 23, 2010

Zambia? no. Jo-berg? yes. Zambia on Friday? Possibly

This is our group in the line for Customs! We were constantly overwhelming these people because it is not easy to handle 58 Americans who want sleep haha!

Here is 2 of the people in our group (the only married couple) Shaun and Megan with a group of Soccer players from Namimbia

Hey everyone. I just wanted to say that I made it safe to South Africa but we missed our connector because of a delay in ATL. We got to spend the night in some hotel in Jo-Berg last night and let me tell you, it was a blast. Myself and 9 others went downtown via taxi and went to a club. It was the best time and I also figured out who the "fun" people are going to be... lol. I have slept a total of maybe 8 hours in the last 3 days... Too much to do and not enough time. I figured since I was able to go out in downtown I now don't have to make a trip to Jo-Berg in the near future. So Cape Town will be my next South African adventure.

I want to say that the Peace Corps is doing so much right now for us and have been a huge help in getting us rooms and getting some of us back on flights haha. We had about 15 people on a 10:55AM flight to Zambia this morning, another 15 or so scheduled to leave at 6:50PM tonight and the rest are on standby for hte 6:50 flight and not sure what will happen to them if they don't get on that flight. But flexability is what the PC is all about isn't it?

Everyone here is super interested in getting started in Zambia, but now we are just hoping to make it there :)

Everyone is just waiting on the information about where we will be staying after just missing our connector!!!
Everyone about to go through customs!!! Jo-Berg here we come!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting Ready :)

As you all know, I am leaving for the Peace Corps in 4 days! These past few weeks have been so crazy with trying to get everything together and telling everyone goodbye. I have been looking forward to this moment for so long and now I am so close! Not a day is going to go by that I don't think of everyone back home but at the same time, we all know we have to grow up and venture out at some point... my venturing point is now.
Packing is insane. Think of all the clothes you have in your closet or dresser and then think of which 4 t-shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, 3 pairs of slacks, and 3 dress shirts you want... yea, that's all you get to take for clothes. Most of y'all that know me, know that I have a ton of clothes. I want to bring every piece of clothing I have too lol. I have an 80lb pack limit which, trust me, isn't much for a 2-4 year trip. I have managed to get all of my essential items in one of my bags (now i just hope it isn't stolen once I land in Africa). One thing that I have noticed about the packing though is that I already feel like I have an understanding of what it will be like over there... Everyone wearing their best clothes every day and not really having much else other than what is on their back.
The amount of blogs that I have read is insane. I googled "Peace Corps blogs in Zambia" and just started reading the crazy amount of blogs that have been written by other PCV's in Africa. I would recommend y'all doing the same thing if you really want to know what my life is going to be like over there ahead of time. I know I was interested. One thing I was able to pick out of most of the blogs was that my first month of service (after the 3 months of training) is going to be the hardest. This is the time that I will not know anyone in my village and feeling lonely and missing home even more. So as soon as I get my permanent address, please start sending letters right away. The more the better!
My U.S. comforts; I am bringing a solar panel backpack to charge both my camera and my iPhone. Although I will not have service, I am bringing my phone because it has a lot of pictures of my friends and family. My backpack will charge both the camera and phone completely on one full charge. I am so excited to use this thing, you have no idea.
Living conditions in Zambia; I will not have electricity or running water. Although there will be a clean water source near me, it will still be a hike to get to it. my bathroom will be a pit latrine (hole in the ground). I will also be living in a clay brick house with an all grass roof. From what I hear, it will leak. But I could not be more excited for this adventure. The things that I will see, and send y'all pictures of is going to be one heck of a lifetime experience.
I am going to miss all of you.
Please take care of yourselves and keep me in your prayers.
I will update this blog as much as possible once I am over there so keep an eye out.

God bless
<3 Kenny Ray