The Final Countdown!

Cue the sappy music… the goodbyes have begun! My apartment is packed and Canela is safely in Maryland with her loving new owner.

Canela the cute catI had a great senior send off from Chi Omega (complete with everything I could need for Peru) and threw a final Fiesta in Apartment 506.

Chi Omega Senior Sendoff

Gifts for Peru and sorority family

Cinco de Mayo FiestaOne week from today I will be boarding a plane for staging in D.C. and then heading to Lima the next day! I’ll be starting my service in Peru with a group of business and youth development volunteers. We all meet in D.C. for a day of icebreakers and paperwork at an orientation event called staging. The schedule looks something like this:

June 4, 2014
12:00 PM: Registration
2:00 – 4:25 PM: Who We Are, What You Expect, What’s Next
4:25 – 4:45 PM: Break
4:45 – 7:00 PM: What We Expect, Closing

June 5, 2014
6:30 AM: Check out of hotel
7:00 AM: Bus arrives for loading and departure to the airport

June 5th we fly to Lima and spend a few days at a retreat center with just our group before we meet our host families on Sunday, June 8th! In Peru volunteers live with one host family for the three months of training and then move in with a different family for the two years of service in their permanent site. We’ll find out where our permanent sites will be during that latter part of training. I’m already excited for this! Peru is so diverse that I could end up in a coastal, dry, desert town or in a cold, wet, mountainous town… some (non-business) volunteers even get to live in the Amazon.

Another great perk of the Peace Corps is that you are given 48 vacation days in addition to holidays! No matter where I end up I definitely plan on taking advantage of this and traveling throughout the country. We’re allowed to have visitors after the first three months so start making those travel plans! #Peru2014 (or 15… or 16…)

The biggest struggle now is deciding what to pack! I’ve cut my “take” pile in half twice already and I have a feeling there will be one more downsizing before I leave. It’s pretty much organized chaos at this point… Anyone have any suggestions for little gifts for my host family? Haha, or opinions on bringing things like a hammock?

packing mess

Lots of love from Texas, -B

Houston roof deck skylineP.S. Friends and family, you can get my blog posts emailed to you by clicking the “Follow” button in the top right corner and entering your email address!