Staging: Complete!

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First off, I would like to thank every single one of my friends and family that came to my going away party on Friday. I had a blast seeing all of you and I hope you all had fun as well! I know my dad had fun too since he always ends up being the life of the party with my friends and stealing my thunder! haha

I spent this past weekend hanging out with my best friends as much as I could. Visitors came and went all day Saturday and then again on Monday. My closest friends ended up dropping by again on Monday and I hosted a little “dinner party” catered Chela’s. What else would I want to have as my last meal in the United States other than the best Mexican food ever with the world’s most amazing salsa (yes I am aware for those of you who eat at Chela’s that you don’t enjoy the food nearly as much as I do and you think I’m crazy for liking it so much.) I said some of my hardest and most tear filled goodbyes Monday night which made my last night at home that much more special.  Kevin ended up being the last one to leave around 2:30. After double checking all of my paperwork, packing my backpack, and showering I finally fell asleep at 4am only to wake up an hour later and head for the airport.

Saying bye to my parents was much harder than I anticipated. I expected my mom to cry and me to cry along with her which we did but when my dad’s face turned red and tears started streaming down his face I lost it.  I know it’s never easy leaving family but I feel like my situation is a little bit different from most. Being and only child and what my parents consider “a miracle baby” has naturally made our family extremely close-knit.  They aren’t fluent English speakers and they depend on me for a lot of things. I know I have plenty of family and family friends around that will help my parents when I’m away but knowing that I am personally not there helping them with various issues doesn’t give me much peace of mind. 

My flight was supposed to depart from O’hare at 8:35 am but didn’t leave until 10:05 due to late crew members coming from connecting flights and then a mechanical issue that did not allow us to take off. Coincidentally enough, I ended up sitting next to a girl who was headed to staging for PC Guatemala at the same hotel ours was being held at. We talked for a while and it was interesting to learn about some of the similar and different anxieties we have about our service.

Staging officially started at 2pm and lasted until 7pm. Within that 5 hour time frame, all 40 PCRO trainees introduced themselves to the group and told us where they came from. We played some icebreaker games, learned a lot about our country and found out A LOT of new information that we were not aware about before.  Since the country’s initiative this year is to enter into smaller, more rural areas, there is a chance that I may not have constant internet access once I move into my post like most of the current volunteers do. It seems like everything will be up in the air for a few days until we meet our host families on Saturday.

I want to finish this post by sending out a few shout outs and letting my favorite people know how much they mean to me:

Danijela: You are my family and my friend. I could have never asked for a better person to have in my life than you. It is next to impossible for me to even put into words how much love, respect, and admiration I have for you. You are such an amazing and strong individual in so many different ways. You have always been there for me and I have shared my best memories with you.  You know the perfect things to say in every situation and you are truly irreplaceable. I can’t wait until you finish up your graduate degree and hopefully head on over to my part of the world!

Kevin: There is so much history between us and that is why you hold a special place in my heart. You have been such a wonderful friend to me and have supported me in everything that I have ever taken on. Thank you for always being there for me and consistently offering a shoulder to cry on.  You are such a strong person and I know no matter what curve balls life throws at you, you will always come out on top and be the victor.

Vedrana: You are my most…unique friend :). Good luck in the corporate world now that you have realized it isn’t all that it is cracked up to be and I hope one day you get those business cards you deserve!

Ro/Luis: Your letter was beautiful and it spoke the truth. Even though we sometimes go extended periods of time without talking, we both know that the other is always there for her no matter what. Good luck on your CPA and no babies until I return. I love the both of you and Rosie, take care of Luis.

Danny and Kimmie: You two are such a great couple and I am so heartbroken I won’t be able to attend your wedding, well in person at least 🙂 Danny you always know how to put a smile on my face and I am so happy that you picked such a sweet and wonderful girl to be your wife.

Stefi: I plan on you being one of the main people who goes and hangs out with Branka at the pool during the weekends. I can’t wait until you come visit my “village” so I can find you a cigan.

Joanna: You are a lot stronger than you think! I wish you luck in finding another class of eager little ones to teach for the fall and don’t forget to start saving that 2.87 a day so you can have enough for next summer!

Darc: You will be the most passionate guidance counselor Indiana has ever seen! I believe in you! Just remember to LOCK IT UP!

Davey/Matt: Yes even though you two are your own person, since you are twins, you get to share a shout out.  I consider the two of you my brothers and love you, and your entire family so much. Dave: Go Hawks!

Star: Remember; everything comes down to poo 🙂 I love you and will miss your blondeness.

Sinki: don’t get married until I get back! If you do, have the wedding in Srbija. K thanks.

Lil: Even though I won’t have my phone on all the time, you are still more than welcome to give me a call and vent to my voicemail. I’ll listen to them eventually 🙂 Good luck with whichever direction you end up going and don’t stress over stuff too much.

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