Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tourist Haze

         I am writing from JFK but I do not know when I will have wifi to send this post. We have successfully made it to JFK and through security..I think.  I am amazed by my fellow trainees. I am in freshman year of college all over again. Nobody knows exactly what they're doing but a lot of people seem to know better than me. I think there are 68 of us but I have not gotten a thumb on the exact number. What I DO know is that these people amaze me. I thought I was prepared for this journey but every person I meet in our group has already done phenomenal things with their lives. There are those who did their undergrads at Cornell and Georgetown, someone works on a fishing boat in Alaska, and another was raised in Tanzania. That's just the beginning. There are two married couples in the group.  Many of us speak a different language fluently. Everyone is incredibly positive and excited to lose all of their American comforts. I'm learning that these people are going to be the physical support that will get me through hard times over the next two years.  They have the same worries and they have similar aspirations. It is easy to see that amazing volunteers are the engine that drives the Peace Corps. 

       I am in a haze because I'm not nervous. That might be bad but it feels pretty good. It is probably because of all the warm thoughts coming from everywhere I have friends and the support of these people around me now. I'm sure it will change soon and I'll write about it here.  Hope you're ready. 

       In relation to running, have not done much since my weekend at Stonehill.  I have been mostly mentally training to conquer the inevitable culture shock. However, I have met other runners in the group who want to run!  One just got 9th place in a Wyoming North Face trail marathon. Another ran for Western Colorado, a DII power house in cross country.  We will all have a great time exploring Senegal by foot. I also met someone who is as excited as I am to explore the wrestling culture in Senegal. Soon we'll be tapping into our macho instincts. 

       Finally, thank you all for the warm thoughts and support. Girls, thank you for taking Lizzie out for cheesecake, you know her well. Thanks to everyone else involved in our lives supplying much needed support and writing nice things about me. You are all as always too kind and exaggerate too much.  Updates will come soon and they will be from Senegal!  Bisimillah!

     Much Love,

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