I'm finally all moved out of my apartment, which is bittersweet since I really loved that little place. After consolidating everything, I somehow sorted through all my worldly possessions and eliminated a LOT. The things that I didn't give away and that I'm not taking with me to Africa are in boxes and stored in my parents' house. Then there's the couple of bags that are coming with me to Kenya - my 60 + 10 L backpack and a small duffel bag. They're cleverly packed (no more than 80 pounds total, neither bag weighing more than 40) and actually pretty manageable. I'm a little anxious about forgetting to bring something, leaving something behind that I thought I had remembered or generally being woefully underprepared. But I've gone over the official packing list (and a few other less official lists I found online from past volunteers) over and over again, so now I think it's just time to trust that I have enough, and that I'll be alright.
So, tonight I'll fly out of Anchorage at about 9:30 PM, and this time tomorrow I'll be exploring the streets of Manhattan with two of my best friends. After spending eight days with them, I'll take an Amtrak train down to Philadelphia where I'll do some exploring and sightseeing on my own and spend a few days with a dear friend from college who is oh-so-graciously letting me crash at her place. Then, at 12:30 PM on October 12th, staging begins at a hotel in Philadelphia... and then off to Kenya on the 13th! While I'm looking forward to the next week and a half of seeing some of our country's most incredible cities with some of my best friends, part of me is ready to be in Kenya right now. But I know that will come soon enough.
I'll post an update sometime during staging. Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive, loving and encouraging over these past few weeks of rapid preparation. I'm convinced that the people I have in my life are some of the best people in the entire world :)
But for now... to New York!!