I woke up a little while ago and had to lay in my bed and mentally process that this was the last morning I would be doing that for quite some time. I'm not one to get emotional about these kinds of things, but I am a little sad to leave it considering my sleeping situation in Senegal is most likely going to leave much to be desired.
Last night a few of my good friends came over for dinner so I could see them before I leave. The goodbyes in this situation are very weird for me, for a few reasons. The first being that I've started saying goodbye to people since January, when I would see friends and know that I wouldn't see them until I left, so therefore probably wouldn't be seeing them until 2013. And, for me, I don't think this will feel real until I say goodbye to my parents in DC and actually get on that plane to Dakar. Another reason this is bizarre is because sometimes it feels like I'm going off to war or something. I'm unbelievably excited to go, but most everyone I say goodbye to seems (mainly adults) unbelievably nervous for me. I appreciate the concern from everyone, because I know that they want the best for me.
Like I said, I haven't been emotional about leaving for this whole process, but two days ago I had a slight stress meltdown. I realized that it was pretty much impossible for me to get my bags down to the desired weight limits, AND that my bags were also over the linear dimension limits. (In case anyone is super interested, the limits are that together, my two bags should cannot exceed 80 lbs, and no one bag should exceed 50 lbs. No two bags should exceed 107" together, and no one bag should exceed 60").
So I took to the trusty Peace Corps Senegal facebook page, called Peace Corps, and had many conversations with my Dad on the subject and realized that I needed smarter bags. I was originally going to go with a huge rolling duffel (the orange bag in the pictures from the last entry), and a slightly less huge rolling suitcase. Everyone's wisdom led me to change to a massive hiking backpack and a duffle bag. I can't even begin to express what a smart move this was. My bags are now both under the weight limits, so I have some leeway, which is a huge relief. After all was said and done, my Dad thought to weigh the original suitcases I was going to use and they each turned out to be 9 lbs, so it was no wonder I was over the limits.
Now that the horror of packing is over, it's pretty much smooth sailing for me (hopefully). This morning, I need to get all of my various electronics together because they're all scattered randomly throughout my house charging, put my carry-on bags together, pack my bag for DC, eat breakfast (my last one with my brother and bff Kyle), and get going.
It's my last morning seeing James because he has his midterm for his EMT class this weekend, so he can't come to DC with us. As sad as I am to part with my crazy brother, I know that he's happy for me and is going to be fine.
My Mom has a half-day today, and my Dad is taking a half-day so that we can head to DC around lunch. I'm going to get to see Dustin & Oscar while I'm there, stay over at Cait's apartment one last time, and see my Aunt, Uncle, and adorable baby cousin, Molly. So, all in all, ending in DC works out well for me because I'm able to see so many people before I go. My Dad flies out of Dulles for a conference in Orlando on Sunday. Then later on Sunday, my best friend Taylor is coming down. So, Sunday night, my Mom, Taylor and I will have a girl's night at the hotel, and then my Staging begins on Monday.
I can't believe how fast time is flying by. I wish it could stop for just two days so I could catch up a little!