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Finally in the ‘teens’! Expectations and phase 2-3-4 of packing continues…

Wow. In 19 days I will board a plane and fly to Houston, TX. Then on day 20, I will be on a plane to begin the next 2 years and 3 months of my life in the beautiful country of Guatemala. Many of you are probably wondering the same question. “Aren’t you nervous?” And to answer that question, yes. I am about 45% nervous, 5% scared, and 50% excited/anxious. Whenever I think about leaving for 27 months, I physically give myself a stomach ache. Must be the 45%… Glad we covered that. Moving on!

Since about day 50, I have been filling my brain with every page of the PCV Handbook, all billion pages of it. And the one thing that really stuck with me after reading a thousand pages and what really made me feel confident about my decision was this: “Together, Volunteers and staff form PC/Guatemala. We are one team working together to maintain an effective program of grassroots development that provides sustainable results for the people and communities of Guatemala. Good communication, mutual respect, and trust are essential components of an effective team and are attributes expected of all Peace Corps Volunteers and staff.” Peace Corps is all about unity and world peace! Yes! Just like Miss Congeniality! I am so thrilled to dedicate my time and serve with such a prestigous and unified team of volunteers and staff.

Given that said, one thing that all volunteers have said NOT to do, is arrive with expectations. I’ve read and been told by current PCVs as well as staff that if you arrive with expectations, you are opening yourself up to be potentially disappointed. Peace Corps is NOT a joyride, nor a vacation. It is a professional position and should be treated as such. Yes, it will be a marvelous adventure filled with unforgettable experiences, but some people tend to forget that this is a 2 year committment. A lot can happen in 2 years. And that is something I keep reminding myself. To go into this adventure with an open heart, an open mind and with zero expectations. Recently I got another tattoo in Costa Rica, and it says “Déjelo fluir” which means “let it flow”. Thankfully that has been a constant reminder throughout this entire process. No matter what happens, just go with it. Let it flow. Take it as it comes. There is no need to worry! I know the Lord will protect me, and that my friends and family will continue to support and encourage me through this process, and that makes ‘not worrying’ so much easier!

Next topic: Packing… Phase 2-3-4

FUN STUFF. DÉJELO FREAKING FLUIR BAILEY. Packing is a fun process. Don’t get me wrong. But it is also one of the most time consuming, stressful, frustrating processes in the entire world. Especially for a 27 month trip. I’ve really been focusing on remembering about me. What do I like? What will make me smile on bad days? What will help me get through a rough day at work? Self-help kit people. For those of you reading this and are considering the Peace Corps, or are packing yourselves for this grand adventure, remember to bring things to take care of you! I love zumba. So I’m bringing a zumba DVD to play on my computer. I love chili, so I’m bringing some chili packets to make on cold rainy days where I miss home. I love my dog, so I’m bringing some pictures to keep on me at all times and in my room. I love music, so I’m making a kick butt playlist on spotify to listen to later. Little things that bring me joy.

I started packing clothes today. Gosh this is so fun, and by fun, I mean not fun at all hahahaha. I bought these fancy vacuum sealable bags to try and save space, but they are not cooperating as planned, so I’m now resorting to rolling them like I originally planned. So yeah. I planned to use a carry on sized suitcase for my clothing to help limit the amount of clothes I would bring. Yeah, that’s not working either. I’ve jam packed it, got it to zip, and still haven’t put in my socks, underwear, bras, sweatshirts, or shoes. SO back to the drawing board once again…

I’m truly sincerely trying to not overpack on clothing. I’m really only trying to bring the absolute essentials. Business casual attire, underwear, bras and shoes. Those are the most critical. The rest I can find in Guate when I get there. Because guess what! They have Walmart!! Bet y’all did expect that 🤣 So I’ve decided instead of using a carry on sized suitcase, I’m going to use a duffle and hopefully have enough room. If not, I’ll break out my super huge suitcase and make it work. I’m just trying to avoid it like the plague lol. Because whatever we bring, we need to be able to carry from place to place by ourselves. Stay tuned for the official packing list in phase 5-6-7!

I went to the dollar tree yesterday and stocked up on cute little kid toys and a toooooon of stickers. I’ve read that’s something that the kids have loved so I have a lifetime supply now. Watch me get there and not use one sticker lol. I’ll let y’all know!

Also, another recent bummer, no mail can be sent to Guatemala right now *insert sad face*. But that’s ok. I guess I can survive without Reese’s peanut butter cups 😭😭😭😭😭😭

Ok, that’s all I have right now. But omg I leave in 18 days! Ahh! So excited! I can’t wait! Stay tuned for the next update on this crazy fun process 🙂

Fun kid toys! *Billion stickers not pictured*

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