I'm sitting in my good friend Warren's apartment in Washington DC just several blocks from the White House and in an hour and a half an exciting moment arrives; I will get the first chance to meet the 35 or so other Peace Corps volunteers who will be in my group going to Zambia with me. Today we will meet at a hotel near the naval observatory and begin the Staging process. Tomorrow morning we get lots of shots (fun!) and by tomorrow evening we will be on a 15 hour flight (more fun!) to Johannesburg, South Africa. A quick layover, another two hour flight and we'll touch down in Lusaka, the capitol of Zambia. As long as those flights will be it is a remarkably short time to travel to a place that will be so different and I'll only just be beginning to adjust even as the jet lag wears off after a couple of days.
Once in Zambia my group and I will travel to a small town and village a little ways east of Lusaka to begin our nine weeks of language, technical, health and culture training. During that period I will be living in a home-stay. I've heard that the home-stay is often volunteer's favorite part about their entire service because of the strong connections they make with their host family and I am really looking forward to meeting the family I'll be living with.
I've spent a great last couple of days visiting Sam and Ashley in NY and Warren, Jill, Michel, Cameron and Jess in DC. Before that I was the emotional and slightly bittersweet goodbyes to family and friends in Seattle including an amazing goodbye party (see facebook for pictures) that included a hilarious 75% life size Kevin.