I got my packet yesterday from Cross Cultural Solutions, along with a card from my best friend congratulating me on winning the trip. Not a shabby mail day. It sure beats bills, anyway.
The packet. It included:
- A welcome letter,
- Some terms and conditions,
- Stickers (yay!),
- My (volunteer) placement guide,
- My Participant Handbook for Kilimanjaro,
- The Volunteer Abroad Program Handbook (i.e. the Rules),
- A luggage tag, and
- A t-shirt. Boy, do l
have enough of those to clothe a small villagelove me a t-shirt. (You can also get a t-shirt, or some other stuff too! 10% of all purchases go to CCS.)
I read through all of it immediately. It answered some questions. Some of the information is generic and reminds us to be flexible and that kind of stuff. As much as I like to
obsess plan and know what to expect, I’m okay with not knowing either. I’m pretty used to the “hurry up and wait” that goes on in places. I know to bring a book with me (Always Bring A Book). I had to make up my job in Samoa. I work at a University now where I still make up my job have some flexibility with what I do. That being said, I know it will be overwhelming and information overload while I’m there and attempting (probably badly) another language and making a complete fool of myself. Good thing I got used to that in Samoa. After playing competitive dress-up in the village, making speeches and being told to “Siva!” my once former ego is fairly non-existent. Palagi and Mzungu seem like pretty interchangeable terms.
Reading the packet was definitely a good thing, and also a reminder to let some things go. And to pick up a book that a friend sent me before I left for Peace Corps all those years ago – a collection of letters that a volunteer in Kenya and her friend in New York sent back and forth. I’ve read it several times, but I think it’s time to read it again.